Having finished my cereal and satisfied that I have reached my daily fiber quota, I am then ready to turn into bed while I suck on a one-milligram melatonin lozenge and read a book for forty-five minutes. If I’m reading pop fiction, I can devour about a page a minute. If the writing is literary or a dense polemic, about half that. In either case, forty-five minutes is the rule for stimulating my intellect, for I look at reading as nourishment for the brain and consume books with the same diligence that I take my B-complex and fish liver capsules.
I not only read for my benefit, but my wife’s. After all, she is better served to have a husband who is well-read and intellectually curious rather than one who is complacent and willfully ignorant. It gives me great delight while my wife and I are reading in bed and she’ll turn to me and ask me the meaning of the word codicil and I will be able to tell her because my life of reading as made me a valuable resource with a rich vocabulary. Knowing that my wife relies on me as the ultimate authority on words gives me unspeakable satisfaction. I therefore consider my steady reading to be an asset to the marriage and look at it as an important rule.