No time for reading?
Many people tell me that they would like to read more but just don't have the time. I used to try to suggest ways of integrating reading into everyday life: read on the bus, a page a day, try an audiobook. These suggestions are all valid, particularly audiobooks, but I never followed my own advice. In the end, It's not about finding time it's about making time. Either you read or you don't. It's a choice.
Two years ago I didn't read at all. My aunt, a librarian, always asked me 'Have you read so and so?' to which I replied 'No, I can't.' I just had no time. Chores and commitments got in the way. If I ever sat down to read one of two things happened: either I fell asleep or my mind started wandering to something more important I should have been doing. Had I turned off the gas? Shouldn't I be marking those tests? What was there for dinner? When was that doctor's appointment? How selfish I was to just sit there when there were a million and one other things to be done! Nevertheless, as I went about my everyday life, I somehow found the time to listen to or watch, countless pointless YouTube videos: I have always been fascinated with other people's lives.
On the other hand, when I could read with my students I felt I was allowed and how it moved me! How exciting to read the Pit and the Pendulum: that moment is a snapshot in my mind as is listening to my Skype student reading The Little Prince!
Thanks to Lost in Classics I gave myself the permission to read. I changed my way of thinking. Reading is never a waste of time. It's ok to blot out the world for a while. The world can wait. I am worth it. I can take my time to sit, be, reflect. It is important for my well being. I don't meditate, I read., sharing the experiences of who have gone through it all before me. I can travel without leaving my house. I can experience things I may never do myself.This is my way of connecting with the universe. It helps me to put my own concerns in perspective. When I am out in public I often cling on to my bag for comfort or reassurance and when I am particularly involved in a book I carry it around with me, squeeze it in my hands, flick through the pages with my fingers. It's like a stress ball but I feel in it also a connection to the characters, their words and thoughts . And then comes that magical moment when an author's words jump out of the page at you as if they contained a message left just for you. In the books I have read this year I have found phrases that have inspired me to be a stronger, more resilient person.
I choose to spend my time on material that will teach me something. That way I always have something to mull over. Today through technology we talk with people we may never actually meet. Reading is like doing the same thing without limits of time.
Why do you read?
Every month, I publish a review of the book I ahve read that month.