Those words have come out of my mouth on many an occasion . . .although I am not your typical book worm. I didn't grow up reading . . . I was more in to paper dolls and doll houses. My library finds consisted of The Bobbsey Twins when I was in grade school - shared them with my best friend. Then we moved on to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Reading ended for me for a few years - - - until my era of reading Janette Oke pioneer women stories in the 1980's. Then in the 1990's my sister and I started our own version of Oprah's Book Club - naming it after ourselves and sharing a book a month across the miles. Now I'm at the time in life when I am much freer to do as I please - and I should be pouring through the books. I'm writing this blog post because I don't seem to be able to stay motivated (and sometimes awake) enough to read all the great books I have either collected or purchased on my Kindle!
What is my problem? I tend to think that I can't sit and read unless certain household chores are done. That's #1. Secondly, when I do sit to read I find myself being sleepy.
So if my goal is to become an avid reader then I need to fix those things which keep me from it. Easier said than done - My personality is pretty set in it's way and my medicines make me sleepy - but there has to be some ideas out there to free up more time. I have friends who read like crazy - maintain nice homes and socialize . . . let me become a student of them! So, they have graciously allowed me to interview them with a few short questions.
Here are their valued responses:
When is your best reading time?
Tami (my sister) - I read most consistently in the evenings. My husband and I have very different taste in television viewing, so I sometimes escape to another room to read when I don't want to listen to his shows. When I'm home alone, I read rather than turning on the TV. It has been a standard practice at our house to read before bedtime for our entire marriage. Reading in bed has become more difficult with age because of restless legs, aching back, etc., things that interfere with comfort. But I still rarely go to sleep without picking up a book - even if I only read a page or two.
Carol (friend and co-worker) - Any time night or day is my best reading time! However, I find myself reading most, in the mornings, sitting out on the deck with my coffee. Another best time is when I cannot sleep and get up about 3 a.m. and read for about 3 hours! Well, and another favorite time is late afternoon, again out on the deck, sitting in the sun! (Yes, night or day!)
Mary (Tami's friend) - I read before I go to bed . . . not in bed. If I don't have a book to read . . I am rather miskanbobbled . . . LOL (Oh wait . . . it is just worse when I don't have a book to read . . LOL)
Is it easy for you to sit and read if there are household chores you could do? If so - tell me your theory on this!
Tami - Yes and No. I'm not a terribly finicky housekeeper, so I can ignore a certain amount of housework. Again, it's easier in the evening. I established a plan when my kids were young that gave me 9:00 pm. cutoff for housework. Anything not done by that time, I was allowed to put on hold for the next day. I would have an hour or so to myself, and I usually spent it reading. I sometimes read in the afternoon, but it's more difficult to ignore household duties then, so I play games with myself: One chapter, one chore; or 30 minutes of reading, 15 of housework.
Carol - It is usually pretty easy! Sometimes I do have thoseh chores crossing in and out of my mind. My best theory is, though, that those chores will still be waiting when I come to a good stopping place in my book, or, I come to the end of the book . . . and I'm not ready to start another one! A proven theory is that "things will get bad enough" and I will definitely have to put those pages down!
Mary - What I do when I feel like reading during the day and I need to get work done, I treat myself . . . like when the living room is dusted and vacuumed . . . then I can read for a few minutes, then off to the next project.
What is the one thing that will keep you from sitting and reading?
Tami - Restless legs!! I asked my husband his opinion on this one and his immediate response was "TV! It's so much easier to stare at the television and it's a habit, I think." Since we usually eat in front of the TV (another bad habit) it's harder to turn it off and pick up a book. For me, it's my phone - Facebook, Pinterest, games . . . I can get distracted for hours.
Carol - Social obligations! (And when "things get bad enough")!
Mary - Not much if it is a really good book . . . well maybe going to work . . I have not figured out how to drive the school bus and read at the SAME time . . . if I get that figured out . . . I will let you know!
What is your biggest benefit from the reading that you do?
Tami - There are many benefits. Reading has given me a broader perspective. Reading has increased my vocabulary, my knowledge, and my interests. There are many places and events that I know about only because I read it in a book. Reading has introduced me to a much wider assortment of people than I could meet in reality. But the biggest benefit has got to be escape. I have gotten through stress, boredom, sadness, and even fear by escaping into the fantasy world of a book. Even when there is nothing in my world that I want to get away from, reading lets me escape to old friends or totally new characters; a mystery to solve, or a mind to explore; real life events or a little magic.
Carol - I don't think I can limit it to one! Here are some benefits and they all seem big: Entertainment; escape; learning about new things and old things, and places, and increasing my vocabulary. Books are full of tidbits! A big thing that people who don't read miss is this: Reading the story of someone else, true or fiction, can benefit the reader with different perspectives on different situations, and in turn, the reader may learn to have more understanding and tolerance for those around them (and more empathy for themselves as well)!
Mary - It has increased my vocab a lot . . . not that I use the words but I know what they mean . . . when I was much younger and I came across a word in a book I didn't know, I would look it up . . . don't have to do that so much anymore . . . and I think it is relaxing . . . even a good suspense book! I wish it made me a better speller but nope!
Thanks ladies for your thoughts!
I also did some of my own research and found a few tips that I will try as well!
One reader said to set a goal per reading session - determine that you will read 15 pages before laying the book down.
Another piece of good advice - ignore what you "should" be reading - and read what you like! As my sister often says, "Life's too short for bad books".
And because it's technically possible - be prepared digitally across all your mobile devices - Ipad, smart phone, and of course Kindle - to read the same book wherever you are.
Sacrifice something. You’ve got 24 hours in a day. You spend 8–10 hours (hopefully not much more) working. You spend 6–8 hours sleeping. You’ve got family and friends to spend time with every day. All of this doesn’t leave much time for other interests, like reading. So . . . I have determined that in order for me to make strides in my TBR list in 2017 I will be more "intentional" about my reading. 9 p.m. seems to have been the most popular hour of the day to say - - - I'm done for today - - - I will read now. For me that means that TV will be sacrificed. Shows can be recorded and watched at another time - but not after 9 p.m. Then I will hit the sack and get some extra sleep - the best solution for my sleepy eyes!
Thank you again to my friends who shared their secrets to reading success . . . I admire all three of them in the books they have read and what they know! I thought it was very interesting that "my experts" all had some of the same feelings about reading. Tried and true advice . . .
Everyone make sure to sign up for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon coming very soon - Saturday, October 22! I can't wait!
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.” — Charles William Eliot