Read as much as you need. (Day 112, Year 3)

I just finished "Where are the children, now?" by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke. I was so excited to read it because it is a sequel to "Where are the children?" which was the book that put Mary Higgins Clark on the map as the Queen of Suspense. It is also one of the first suspense books I read with my Dad. He'd bring me books all the time to read and we both loved MHC so much. 

The book did not disappoint at all and it was truly like returning to the story that captivated me so long ago. One of the main characters has the last name of Eldridge (which is the name of the street I live on). That coincidence made me smile as I read it and remembered all the evenings I'd stay up late devouring a mystery and trying to guess the end. It made me a little sad, too, because I remember how my Dad, who was a night guard, would check on me before he left at 11:30 to go to work and tell me, "Don't stay up too late. But read as much as you need."

I think of his advice every time I pick up a book. Sometimes reading is the pause and escape I need when I am stuck ideating or writing a piece that is going nowhere. I read "as much as I need" in these circumstances because I need to completely hop off the endless loop of dead ends and wrong turns. Other times, I read until I get through a critical part in the action of the story. And often, I read because I need quiet time to decompress and escape in someone else's story. 

Also, sometimes I read as much as I need when I studying and researching a topic. Right now, I am reading a nonfiction book called "Cancer Crossings" by Tim Wendel. Tim teaches a seminar at Johns Hopkins that I hope to take one day. 

His book is a science memoir told  from his perspective as the brother of a boy who died from childhood leukemia, before the most common types of childhood leukemia had a 90% cure rate. It is the sort of story I could see myself writing--an intersection of science and real life. It's hard for me to read at times--not because it is about cancer--but because it is about a brother who is gone. I read as much as I need and then I give my permission to pick up whatever juicy thriller is on my kindle. 

My son, who is dyslexic, is the greatest reader and consumer of books out of my three children. He loves stories and figuring out twists and gaining all that social knowledge that books can give you as you explore other character's stories. He reads physical books; but he also listens to audio books.  I often find him listening to a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book and giggling to himself in bed. When I come in, he always asks if he can listen to one more chapter and I always say, "just read as much as you need, Nick." 

He usually ends up falling asleep to the stories of Greg Henley, with a smile on his face--which, is exactly what I need, too.