I really don’t read as much as I’d like to. What happened to the days when I’d finish work, then curl up for an hour or so with a novel, or even better, read late into the night, devouring pages with my eyes? (I’ll pause while that mental image sinks in…okay.)
Are you like me? Do you envy those who can read one book per week? I don’t know how they do it AND get everything else done, especially if they’re a writer. First, many writers have some kind of a day job. I do–two part-time jobs. Then there’s things like family and household affairs, like laundry, cleaning, keeping bills organized. Of course, the electronic world beckons–email, social media, etc. Oh, and if you’re a writer, writing. I also critique for a few friends, so that reading counts as well. Since we’re talking Christians reading, there’s also church and spiritual commitments as well.
It seems almost hypocritical to me for a writer NOT to read. After all, I believe that the more we read, the better we’ll write. Taking stock of 2011, I’m almost ashamed to count the number of books that I didn’t finish. I started tallying the books I managed to read all the way through, and it’s a dismal number. Not even double digits.
Part of me would like to blame my Kindle for that. In March of last year, I purchased a Kindle, thinking I’d read more. I haven’t. I have plenty of material, both fiction and nonfiction, at my disposal, in print and digital editions.
So what’s my problem? There’s plenty of reading material, as I already said. Is it quality? Have I become too highbrow a reader for my own good? In the past few years, I realize that I’ve needed to “hush” my inner editor while reading a book. After all, it’s not my story–it’s someone else’s. Or maybe it’s my attention span? Have social media and media in general caused me to not have patience for longer books?
One of my goals for 2012 is to read two books per month. I figure that is a manageable goal, to read 24 books in one year. No specific number of them need be fiction or nonfiction.
I know I’m not alone out there. C’mon, I know you’re there too. Readers with good intentions, but not finishing.
Does anyone else notice a sporadic reading habit? What should we do? I may venture back to my bookshelf for some old favorites, to see if I still love them as much as I did the first few reads through. I know, I can hear a few of you now: Well, if you really WANT to read, you will. Um, yes, I do. And I will. But how to fit reading in and make it a priority? Not sure about that one. Or maybe I’m confessing about nothing, really. I’m curious to know.