Mary Gilbert manages grades, attendance, and other student data for more than 1,800 students at Green B. Trimble Technical High School in Fort Worth. Her busy schedule also includes family responsibilities that leave little time for personal hobbies. But she can always find time to read, and that has become her primary hobby.
“I used to have the time to devote to crafts. Now I do not have the time to do anything that requires a block of time,” Gilbert said. “Reading can be as short as a minute, which is sometimes all I have. I have a disabled adult child and now I have my 91-year-old mother living with me and a full time job. Sometimes all I get are just minutes here and there.”
While Gilbert’s schedule has resulted in reading as her only hobby by default, it has always been a passion.
“I can’t ever remember not reading,” she said. “My mother always had a book and was reading, so I think that came natural to me. I always carry a book with me in my purse, there is a book or two or three near my chair at home and I hate to admit it, but there is a stack of books to be read in the corner of my bedroom.”
And stacks of printed books are what Gilbert prefers to read. She has an e-reader but hardly uses it.
“I read mostly print. Nothing is as satisfying as holding a book in your hand. Plus I can go to Half Price Books and that is where I get most of my books,” she said.
When she does get that minute to read, Gilbert turns to science fiction.
“I am a hard core Sci-Fi reader. I started reading Sci-Fi in high school. Now that more and more books are being written for vamps, another long time love, I am totally enjoying the new crop of writers who have vamps and magicians as their heroes. I love a good mystery, both the regular kind and those that branch into the Sci-Fi/mystic arena.”
Like many avid readers, when Gilbert likes an author, she reads everything written by that author.
“I do not have just one favorite book, I tend to love authors and will buy all the books by them and read over and over. My favorite authors include Robert Heinlein, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, J.D. Robb, Mike Carey, Jacqueline Winspear, F.W. Wilson.
I started ‘hard core’ in high school when I worked in the library as a student assistant. I stumbled upon the writer Robert Heinlein and fell in love with Sci-Fi, and that started it.”
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