Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Apple Didn't Fall Far From That Tree

I hail from a clan of competitive people.  It's true.  We can turn anything into a race, no matter how asinine, and don't put it past us to break bend the rules in order to assure a V.  That is just how fierce my family (and by extension, ME) is.

If you don't believe me...well, I give you exhibit A.  Convinced now? I thought so.  So, it should come as no surprise to you all that my January reading list caused a bit of an uproar amongst my family.  It wasn't the content, mind you. 

It was the volume. 

You see, friends, for Christmas, Santa had brought yours truly the most awesome of awesomest gifts for any voracious reader.  Yes, minions.  I got me an e-reader.  And, since I have a fondness for bequeathing my possessions names, I have dubbed her Shirley, the gift that keeps on taking.  For, surely, I am not joking (cheesy Airplane! reference).  So, my mother has taken it upon herself to keep my e-reader spending in check by calling me each and every night to ask the dreaded question of, "How many books did you buy today?"  I am a terrible liar, minions, so I have to tell her the truth.  That's really all there is to it.

In order to curb the one-click shopping habit, I've been really giving my library card a workout...not to mention the ARCs I have the privilege of reading every now and again.  And, I was very proud to report to my mother that "No, I haven't been spending the mortgage money on books."

But, she was still keeping track of all the books I told her I'd been reading.  And, of course, she called my grandma to report her findings.  Suffice it to say, folks, I got an exasperated call from dear old Grandma regarding all this...

ME:  Hello?

GRANDMA: Did you really read eighteen books last month?

ME:  Are you seriously calling to ask me that?

GRANDMA:  Well, did you?

ME: How's the weather up there?

GRANDMA:  Karla. (in a half-laughing/half-irritated voice)

ME: (snickering)  I won.  That was almost too easy this time.  You're getting bad at this game. (sidenote: Grandma and I play a phone version of that Whose Line is it Anyway 'Questions Only' game.  I usually win)  And, yes, I did read that many...actually it was only 15 book books (In my family, we count anything less than 250 pages a short story.  I usually don't include those on my monthly reading lists).  Why?  How many did you read?

GRANDMA:  Well, I only read eleven.  But, how many pages have you read?

ME: ???

GRANDMA:  I read 4,215 pages.

ME: ???

GRANDMA:  And really, if you think about it, the number of books you read is not a good indicator of how much you've read.  It's the page numbers that count.  Because you can't say that you read more than me, if you don't keep track.

And people wonder how my mother and I got to be so competitive. It's a mystery, I tell you. A mystery.