People often used to ask me how I found so much time to read. Now I’m wondering that myself.
When I was young, I took the bus everywhere, and I would often have a 40-minute work commute. Reading created a privacy bubble and kept me comfortable. It also meant I always had a hard-cover library book in my bag, a bag that probably weighed 15 pounds on average.
When I had a car, I eventually discovered audiobooks, but the CDs only played at one speed. It would take me all week to finish a book.
When I quit my day job, I might read five hours a day.
Then I got a smartphone and eventually rediscovered audiobooks. Over the course of a few years I learned that I could play them back at 1.25, then 2x, and now 3x. I could finish half a book on a distance run. I’d listen to the other half while I cooked dinner and did laundry.
Then I figured out how to speed-read ebooks. I can read a digital book at double the speed of a paper book.
Sometimes I would read two books a day.
Then I got COVID-19 and I couldn’t really read much of anything at all for a couple weeks.
Then I got a day job again.
When do you people find all that time to read all those books??
I don’t have a work commute. My desk is 20 feet from my bed.
I used to read during my breaks and at lunch. Now I find myself doing chores or running errands.
We work a 9/80 schedule. That means we work 9 hours Monday through Thursday so that we can have alternate Fridays off, which means two three-day weekends a month not including holidays. This is magnificent!
It also means we’re done for the day at 6 pm. Four hours until bedtime.
Hour to cook and eat dinner
Hour to work out, half an hour to shower
That leaves 90 minutes of leisure time. But... that’s not enough time to read a book!
I hear that other people supposedly watch 5 hours of TV a day on average. When, is what I’d like to know? Do they start at 6:00 and just leave it on until 11 pm? Aren’t they tired??
This is the great danger for me, the fatal attraction: the desire to read “one more chapter” until it’s 1 am. What I need is a sleeping helmet that somehow delivers entire plots directly into my brain so I wake up knowing what happened.
...although if that were possible, surely it would work while we were awake and doing other things?
I looked back at my records, and I’ve read 14 books in the last three weeks. Others might think that was quite a lot. For me, doesn’t it mean it’s taking me a day and a half to read a book?
This is why I’m thinking it’s time for a reading weekend.
Reading is relaxation. Reading is my way of connecting with an outside world that I’m not spending much time visiting lately. Reading is the thing I do that makes me me. If I can’t do it during the week, then I’m hereby canceling everything else and doing it over the weekend.
Somehow I will eventually adjust and figure out how to make more time for reading on weekdays, too. All I really need is another hour, an hour created out of waking time and not robbed from sleeping time.
Now I have only two questions:
What should I read this weekend?
What are you reading?
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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