I read, a lot. I read in airports, on planes, in restaurants, in quiet hotel bars. I read in convention center food courts and tiny, dark back rooms of auto show sets. I read in strange hotel beds, in first class and coach, from sea to shining sea. I read at home with the back door open so I can hear the birds singing -- it relaxes me more.
I read fiction and non-fiction, classic literature and obscure modern writers, comedies, tragedies, coming-of-age tales. I'm not big on courtroom dramas (although I enjoy watching them on TV but not movies). I hate trashy romances. I like books that help me feel better about the human condition, a feeling which often needs repair after a ten-day auto show.
I read real books, books that I can hold in my hand with pages I can turn and paper and ink I can smell. I've toyed with the idea of getting a Kindle or an iPad because it sure would make my carry-on a lot lighter, but I like real books. I like the way they feel in my hands and the way they look on a bookshelf. Few things tell more about a person than what's in his bookshelf or the condition of her garage. Always investigate those two before investing in a friendship.
Last night I began reading The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. This morning, at 3 AM, I finished it. I'm a sucker for dogs (any animals really, anthropomorphized or not) and stories of triumph over adversity. Plus, hello, hot fast cars!
You must. READ. THIS. BOOK.
Here's the thing about life: it often sucks. People are mean a$$holes, jobs are lost, people you love die, houses burn down, kids are ungrateful, your underwear is too tight, you paid $10 to get into the auto show but are not allowed to sit in the Ferrari. You have unrealized dreams. Do you want to sit around and whine about the injustice of it all, or do you want to do something about it? Do you want the car to drive you, or do you want to drive the car?
Life isn't about what you can't do, it's about what you CAN do. And sometimes you have to fight through all the "can't" people to get to the "can"s. Actually, in my experience 95% of the time you have to do this. It's exhausting, but such is life. Most people either give up sometime in their 20's or never start at all, giving up on their dreams either out of complacency or simply because they have no one to believe in them.
Maybe they just need a good dog.
Read more about The Art of Racing in the Rain at Garth Stein's website.