It's not that I'm unsympathetic to the engrossed reader. I swear I'm not. I mean, I can walk down the street while reading with the best of them, even if I'm simultaneously yelling at my children "No reading while walking, I mean it!"
And I know the days are long with schoolwork and responsibilities, and there isn't quite enough time to really get back to that story that was boiling along last time you read it. Trust me: I'm three quarters of the way through A Feast for Crows, I understand all about perilous cliffhangers.
With both kids, I struggle with trying to talk to them while they are reading. Of course, common courtesy requires that a person put down the book and look you in the eye. But we're family, and they know as well as I do that half the time I'm talking with them it's about picking up socks or being sure everything is in the backpack. And I, it must be admitted, don't always set everything down, look them in the eye and focus when they ask for my attention.
Still, it came as someting of a blow when I was haranguing Diana about some crucial household task, and she was clearly listening with only half an ear, and I finally had to say, "Put down that book and listen to me when I talk to you!" And then I looked at the book.
It's not that it's a surprise that Grouch is more compelling than I am, it's just…I'm not sure how I feel. I can't even compete with autobiography?
But I'm probably being too fiction-biased.