A little habit of mine…
Reading is one of my passions. A good book can inform, encourage, inspire, entertain, or transport one to a different time and place. A truly great book can do all of these. For as long as I can remember, books have been my friends, my solace in trying times, or most often a pleasant way to spend my free time. There is simply nothing quite like curling up with a cup of Earl Grey and a good book, although I must admit that in the past couple of years I haven’t done nearly enough of that. I do still read quite a lot but instead of an hour or two of uninterrupted reading time in a comfy chair, I am more likely to get my reading done in little snippets here and there.
I also find it difficult to limit myself to one book at a time so at any given moment I am likely to have 3 or 4 books going. We live a bit of a distance from town so one thing I do to make car time more pleasant is to listen to audio books. I borrow these from the library and because our small town library doesn’t have a huge collection of audiobooks, I have often found myself checking out something I might not have chosen if there had been more to choose from. However, that has turned out to be a good thing because it has forced me to branch out from my usual topics of interest.
At home I generally keep something non-fiction and with short chapters in the bathroom. Currently I have Sarah Ban Breathnach’s “Moving On” in there. Each section is only a page or two and since I read fairly fast, I can read one each time I’m in there. Since my bladder must be the size of a walnut, this is quite often.
I also keep a book on the treadmill which certainly makes exercise less of an annoyance. Right now I’m reading Peter Walsh’s book, “It’s All Too Much” which is about decluttering one’s home. By the time I’ve finished my 30 minutes on the treadmill, I am usually ready to tackle a little organizational task.
My bedside table holds my Bible which I am reading through systematically. It’s one of those *read your Bible in a year* programs. I’m going on year three and am only about 2/3 of the way through but I keep plugging away at it.
After I do my Bible reading at bedtime, I then pick up the other book I have going which is usually fiction. Currently, however, I am reading “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. This is the true account of her family’s attempt to eat locally produced food for a year. It’s quite interesting but I must admit that I’m wishing I had fiction for my bedtime reading, especially since everything else I’m reading right now is non-fiction. I usually try to achieve a better balance.
In addition to the several books I am reading at any given time, I also read the daily paper (our local paper is rather a joke so this only takes about 3-5 minutes), a couple of magazines I subscribe to (currently I get Countryside, Better Homes and Gardens, and Vogue), various internet articles I run across, and more blogs than I care to admit to. Still, there are times I really miss the days when I would get so involved with a book that I would spend an entire afternoon reading. There’s no good reason I can’t do this now other than poor time management on my part. I think I am going to give some thought to my weekly routine and start planning on one afternoon per week to simply read. Perhaps I will schedule it for Fridays and make it a reward for accomplishing my goals for the week. Or maybe I’ll just do it even if I haven’t done anything of note for the week. What’s more important than a good book?
Here is a link to an article I came across today:
14 Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit