OK, so it isn’t my only dirty little secret – I have many – but it is a particularly dirty one for writers to have.

I love words.

Not just using them, but reading them too.

I always wondered why it took me so long to read books when I have friends who zip through a single book in a day or an evening.  I think I’ve finally figured out the problem…

I chew on every word.  I don’t skim.  I consume every word slowly and allow myself to be sucked into the story through the words.

When I was a kid, I’d read to escape.  I’d focus so completely on the words that the stories I read would whisk me away to faraway lands on great adventures.  Once I was in, it was very difficult to pull me out.  I would neither hear nor be aware of anything that was going on around me.  There could be a riot and I’d be oblivious.

That is still my preferred method of reading.

I’m reading the galley for A Taste of Liberty now (that’s the last draft before it is published) and I find myself reading as a reader rather than the writer.  I know the story.  I wrote it.  I should be reading faster so other people can read it but when I read through a scene like this:

Brian noticed the pearls in the box on the table near Sarah.  “Hey, where did you get those?  You weren’t wearing those when you jumped off Hassan’s boat.”  His eyes sparkled.  “Matter of fact you weren’t wearing much at all when we pulled you out of the drink.”  A silly smile rolled across Brian’s face as he looked up at nothing in particular.  “God, I love my job.”

I just want to be there, watching Brian in all his disheveled glory, so I watch the movie in my head.  (Imagine Hugh Jackman delivering those lines.)

So that’s it.  That’s my dirty little secret.

Reading is like sex with a new lover: You want to open the cover quickly but the rest should be done slowly so you can drink in every bit of it.