Portrait of a Reader: Mary L.

Welcome, Mary! Please start by introducing us to yourself and your family.

We are a family of six which is swelling at the moment. Two of our children are married and they currently have five of our grandchildren, our daughter is expecting so that will bring our total to – fourteen by the end of March 2014. My husband, Lorne, is an attorney – like yours. I currently describe myself as an adored wife. I’m blessed to work from home and manage my own time therefore giving me control over how much I can read and teach.

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And can I just say that Mary is a fabulous Bible teacher! So when did you first come to identify yourself as a reader? What do you most enjoy reading? Do you consider yourself a casual reader, a sporadic reader, a serious reader or an all-out bibliophile

I know I have always been a reader. My family is from a military background and we moved a lot while I was growing up. In each home I had “my space.” I was a really small kid and in several of these homes my “space” was behind the couch. I had my own world there. It was filled with books. One time in school my class was in the library having free reading and the teacher called us to get in line. I didn’t move; I was caught up in the story. My teacher must have called several times. I never stirred. She told the librarian to send me after I finished, “Anyone that lost in a book deserved to finish it.” I have always honored her for that kindness. I know you are wondering; it was “And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street” by Dr. Seuss.

I love that story, Mary! I have a similar one of me in elementary school surrounded by a chaotic, out of control classroom, but I never noticed because I was lost in a book. So what do you most enjoy reading now?

I have read most genres but I love fantasy in any setting and I’m very partial to children’s literature (I call them mini-vacation books – they are short, reliable and pleasant). I tend to stay in the Christian world but I’m not legalistic about it. Most of what I read however is study material for my own research. I read hard core history like Pliny and books that build my Bible study passions. But I always dangle “candy” as my rewards for hard work. Fiction is my “candy.” Since I’m taking referrals from you I have enjoyed several newer authors. Anne Mateer, Siri Mitchell, Collene Coble, Elizabeth Camden, Jody Hedlund, Laura Franz and others I’m not recalling. I’m also an avid Francine Rivers or Lynn Austin lover and I consumed the Suzanne Collins trilogy.

It makes me so happy to introduce reader friends to my writer friends through their books! You’ve listed some good ones there. Someday I’ll read Suzanne Collins–when everyone else stops reading her. 🙂  What is the last book you finished and what are you currently reading? 

Just finished (on the beach): A Texas Legacy by Diann Mills (Your Friday Read referral)

Currently reading two in preparation for a mission trip women’s conference in Nicaragua February 2014: Multiply by Francis Chan and Hosting the Presence by Bill Johnson.

And I ought to take more non-fiction referrals from you! Those sound like good ones. I know I need to read more of those, I just never seem to find the time. Do you have a favorite time and place to read? 

ANYWHERE AND ANYTIME – as mentioned before, I can tune anything out.

What is the most unusual circumstance/place in which you’ve been found reading?

I take books to sporting events and was reading at the World Series…nuf said.

Lol! Hubby won’t let me get away with that–although I snuck away from our seats at a couple of spring training games and found a shady spot to read. Do you read physical books, ebooks, or both?

I read both. I like physical books for study material so I can annotate but I can consume ebooks faster than I can download. I like to use the highlight feature and do shared readings on a Facebook chat group with friends, my newest reading pleasure.

That sounds so fun!! I hadn’t considered something like that. So do you buy your books, borrow them from friends or check them out of the library? (Or all of the above!)

Mostly I buy them. Books are friends – I find it hard to release them afterwards.

Oh, do I know that feeling! Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that generally accompany your reading?

No – I’m a focused reader. I rarely eat while reading unless it is a meal time and I’m reading through…

Finally, it’s true confessions time: have you ever forgotten something important (to fix dinner or that dinner was in the oven or an appointment, etc) because you were lost in the pages of a book? 

Once I start a book, if it is well written, I am as consumed by it as the book is by me. Reading is collaboration between the reader and the writer. The writer has brought everything to the work and I bring all of myself too. I began reading “Carry-On Mr. Bowditch” one late afternoon. I finished the book in that single sitting forgetting to eat, sleep or anything else. I finally showered and started the next day filled with lovely sailing thoughts, but no sleep.

I think most of us can relate to that. Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of yourself with us today, Mary. I love the thoughtfulness you bring to your reading. 

Happy Reading, Y’all! 

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