What are you currently reading?
In my four and a half years of working in a library, I cannot count the number of times customers have asked me this question. But I can probably count the number of times I've had a good answer, because most often I have not been able to give them a book title. Most often I haven't read a book for weeks, even months. Most times I have shamefacedly admitted "I don't have time to read." This is met with the predictable but true exclamation: "But you work in a library!!!"
I should point out, I am not paid to read books all day every day, or in fact for any segment of any day. I am paid to do a great many other tasks, but not reading. Sad face.
And as I work there a fair bit, I have allowed my lifestyle to reign over my reading habits. Apart from my illustrating time, I don't usually have large chunks of time to myself. I flit about the household hoovering up, wiping up surfaces, tidying this and that. My days at work are long. Weekends are about Andy and I, and what we want to do together. I have become one of those people who do not read. I am ashamed, but mostly saddened, by this fact. Because, I LOVE to read. I love paper, I love authors. I love publishers, printers, libraries, stories. I love books.
I realised that not reading often is no way to behave, no matter what excuse I have, so I have recently vowed to myself to READ MORE.
I've realised that my perception of reading time is sitting for large periods of time, in a comfy place, with a cup of tea, and no responsibilities or time constraints. This perception is based upon my past life, as a child and teenager where I had no responsibilities or time constraints. I could lounge in fields of buttercups with a book, laze in my hammock in my parents' garden with a book for hours on end. Spend a lie-in reading an entire novel, antisocially get my nose in a book for a whole evening. (Once homework was done, of course.) I could read whenever I liked, for however long I liked. I spent most of a summer holiday reading the entire series of Anne of Green Gables. My idea of reading is to devour chapters and chapters at a time, or not at all. I know, that's really poxy, and WRONG!!!
I have learnt that I need to read, even if for a few miserly minutes a day. I have come around to the idea of reading at even the smallest opportunity; tiny tea-breaks at work, waiting at the dentist, stirring a stir-fry. I can pull out whatever delightful tome I have on the go, and get stuck in. I refuse to be vexed or disappointed by interruptions or having to close my book just as it's getting really absorbing. I will take whatever I can get. And I will appreciate it. And it's working. I have read many books in the last few months that I would otherwise not have tackled. And, even in 2 minutes of reading, have been made to laugh and cry by the words I have read. I can engage from the first to the last word, I can read in no time at all.
If you feel you don't have time to read, have a think. Where are those few minutes in the day or week where you're waiting for something, or you have a few moments to yourself? Don't think that those moments are too small to use. A book is made of many many small moments. Don't be put off. Pick up your book.