They call me the Reader.

This is the real The Reader. It has
nothing to do with this post. I've
never read it nor seen the movie. But
I feel like I should.
It was about three weeks ago that the first person stopped me. She caught me in the break room as I was refilling my coffee that morning, looked me over and said, “You’re the Reader, right?”

Yes, there was a capitalization in her voice.

I turned to her and, with a laugh and a smile that refused to go away, replied, “I sure am.”

For those who don’t know, I read the majority of my books around my day job. When I was taking the train every day, that meant half an hour or so each way plus the occasional hour-long lunch break. Now, it’s about ten to 20 minutes in the morning depending on traffic and half an hour at lunch. The time has lessened, as have the number of books, but the intent has not.

Anyway, not too long ago, I’d sit at my desk or find a spot in the break room and read away. But now, in the morning, before most others come in, I roam the three rows around my desk in a massive figure 8. At lunch, to keep others from getting dizzy or antsy or just plain uncomfortable because I’m repeatedly shadowing them, I conquer a meeting room or break room and go round the table. It may seem odd, but I’ve racked up thousands of steps this way—all working toward my year-long goal to lose some weight (which is going surprisingly well given we’re only four months into 2017).

So yes, in the process, I’ve become known as “the Reader.”

I’ve been reading at this job for near on six years now. But it’s only now, after a few months of walking with a book before me, that anyone has noticed. And, instead of being bashful about, instead of sitting back down and sticking to my corner, I’ve embraced it.

Because, with that first woman, we talked books for over ten minutes, about how it was impossible to get her children to read, about how she can’t find anything that really appeals to her, about how I go about discovering new titles, and especially about how I’m able to walk and read without tripping or falling over myself. We left the conversation with me suggesting she try reading the Fifty Shades series, since she happened to love the movies.

Yes, she brought it up. No, it wasn’t in any flirtatious manner I could pinpoint and no, I wouldn’t normally recommend them to anyone whatsoever—but when someone’s not a reader and it seems they may very well want to be, you gotta do what you gotta do.

It happened again yesterday. Someone I’ve worked with for years stopped me and asked what book I would recommend, as she had noticed me walking around during lunch. Funny enough, she had thought I’d simply started going back to school. I guess in her mind only students read so often? A sad thing, that. In the end, much like the previous conversation, I had (hopefully) convinced her to try reading other books from William P. Young, as, apparently, The Shack had “changed” her life. She’d even seen the movie adaptation recently—something I wasn’t even aware existed (it’s in theaters right this instant, if, like me, you didn’t know).

The point of this story, the reason I wanted to share it? There’s no better way to influence someone than leading by example. So, pick up a book and get to reading. It doesn’t even need to be one of my books, but there’s no saying it can’t be, right?

See what I did there?