The question I get asked more than any other is how I find time to read. When I mentioned this on my book blog recently several people commented that they sort of wondered about that too. The truth is I don't think I read a lot and I actually think I've been a slacker on the reading front lately. Most people tend to assume it's all about finding time to read. While time is a factor, it's definitely not the only thing that contributes to the quantity that I read. So here are my top ten answers for how I read as much as I do.
10. I don't really watch television shows. Well I do, but not really. Basically I refuse to organize my life around a television schedule and since we do not have and do not want a PVR/Tivo that means I don't watch television shows regularly. By that I mean I don't sit down at a certain time to watch Grey's Anatomy or Lost. Now this doesn't mean that I don't watch television at all. There's lots of Food Network (well, Food Network Canada), Biography channel, and Jeopardy watching going on around here. CBC Newsworld and CTV Newsnet get their fair share of viewing time and there's even the odd hockey game (although I must confess I frequently read while watching hockey as you only really have to watch when the commentators voices get loud). And I love, love, love watching television shows on DVD. I'm on an NCIS jag right now but again it's a whenever thing, not a sit down in front of the television at a specific time thing.
9. I am what you may call "domestically disabled". I hate doing housework so I simply avoid it at all costs. When I lived alone this meant that my house frequently looked like the Tasmanian Devil had travelled through it. I'm not messy so much as very cluttered - it's a books and paper thing. Even though I love waking up to a clean kitchen I was never someone who had to go to bed to a clean sink (thus I totally would have failed as aFlyBaby ). I don't live alone anymore but we've worked out a pretty good arrangement. I do most of the cooking and he does most of the cleaning (and he does all of the dishes since he's anti-dishwasher).
8. I don't have a lot of family obligations. I don't have kids and my family lives in another part of the country. My boyfriend's family lives in the same city and we do see them several times a month. I know many people who have children and read a lot, of course, but I have to less things to balance than many of them. I have a lot of flexibily with my free time and I mostly choose to read.
7. I'm a pretty fast reader. I can often get through a book in an evening. While it's mostly a pretty great thing I do have to admit though that it was problematic in high school. When we were assigned books to read in class I usually finished them after a day or two and yet we'd spend a month on them. I read quite a bit in a month so by the time we got to the end of the book in class the details were often a bit fuzzy. That's also the reason why I'm wary of book clubs. I don't read non-fiction as fast as I read fiction but I do try to have one non-fiction book on the go at all time.
6. I make my partner read. No really, I do. After we started seeing each other and it became obvious that our lives were going to mesh together I made him a required reading list (well a spreadsheet really), which he's slowing reading in between his own pesonally selected books. We'll frequently sit and read in the evenings rather than watch television or a movie. Even though we don't read the same books it's an activity we can do at the same time. It helps that he enjoys reading, although he freely admits that he reads a lot more now than he used to.
5. I use the library. A lot. Since most of the books I get from the library are books that I request I have an ever-changing stack of books that I want to read. Since they also have due dates it pushes me to read things fairly quickly. I don't always read every book that I take out but I try really hard to read most of them and having a stack of books that I really want to read at my disposal is great motivation to actually sit down and read.
4. I read books that I like and that I want to read. I wrote about not finishing books you aren't enjoying this summer. I can be a picky and moody reader and my mind rebels when I try to force it to read something that it's really not enjoying. Now there are lots of reasons to stick with a book and I do sometimes, but if I'm not enoying something to the point where I'm finding reasons not to read I set the book aside and read something more enjoyable.
3. I read a lot of young adult fiction and I find that they are often quick reads. Now don't confuse that with thinking that YA books are "easy" or "simple". YA tackles subjects every bit as serious as adult literature, but the difference I find is that YA novels tend to end on a note of hope no matter how serious the topic. I think the real reason why I read them so quickly is because I really enjoy them. I believe that some of the best authors out there right now are writing YA.
2. I have a book with me almost all the time. When I was working outside the house I always had a book, sometimes two, in my work bag for the commute, lunch hour and breaks (if you can't read while commuting audio books are an excellent option). If I'm going out to meet a friend I'll shove a book in my bag in case I end up waiting for them. Sometimes I'll even purposely arrive early so I can squeeze in some reading time. I've been known to read while walking down the street (particularly dangerous as I tend to trip over my own feet on the best of days). If I'm going to be anywhere where I expect to spend time waiting - post office, passport office, doctor's office, etc - I make sure I have a book with me. You'd be surprised how quickly reading ten minutes here and there churns out a finished book.
1. The absolute top reason why I read so much is because it's important to me. I make it a priority. I'd rather give up just about anything than reading and I cannot imagine my life without books. When something is that important you just find ways to do it. There will always be times when my reading slacks off a bit but I always go back to it simply because it's an important time of my life.
At the Blogging Bookworm Kale for Sale recently asked if people are finding time to read as the year winds down.
Book Bug says that reading is important and we need to not feel guilty about making time to read.
As much as reading is important to us, there are days where Yiayia shares why reading is important to her.
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