Where Did Those Long Afternoons of Reading Go?

Remember when you were a kid and you could read all day?  I did that in the summer sometimes, especially the first summer we moved to Arizona.  We weren’t used to 100-degree days so we all hibernated inside.  Mom would take me and my sister to the library about once a week, and we’d come home with about 30 books each.  I was 11, so these were chapter books.  And we’d lie on our beds in our air-conditioned rooms and read aaaaaaaaaaall day.  Loved it.  And I’d finish all those books before the next library visit.  It was fabulous.  That was the summer I read A Wrinkle in Time, which was so intense it was like a religious experience for me.

I’ve been sick this last week, and I’m at that boring interval when you’re too tired to do anything yet but you feel well enough to read, so it’s a little like kid free time.  I just immerse myself and don’t worry about anything else, except maybe imbibing liquids.  Of course, now that I”m  a responsible adult, I do get interrupted with requests from my child, but she’s old enough to fend for herself a bit when I’m sick, so it’s not bad.  I do have the full laundry baskets tugging at my attention telling me I’m well enough to do chores, but I try to ignore them, and I’m mostly successful.  This is as close as I’m going to get to that kid free time.

I don’t read a ton on vacations, either. I’d rather be doing something right-brain, like hiking, or walking around a zoo, than reading on vacation.  Not that I don’t–we usually have some time in the evening when we all sit on the hotel beds and read our books.  But that’s just normal for me.  Maybe it’s more that feeling of total focus that I miss more than the time itself.  And being so drawn into a book that you didn’t care about anything else.  It’s kind of rare for me to have that experience anymore.  Another thing I read that I remember being a really intense experience as a kid was the Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin.  That was a Texas summer (even more inhospitable outdoors than Arizona) when I was in high school.

Anyone else remember books that were super-intense-block-the-world-out reading experiences from when they were a kid?  Or recently, if you still have that experience?