As I started to type, Grace was sitting on the footstool under my desk, bumping her head, pushing my feet away, babbling in a conversational way and reading one of her many Little Golden Books. The one about visiting Grandma and Grandpa Smith which features catching a bus to in the country, lots of homely activites and a night at the drive in. All in 1985 style drawings. This book seems to be on high rotation at the moment along with Barbie in the Spotlight, which I bought at the oppy because it's illustrated with scenes made with photos of real barbie dolls, as opposed to drawings, giving it a surreal look I find rather apealing. It crosses my mind that maybe this isn't the best sort of book for a nearly two year old girl. Still, it is only one among many. At least Barbie does stuff. Even if she wears impossible shoes and ends up modelling rather than reporting.

I know I probably shouldn't buy any more books for Grace because she probably has too many as it is. Which I pick up from the floor several times a day. Or not. Another of her favourites is Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, Puffin 1962. I didn't realise that this book had won awards until I looked it up, but I can see why it's been so popular. I wish Grace would let me read it aloud to her. You see she won't let either of us read to her (her nana sometimes gets to). Any attempt to do so, either sitting on your lap or sitting next to her meets with wriggles, superfast page turning and Noo, Nooo. This is the closest I've been in a long time. Grace let me sit next to her and look over her shoulder for ooh, maybe five minutes. And it's not as if taking the photo ruined the moment, I had the camera in my hand for something else and just snuck one in.

It's not that Grace doesn't love books. Book is one of her 20 or so words, used as she moves them from room to room, or when she hands me one to read, or snatches it again from my hands. She has piles of books in various locations around the house. In the study, in her room, in the lounge, the back room and the kitchen, in our room. It's like a little pitstop to spend time between rombling and jumping to sit on the floor and turn the pages. Right way up, even. But I wish she'd let me read to her. We just have to keep offering I suppose.

My own reading has ground to a halt. I started reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard after Christmas but I've found it hard to get past the first few pages. It looks like the sort of book I should like, nature and living in the country being favourite themes of mine. It could be the sort of book I can't read with the radio going and people talking all around. Some books allow me to shut all that out, but other books seem to demand quiet. Something that is in very short supply around here. Unless I read at night after everyone else has gone to bed. But that would cut into my blogging time. Sigh. I need another hour or two in the day, but not at the expense of sleep. Because I just don't have enough time to do everything and to do nothing. I did quite a bit of nothing today, falling asleep on the couch under the plum tree, a gentle breeze above and a spot of warm sunlight on my cheek. It was lovely. Even though I should have been taking advantage of the civilised weather to knock off some sewing or gardening tasks. Still, I have to get back into reading books too. I think I'll have to find something easy and page turning to get me back to the habit or I could end up not reading for months. Which would be terrible. I hate it when that happens.

This morning I spent a couple of hours learning about bloglines. I've been a click on my favourites sort of blog reader but I think it's time I got a bit more organised. I still don't feel really comfortable (as in familiar) with it but I think it'll be better. Once I started playing with it, I realised that I could manage how my own blogs look in bloglines if I claimed my blogs in bloglines. However I couldn't get past the verifiction process because I haven't managed to insert the code into my typepad template. I'm on the middle typepad plan, and although you can fiddle with the html for individual posts, you can't insert code into your template. Has anyone done this, or knows whether it can be done? Is it worth bothering with? The other thing I'm not sure about is what causes a blog to update in bloglines. Do they update when someone comments on a post? Or just when a new post is published? So much to learn. Next week, Flickr.


Kerryn said...

Bloglines is wonderful and more than a little addictive. It will update when a new post is published or if an existing post is edited, I think and usually within minutes. I still do a manual check of my blogroll a couple of times a week, just in case.
"Reading-block" is horrible, isn't it? I do the same thing -- pick up a book I know will keep me turning the pages, usually something from the crime/detective genre. Once I've reached the last page, I'm ready to pick up the next book in my TBR pile (which are an entirely different breed of books, altogether).

Sheree said...

Oh, bloglines: I could not live without thee! :) I started out with maybe five or six blogs on bloglines and now I have over 200....but I spend less time looking thru them becuase I only look at the ones that have new posts. Great stuff, bloglines.
And Flickr? Good gourds, don't get me started on Flickr (do I really have over 1300 photos? LOL). I can waste more time on Flickr than anywhere else. Love it.
Isn't it funny how littles sometimes dont' like you to read to them. My older DS went thru that stage and younger DS is now there. I think it's a 2yr old thing. I remember when older DS got to be around 2.5 or 3 and he started wanting me to read to him all the time. Before that, he was like Grace: wanted to 'read' the book on his own.
Sweet little photo of Grace & the book.

shula said...

Mine didn't like me singing to her, which was awkward, given that I was a singer. She would put her fingers in her ears and scream "NO! NO!". Nice for the ego, that one.
And Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present is still one of my all time favourite children's books.
What is this thing called Bloglines?

Janet said...

Shula, bloglines is a feed aggregator, which lets you see when the blogs you read have updated. So you don't have to keep clicking on the links in your favourites. However, most blogs look pretty ugly in bloglines, so I would be clicking the link to the blog itself. Because I'm like that. Some people alter their feeds so they only offer excerpts feeds, so people have to click into their blog. Which also stops your content from being splogged by the likes of bitacle.
Follow the link and try it with one or two. I think I'm already converted. The scary bit is that it might mean that I could read more blogs than I already do...

kel said...

that's the cutest pic of Grace reading
I can relate to your quandary over reading time, blogs and other net activities take most of my reading time now, but you can't curl up with a good blog . . . so I still have a pile of books on my bedside table
bloglines is brilliant!
read more blogs in less time
what can I say . . .

Susan Fry said...

Hi Janet - hope it isn't a drag but I've tagged you for a meme!

h&b said...

How bizarre - I just blogged about joining Bloglines too, and now I come here and read this. Trippy.
My boy loves to read too, but he's such an independent ( like his mother ), and likes to read alone. I watch him sometimes and feel I can see his imagination ticking over as he enters into the world of those lovely illustrations.
It takes me back to when I used to do the same thing ... although I could read fluently, I could get lost in those pictures ... :)

Rachel said...

The whole bloglines thing is a mystery to me. I've added it to a list I started today of sites I should get cosy with- snap, delightfulblog, blogbursts, kaboodle (all .com)
Flickr, I'm good on. I can help you sort that one out. Maybe we can swap knowledge.
Love the photo of Grace. Her hand looks so delicate. It's fun to watch her grow.

VictoriaE said...

I couldn't get into Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, but absolutely loved An American Childhood by Ms Dillard, I was also entranced by another book she wrote but I can't remember the name - I think Tinker Creek is the hardest one to read.

Helen said...

I can relate to this post so much. My fourteen-month-old boy is quite happy to sit in his cot "reading" but if I try and cuddle him and read to him, he struggles to escape. I'm also becoming very familiar with: "Noooo!" Sometimes I read to him as he roams round the room but I feel a bit foolish... I'm hoping he'll get more cuddly and into me reading to him as he gets older.