Thursday, April 29, 2010

So what is a chronic compulsive reader anyway?

I am a chronic compulsive reader.  I will read ANYTHING.  Furniture assembly directions, check.  Back of shampoo bottles, check. Medication package inserts, check.  Often when I am stressed and/or bored I find the irresistible urge to read.  When I worked nights in the emergency department, I could often be found when all other work was done and the dept was slow reading the PDR (Physician's Desk Reference).  I read protocols when I worked in research, even though I didn't have to.  I would read the content labels of various kits & sterile processing tray.  I knew the contents of the pacemaker & code carts by heart.  Now THIS came in handy on overnights when a cranky surgeon would come in for an emergent procedure. He'd start shouting orders for a "tray with the special instrument", the charge nurse would send me off to get what he was talking about, and 99.9% I pulled the right tray the first time.  He'd ask how I knew, I told him because I was a chronic reader & would read the tray contents as I restocked.

You know when you go to the doctor or hospital all those papers they give you to sign, I make them NUTS because I HAVE to read every word, and quite often ask questions too.  They get a little peeved if I find an error or a reference is missing, but tough cookies.  Why should I sign that I read something that I did not.

I did start reading at a very early age (my mom says I started reading at age 3).  My dad took advantage, he'd buy new computers or products or equipment and hand me the manual and say "here read this and tell me how to work this".  I did read the MS DOS 5.0 manual once.  Came in handy when I took computer programming courses.

I loved reading text books. It's part a search for additional knowledge (though I do fear one day my brain may implode from overload).  I have a habit of remembering what I read and where it was located.

Came in handy when I worked in research.  I'd have a tendency to remember SOP's, procedure guides & protocols.  My cubicle was next to training.  When the QA auditor would come by for a query, I usually knew the answer. I'd write out the section of the SOP she was asking about and hold it up for my buddy, the training supervisor, to answer the query.  It took a while for the QA manager to figure out how he knew all the answers. :)  She called him on it. He replied that he was just utilizing the resources available (me).  He often referred to me as the "All knowing Oz".  He'd send his more tenacious trainees to me.  I didn't only know how something needed to be done, but why and I had the reference sources to back up the reasons.  Made it easier to understand my job.

My son thinks its funny.  He loves to ask me odd questions.  (I was very prepared for the why questions.  However he wasn't a why? toddler)  He is very proud when I tell him the answer.  More proud if I show him how to find out the answer on his own.  This chronic reading does wonders for my research skills.  My son can now tell you everything you didn't want to know about the rocks of NJ.  And so can I. (This was his science fair poster this year)

Since I have opinions on everything, and I love to read. (I often can't put down whatever I am reading until I am done.  Thus often the cause of many sleepless nights) if you are reading this and want me to read your relevant book.  Send it my way!  I'd be happy to read your book and post about it on my blog.  I don't have many (well any) followers yet, but I hope that will change quickly.

 Edited to add:
I forgot to mention that I have about 2000 books in my house (plus text books & references).  My son knows that while I may not buy the newest Tech Deck, silly band, Backugon, or Matchbox Car, he has about a 98% chance of mom saying yes to a book. This doesn't include our magazine collection.

Maybe I'll start reviewing some of my favorite books..

1 comment:

  1. OK, I thought I read a lot, but you have me beat by a long shot! I used to work in a bookstore and that was a baaaad thing because I spent a lot of money there. ;)

    Your little guy sounds like a sweetheart. I like his list of likes and dislikes. My little one also as a Betta fish, she named him Red because, well, he's red.