Life Gets in the Way of Books by Rose Cooper

I have a confession to make. Come closer, I’ll tell you.  Closer…closer…ok! Now, lean in and I’ll whisper in your ear…


Okay, so that isn’t exactly a confession. And I kind of shouted it, but I was so excited I couldn’t help myself.

But I do actually have a confession. One that my agent would probably wag her finger at me for, my editor would probably hit me over the head with one of my own books, and well…let’s just say my husband gave me “the look.” You know the one.

Once upon a time my library card was revoked.

I wish I could say I just loved the book so much I couldn’t give it back (um, that would be stealing though) but I think I lost a book or two when I  moved.  My husband, knowing what a book fanatic I am, told me to stay away from the library. STAY AWAY! Can you imagine? Okay, maybe I do tend to get a little carried away at the library. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, except everything is free. And you can check out like 100 books at once. So of course that means I have to take advantage of that and check out as many books as I can possibly carry.

Note to librarians: I’d like to suggest shopping carts.

Even though I’m a fast reader, I’m not fast enough to read 20 books in two weeks. So I have a huge stack taking up plenty of space in my room that sits there begging to be read. I end up re-checking out the books only to return the ones I did read and of course check out more. I could NEVER leave the library empty handed. There are so many great books out there and just not enough time to read them all.

And the worst thing about a great book?  Life gets in the way. Maybe you’re like me, and before e-readers, you brought your books everywhere with you, hoping to sneak in reading time whenever possible. But then your nose is buried so deep in the pages and you’re so absorbed in the story, you have not a clue as to what’s going on around you. You get that feeling where you can’t seem to get enough and you’re eyes are practically skipping over words, stumbling over sentences …trying to devour page after page of awesomeness.  Your heart beats quicker, your breath becomes shaky, and you might even break a sweat.  And then,  right when you get to a good part…BAM! You smack into a wall. Or run into a person. Or in my case, trip over a tiny-barely-there crack.

To be honest, it’s hard to carve out a specific time just for reading. Between working, the husband and kids, that little thing on the side where I write kids’ books, oh yeah, and finding time to eat, it can be near impossible. I tried a few times but it went something like this:

Reading at work during lunch (at my desk)
Boss: You need to get back to work.
Me: I’m still on lunch.
Boss: Your lunch isn’t 3 hours long…
Me: Oops.

Reading at home after work…
Son #1: Can I have dinner?
Son#2: When’s dinner?
Son#3: I want dinner!
Husband: What’s for dinner?
Me: Seriously? Do you need to eat every day?

Reading at the gym:
Me: Didn’t I just read that sentence?
100 calories burned later….
Me: Didn’t I just read that sentence?

Reading in the bathtub:
Me:  Yes! I will finally find out what happens as soon as I turn this page…

Sometimes you just have to take what you can get. I had to give up my reading during the day, but I did find a time that worked for me. A time when life moves a little bit slower, a place free from bosses, away from water and distractions:  My bed.

Right before going to sleep, I cozy up with a book. I set rules that I plan to strictly follow. I tell myself I will only read a few pages. But then I break that rule and it’s more like a few chapters. Or ten.  My eyes get that grainy feeling and my lids feel heavy and they begin to droop until I’m practically squinting. Then I realize I’m reading with one eye closed to keep my vision from blurring and then next thing I know…my alarm is going off. Then I’m groggy and find my book on the floor and can’t remember which page I was on. But that’s okay. And I will do this all over again the next night. Because books are just that awesome. And I’m slightly addicted to them.

Another confession? I’m proud to be a book nerd.

ROSE COOPER is a children’s writer and illustrator and a self-taught artist. Her art work can be seen in local galleries, art fairs, and festivals. Writing for children gives her the perfect excuse to keep in touch with her inner child and never really grow up. She lives in Sacramento, California with her husband, Carl, and their three boys.


For more about Rose and a chance to enter for giveaways of her books, visit sharpread (interview) and Watch.Connect. Read. (book trailer premiere).