Wednesday, April 22, 2009
This is The Reader. I don't know her name. I don't know how old she is. I don't know where she lives or what she does for a living. All I know about The Reader is that she likes to read and she likes to walk and that she does them simultaneously. The Reader has been walking and reading the streets of my neighborhood for the last, oh, 15 or so years. And over those 15 or so years, whenever I've been living at my parents' house, I have seen her out and about on a regular basis. Always walking, always reading, never watching where she's going. Sometimes I see her walk by the house. Sometimes I see her nearby as I'm driving through the neighborhood. Sometimes she seems quite far from the last place I saw her. But, she's always there, walking and reading. She walks along, swaying from side to side (I'm guessing the upper body movement occurs to offset the lower body movement. Usually we swing our arms as we walk to take care of that, but since her arms are busy holding a book, she swings her entire upper body instead), ingesting whatever information she's reading. Yesterday, I saw her when I was driving to work and decided that it was time to honor her and her staying power with a blog post. So, I snapped the above picture with my phone and here we are. Whenever I see The Reader, I always wonder where she lives, how many miles she walks when she goes out, if she's ever fallen down and what she is reading. I wonder how many total miles she has walked and how many books she has read since I first saw her walking by with her nose in a book. I think it's impressive that she is able to walk and read, without looking up, and that she doesn't fall (at least, I assume she doesn't fall since she has been doing if for so long). So, here's to The Reader. May there be many more walking and reading sessions in her future.