I used to read TONS. As in, a book a week, sometimes 3 or 4 when they were delicious thrillers that kept me riveted. Oh, those days when I could read until 3 am and still be perfectly alert the next day.
2 things in life happened: I hit 33 years old, and a few years later, I had a baby boy. Well, I guess I can add a third, and that’s my discovery of the world wide web. Since then, I cannot seem to find enough time to read. I need to sleep, or pay attention to Le petit who naturally requests my attention, like every 10 minutes or I am distracted by things on the web like fail videos, stupid hipster parodies, tech news, Apple rumours and on and on and on. So, I’m reading way way less these days.
One way I get through books at all nowadays is via audiobooks. I walk 25 minutes to and from work every day, so that’s almost 50 minutes of listening I can get through. Of course, sometimes I listen to podcasts so I ‘give up’ a book for that particular walk and the other thing is I read way faster than the audiobook narrators read. My iPod lets me put the narration speed on “faster” but that’s still slower than I would physically read. In other words, I get to “read” or listen to books, but at a much much slower pace than it would normally take for me to get through them. My source for audiobooks? Our local library has tons of downloadable audiobooks (yay, libraries!) and if you poke around on the web, you can easily find some, too.
Another way I get to read is if I go away from mon mari and Le petit on a trip. Doesn’t happen often, and sometimes it is for work so I can’t really stay up super late when I have a presentation and an itinerary to follow the next day. One of the best stretches of reading I’ve had in the past 2 years was on a 6 hour airplane ride where I started and finished The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which, by the way, is a fabulous fabulous novel.
Something that’s helped me focus on reading, even if it’s been only in small chunks at a time, has been joining a bookclub, formed on a whim by a group of us at work who love to read. Over the past 2 years, we’ve read and discussed about 20 books and whenever we get together, there’s been great food and drink, a terrific bonus.
Even now, at this very moment, if I wasn’t on my Macbook doing what I’m doing, I would be reading something. But I would rather be writing this post. Sigh. It’s a real give-and-take.
In the meantime, my books on the nightstand is growing by the foot. Seriously, there are now about 30 titles there. Plus, I have 3 books out from the library. And even WORSE, I still can’t stop buying new books or used books whenever they cross my path.
What I’ll do instead is finish posting and then lie down and plug in my earphones to listen to my most recent audiobook (Lindsey Davis’ Venus in Copper) until I fall asleep. I still miss reading.
Update: I should have called this post, I miss reading BOOKS, because I am reading LOTS of shorter pieces – blog posts, essays, articles, tweets even. Just less of the physical, paper, bound, hefty thingy we hold in our hands.