Long Live Reading: Finding Time to Read
When might someone have time to read? That is a great question. I, for one, get car sick so I can’t read on a bus or train (or road trip) and sometimes I can’t even read on a plane. It’s a pain, but it’s real. I’m also a product of my generation and have difficulty sitting still and focusing on any one thing for a long period of time—unless it’s writing or people. Then, I can go for hours.
A book has to be really good to engage my attention for longer than 30 minutes. But often, I don’t have more than 30 minutes to give. For as much as I read, I must confess I am very slow reader. I learned the art of skimming in college and it served me well in grad school, where there was no possible way I could read all the material in the time I had. (I actually retained more information by skimming than if I’d tried to cram in every single word, but that’s a topic for another day).
Here’s a secret: I don’t like audio books. I’m not an auditory learner, so I always zone out when I’m listening. I get bored—even in an intriguing story. The monotone voice of whatever actor is reading, usually makes me nod off.
Good, old fashioned, spine and paper is just fine for me.
I get through books in one very simple way: I read for half an hour or so every night as the very last thing I do before sleep. I usually start with a fictional book and end with some sort of spiritual formation book (just to ensure I have some Bible-based goop in my brain before I start to dream).
Due to the limited time I have to read and the fact I am a slow reader, I am also a self-proclaimed book snob. If a book doesn’t grab my attention in the first couple chapters, I won’t continue reading it—even if 10,000 friends rave about how good it is. I feel no shame in chucking uninteresting books, because I know what might seem boring to me, might be my best friend’s favorite book in the whole world (and my best friend reads faster than I do and doesn’t mind audio books).
While I may love to read, there are plenty of books I won’t ever touch—for pure lack of interest. When someone claims they don’t like to read, I believe they just haven’t found the right book yet. I know many a book-hater who’s found their niche in some obscure corner of the library. There’s a book out there for everyone and there is time to read in every day—you just have to find it.