LA: Well you just, you have downtime.
LL: You do. There’s a lot of time in the day. The pandemic taught you that, right? It’s like you wake up and it’s like, “Okay, we’re going for like 16, 17 hours.” You can get a lot done. So, I did have friends.
LA: School holidays, like in the summer, that break is long and your parents are working, you’ve got a lot of time by yourself, even if you’re very social and I was very social, but a lot of reading time.
LL: We’re both very social and books were our friends, but only because the days are long.
MC: To confirm, Lale and Lisa both had friends.
Jynne Dilling Martin: I’m honestly glad they confirmed that, because I was really trying to picture Lisa not having friends, like Lisa, one of the most loved, social humans on the planet, somehow not. I was like, okay, I’m glad this is clarified.
I, though, was a deep introvert nerd, which I still am to this day and I had very few friends and was raised in a very conservative household with effectively no television and definitely no video games or other things like that. So, all there was, was books. But what came to mind immediately when you asked that, Meredith, was the first book that made me really cry, that I read all by myself, which was Where the Red Fern Grows. And the realization that a book could be so powerful that I could weep from something that happened in a fictional landscape was this very profound realization, I think in first or second grade. But I can remember the brown couch, the velvet couch that I cried on. The whole tactile experience of it is so vivid. It was really, really intense. Yeah.
MC: I feel like that lack of TV is something that really plays into it for me as well, because I was very limited in what I was allowed to watch and how much I could watch as a kid. And I just remember getting a box set of Magic Treehouse books and just reading them straight through, one through 10, and then starting over again. Every day, it was just the same thing. And to find newness in the same books day after day and to get to travel with the kids in the Magic Treehouse books, I feel like it was the game changer for me. And then I have had to fight the speed-reading, binge-reading ability that I trained into myself as a kid to, as an adult, to slow down and pay attention to the words on the page rather than flying through books, which was my habit as a kid.
LA: Also, if you’re an only child, when you go on vacation with your parents or you go to stay with grandparents, it’s just you, you’re the only kid. And so, I did a lot of reading then, when I would spend weeks and weeks in the middle of nowhere in Wales, at my grandparents’ house, there was nothing to do, but either hang out on my grandparents’ farm or read. And so, I read a ton. And I think that and all the family vacations that I went on with my parents, has made reading an intrinsic part of being away, for me. And I need that time by myself, even if I’m on a trip with lots of friends, to basically scurry myself away and read for a few hours. And it’s only now that, as I’m getting older, I’m starting to see, I think, see my only child characteristics come out more, and reading is a huge part of that.