Every few months I go through a dry spell with reading. I pick up a book, read the first 30 pages or so, then put it down. Ok, maybe I just didn’t like that particular book. Try again. I pick up the next book on my nightstand, start reading, get a handful of pages into it, then put it down. I don’t even bother a third time because by now I know this pattern: I’ve hit a reading dry spell. It’s not the end of the world, but there is always a teeny tiny part of me that thinks, “Oh no! What if I never find a book worth reading again? What if I never read another book?!” But I can usually keep that tiny voice to a minimum. What I do instead is move to crossword puzzles. And for the next month or so, that’s all I do. I rip them out of an abandoned newspaper, I grab the latest copy of the Cascadia Weekly, anywhere I can nab a crossword puzzle, I do. Eventually, I tire of doing crosswords puzzles and give reading another shot. And before I know it, I’m back to powering through book after book, back on the reading train.
What strikes me about this book to crossword and back to book pattern is that, when I find reading to be stale, I still find solace in words, just in a different form.
Is that why we love reading? Is it the words? I mean, are all readers also lovers of crossword puzzles? When I think of the non-readers in my life (yes, I know a few), they are not crossword puzzle people. But when I think of the readers in my life, I can visualize a half-finished crossword puzzle on their dining room table or the arm of their couch.
I’d like to take a survey: For you book lovers out there, are you also a crossword puzzle lover? Inquiring minds want to know.