We'd been surprisingly disease-free for the longest span since having children, but it was bound to end. And lo, Diana was struck down last weekend, and spent many days in a feverish haze that was later deemed: strep.
That first day she was so sick she couldn't even read, really. She couldn't even play computer games, or DS, or watch Monty Python episodes or anything. Mostly she just lay there on the couch, drifting in and out of consciousness, every now and again rousing herself enough to be read to (note: the book to read someone with 102.7° = The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. You're welcome.)
At one point, she said, "That's a weird name."
I predictably answered, "What?"
"That." She pointed up at the giant bookshelf at the end of the couch. I will give you the sick-eye view.
OK, now I see that it is all but impossible to identify anything here, but it was for her too, so I ask you to bear with me. And to see the book she indicated: it is the third shelf down from the top, on the far right, lying on its side. It is Absurdistan, by Gary Shteyngart. "What's it about?" she asked, and I sort of told her (or as much as you can when someone is that sick).
And I thought, Hmm, that's a book she would like.
And then I thought about it some more, with the constant references to his poor, maimed penis (this is less upsetting than it sounds, it's a funny book, you'll have to believe me). And I thought that she probably wasn't ready for it. For that, at least.
But it made me think about it: when do you start reading adult books? When did I take that first one off the shelf? For all my crystalline memories of reading various kids books as a kid, I have no clear recollection of when I made the transition. I read some interview with Stephen King in which he described getting his hands on some Elmore Leonard or someone and it was just, va-vooom—this is what I was meant to read. It was all grown-up books from then on.
I wish I could remember. I remember poring over Diseases of the Skin (never look at this; it will etch itself on your brain cells forever). But that was more of a my-dad-is-a-doctor type books. Not a real this-is-a-novel-written-for-grownups type book. I know that I read adult books now. But how did I get from one to the other? And what will it be like when my kid makes that switch? Is it like from crawling to walking, where you still crawl for a while, because it just feels right? Or will it be no looking back? I wonder.
Do any of you remember this? When? How? What?