Just about anything else you care to mention. For example –
I’d rather read than go to the dentist, sort out my bank statement, weed my garden, wash dishes, clean windows, wash my car, give my cat a pill, take my cat in the car to the vet (ultimate horror experience), or deal with the South African Revenue Service (SARS). On reflection, dealing with SARS gets the Ultimate Horror Nomination, probably followed by visiting the dentist. Clearly the aforegoing list is a complete no-brainer. I mean, honestly now, who really wants to go to the dentist? Really and truly? I challenge anyone to nominate dentist visits onto the My Favourites List.
I’d rather read than go to the movies or watch second-rate TV schlock; or listen to a worthy, improving lecture. I’d rather read than attend a music concert, classical, rock or pop concert, makes no difference. Reading for me!
I’d rather read than go sunbathing at the beach. I’d definitely rather read than go hiking. I’d rather read than go to an exercise class.(Duh). I’d rather read than attend a formal dinner. I’d rather read than attend a cocktail party, or play Bingo. What am I saying? Bingo belongs in the first paragraph. I have signed an oath in blood not to play Bingo. No-no-no-no: I refuse. It’s official.
I might put down my book to go out and eat sushi. I would put down my book to rush to an annual book sale – can’t resist them. I would carefully close my book, drag out the glad rags, and go to the theatre. I would instantly snap my book shut to go and play Mah Jong. I would pack my books, and possibly a few clothes, at the prospect of a family visit up country, or for an overseas trip.
I would happily close my book to receive a friend into my house. And I would cast my book aside with a wild shriek of abandon and head for my boudoir should my lover come calling. Erotica between book covers is no substitute for erotica under the covers. Prolonged, dedicated research on my part has proved this.
So there you have it. The bottom lines for my reading. Re-reading this I realize that booze and chocolate have been left out of the lists. Perhaps I should slip them in somewhere. And I notice I have left out shopping for clothes. I could put my book down for an hour or two to torture myself in my favourite dress shop. When you get older it’s a constant challenge to find garments that disguise the wrinkly, droopy, saggy bits. That’s the joy of reading: no matter how old and wrinkly you may be, you can always find a book that fits you; your book covers open obligingly and invite you inside for hours of companionable pleasure, no matter how over-weight you may be, no matter how spotty, greasy, sun-burned, blotchy or otherwise generally unattractive you might currently be.
I’m off to dust and sort my bookshelves, and then settle down with a cup of coffee and my latest book. See ya later. Much later.