I thought I'd noticed something, and so I checked it out.
See ... the new Harry Potter book came out. I have one young giant who has been reading these from the beginning of the series, and now he's all grown up just as the series is finishing. He did not purchase a copy, though. He has borrowed one from another new grownup who'd finished reading it and then brought it to him very late one night. (We heard the car in the driveway. Some people have to worry about what's going on in their driveways in the dark of night - our night owl rabble rouser was borrowing a book.) And he's been avoiding conversations with his grandmother because she's reading it ahead of him, and she simply cannot stop herself from delivering absolutely the most don't-tell-me-yet spoilers possible.
So he started reading it. He doesn't do this like I would have done it. He doesn't hole up in his room, hours at a time, forgetting that the rest of the world is there (and becoming irritated with any and all who try to remind him about the rest of the world). He carries on. He goes to work. He hangs with his buddies. He shoots baskets at the grade school (this too in the middle of the night - are all 18-22 years olds vampires for awhile or something?). And he reads.
The rest of us always "have a book going" - but this kid is dyslexic, and therefore reading is more effort than it is for the rest of us. He's good at it - but it has to be worth it for him. This means that there's a difference between non-reading eras and reading eras in his life. This week, I thought I was noticing that the difference was quite marked. Obvious. Big difference - that's what it looked like to me. -- But I wondered if I were imagining it.
So last night, I said to him, "Have you noticed? I think that when you've got a book going, you're kind of more calm or something. Quieter. More settled down. Um ... I don't know. Just more calm. Does it feel like that?"
Him: "Yeah - big time. And my brain's working differently too. It sounds stupid to say it like that, but it feels smarter - like things work better. I can think." (pointing to his head on this last bit)
Then, as he was walking back out of the room, "If I was really smart, I'd get up in the morning every day early enough to go running, and then make sure I always have a book to read." (turns and grins) "Nope. Not that smart."
I think he's pretty smart, though. (And I gotta find one of those "what to read after Harry Potter" library lists somewhere. He needs to keep a book going.)