when I grow up

I announced this week that I want to be Nora Ephron when I grow up. She’s a talented film maker (you’ve seen ‘When Harry met Sally…’ and ‘Sleepless in Seattle’) and novelist. She’s witty, intelligent and has amazing experience of politics and journalism (including, but not only, a spell as an intern in JFK’s White House and a brief marriage to Carl Bernstein). Also, she’s 70 and is still able to keep dying her hair dark. I lost that battle a long time ago.

I’m reading Ephron’s (I can’t call her Nora; not because I don’t know her, but my late aunt Nora owns the name) last collection of essays at the minute; ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck’. I have been laughing, nodding in recognition and re-reading chunks. I am resisting listing quotations full of style, humour, cooking advice, but I can’t resist this …

Reading is one of the main things I do. Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention defecit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all to real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.

I don’t have her talent, experience or dark hair, but I do share her attitude to reading. A start, surely?

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5 thoughts on “when I grow up”

  1. I think I underestimate all the benefits I get from reading because it’s such a longstanding habit. She’s right, it not just about escape or exercising imagination, it’s about all those other things she mentions. A good book can also create a sense of order and coherence that is often lacking in daily life.

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