Somedays it’s nice to carry Anna Karenina, six different contemporary novels, a short story collection by Margaret Atwood, and Shakespeare’s entire collected works in your purse at the same time.

Yes, my shoulder is still in tact, and no, I’m not suffering permanent spine damage caused by books. Yet. (I do have a scar from a book, but that’s a story for another time)

While it comes as no surprise that I love to read, I don’t always have the time to curl up with a book and lose myself in it for hours on end. It’s a little more plausible in the summer, where my teacher’s schedule warrants a day here and there perched under the windowsill, devouring a novel in its entirety. But even then life catches up with you. It becomes easy to make excuses as to why you don’t have the time to read a book. Too busy, dentist appointment, Netflix binge watching, family picnics (at which it is apparently unacceptable to whip out a book and ignore your relatives; who knew), and, my favorite, THE INTERNET.

To be honest, I get the most reading done when I’m not actively trying to read. And naturally, when you’re not actively trying to read, you often don’t have a book on hand.

If you know me in real life, you’re also probably not surprised that I usually have a real, actual, physical book stashed in my purse. But let’s be realistic. It rains in Pittsburgh. It rains a lot. And sometimes I’ve got a lot of crap that needs to go into my purse. And sometimes it just gets heavy to carry. And sometimes, I have to pack two books because there are only six pages left in the one and I know I’ll finish it before I get home. Which is why I embrace my Kindle.

No, really, I hug it and rub my face against it sometimes because I’m unhealthily obsessed with an inanimate object.

Most days, I don’t even take my actual Kindle with me; I just tap into my cloud of e-books from the Kindle app on my phone. Instant reading material — all books selected by me, and hence, book I actually want to read (sorry, dentist’s office with the boring magazines) — and I can read as much or as little of any book that I choose, at any time.

And so I find myself reading while I wait for my gym buddy to pull into the parking lot. I read while I wait at the dentist’s office. I read while dinner is on the stove, and needs constant stirring. I read while I wait for the rain to clear up before dashing across the parking lot with my grocery cart. I read during movie previews commercials (I like the trailers, the commercials have got to go).