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I'm quite good at just "sacrifice" a whole afternoon to reading... We don't have many visitors these days as it's a tad untidy. Yeah well, we can't have it all and reading is far more interesting than housework. :) What I really can't do is read while doing something else. It's a mystery how you do that.

vicki (bibliolathas/skiourophile)

I think it's perfectly OK to mark out your own time and just sit down and read a book. Hey, two books. Three! I do like to clear my slate a bit - do the essentials that have to be done. But after that, I'm reading and that's it. I do wish I had more internet discipline and more book-buying discipline. I bet we all do. (Incidentally, I wish I could walk and read but I think I'd fall down a manhole or into a storm drain. How do you do that? I really resent the time spent walking without being able to do other things than listen to music [I'm no good with audiobooks, sadly])

Susan E

Right now, I've got the opposite problem, so I wish I had some of your's too easy to sit on the sofa and read instead of doing the things I should. I'm hoping spring will inspire me to read less and get caught up on things. I'm always impressed by how much you read.

Joan Kyler

I know how you feel. If books were food, I'd be like Mr. Creosote in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, stuffing with both hands! I get anxious, too, when I think of all the books I still want to read. I always have about seven books going at one time, but some get ignored for months when other interesting books and then other books and then OTHER books grab my attention.

I feel guilty reading when I think I should be doing other things and I often think I should be doing other things. Occasionally I can allow myself dedicated reading time and what a pleasure that is.


Wow, Danielle, I could have written this post. I know exactly how you feel. I often use reading as a reward for accomplishing something, and I read while I work out on the elliptical machine. I also spend a lot of time reading and thinking about books, and poking around in my library's catalog or on Amazon or Paperback Swap. I don't often devote an afternoon to reading, but I do usually spend at least an hour reading on Saturday and Sunday mornings before I get started with my day's chores and activities. Priorities! I also often have to remind myself that it's not about reading as many books as possible, but in enjoying the whole reading experience as deeply as possible, taking from the book what it has to offer me. That's sometimes hard, because like you I have far more books that I want to read than I'll probably ever get to. I think the whole process of thinking about books, planning what to read next, writing about books, and so on, are part of the whole package of reading enjoyment.

I don't know what the point of this comment is, other than to tell you you're not alone!


The difficulty of putting reading, or anything else one loves, at the bottom of the to do list, is thus it's always getting the 'left-over' time. At least that is what happened with me. The thought here is everything else is more important or worthwhile or at least equally important. And it isn't. Reading replenishes energy for you and that's very important when one's working so hard.


I'm not sure there is anything else to think about other than what's for dinner and books :) I find that if I want to spend a few hours reading, it works really well to "schedule" it instead of trying to fit it in between other things. I generally schedule Saturday afternoons from lunch until about 4 for reading only. Sometimes I have to reschedule or not read as long as I would like, but planning my day around that time works pretty well for me.


I do a lot of household chores on weekends, but I admit that dusting and that sort of job is not high on the list--so I guess I am somewhere in between. Laundry and ironing are usually my weekend jobs. I have gotten really good at reading while walking on the treadmill or using the elliptical, but then they are both sort of stationary even though I am moving. Of course keep in mind I am only walking at a slightly brisk pace and not running--I also hold on to the front bar and so far have never had a problem of tripping over my own feet or anything awful like that!


I always have this little fantasy of spending a whole afternoon just lazing on the sofa with a pile of books within reach, but I never do get to indulge quite so much. I think I will first get work out of the way, but then when I am finished with it there isn't much time left it seems. I spend too much time online, too, though considering how behind I always am with blog reading, commenting and email answering you wouldn't know it. When I am walking outside I generally stick to listening to an audio book (I'm picky with audio books but I can usually find something to listen to), too, though it's been too cold even for that. Must wear gloves and ear muffs,which means my walks are pretty dull too and from work!


It sounds like we both need a nice middle ground! I am very good at juggling books (so it looks like I am reading loads), but it sometimes takes me forever to actually finish what I am reading--and last month was a slow month--especially since a couple of the books were just novellas! Oh well, they were enjoyable reads, so that's what counts.


That pretty much sums it all up. I am glad I am not alone--I do the same exact things--have lots of books on the go, set some aside, start new ones, and the cycle just keeps going. I feel guilty reading when I am at home when I know I should have done something else, but it is definitely important to allow yourself the pleasure of reading lazily sometimes!


I am so glad I am not alone, so your comment is much appreciated and so exactly how I feel. That's it exactly--reading as a reward...and just if there is time. And as you know there is just never enough time for everything. It's all the good things that get pushed to the end of the list. I need to keep in mind the quality/enjoying as I am reading aspect of it all rather than trying to plow through so many books--there are just so many good ones it is hard to ignore them or know I have to save them for later... !


And I do hate that feeling that reading ends up as something to do in that left-over time. At night by the time I get to my books I am so tired I can barely manage to read one or two pages. Reading is totally important to my own mental wellness--I agree. I still probably get in more time than many people, but when it comes to books I can't help but be greedy!


Priorities! I agree with your wholeheartedly. :) I like the idea of scheduling reading. I have actually done something similar--but not out of choice exactly. I have an ILL book that must be read in the library. It came from the Library of Congress and is restricted to in library use, so I am taking a few hours off later this week to sit in the library and read my book. Not really the best way to be able to read, but as I really want to read the book must conform to their requirements. I just hope I don't do what I see so many students do--get so comfy with my book I start dozing off--wouldn't hat be horrible! But must try and set aside home time for reading, too.


I can so easily let a day get away from me, and end up doing a fraction of what I planned, and often it's reading that bites the dust. As other people have said, putting one's own needs first can be really hard. I can feel I spend all my time catching up on comments in my feed reader, and replying to comments on my blog and never getting much else done. Which is really unfair as I do enjoy doing those things, and what's more, think I spend more time thinking about them and feeling guilty for being behind, yet again, than actually doing them! Perhaps that's it - guilt eats up all the mental energy we could usefully put to other things. We should stop it immediately! :-)


Ah, my weekends are pure reading time. I fit cooking/eating/chores into the time that's left. I honestly need to start my weekend with a couple of hours steady reading or it doesn't feel like a break to me at all. Still, there is always that cycle of partially read, to read, did not finish, should read, need to review books sitting in a pile mocking me...

vicki (bibliolathas/skiourophile)

Ah, that sounds a lot safer! ;-)


I have a fear of getting my foot caught on uneven pavement and taking a tumble into the street if I read while walking! I am looking forward to warmer weather and getting back to the book I was listening to.


So often one task takes so much longer than planned. I always have such grandiose plans on what I think I can accomplish and really must set my sights a little lower(then won't be so disappointed for not getting everything on the list done). We should definitely stop that whole guilt thing--it is something I am really trying to work on!


Oh yes, that cycle sounds familiar and those piles mock me, too. I think you're wise in your weekend approach and I need to try and do that more often as well! :)


Here's another voice joining in to say that you are not alone! Your post has very aptly described the scenario for my reading issues. Like you, I long to be able to read faster and more too, not for the sake of quantity but simply because there's really SO many good books waiting to be read! But alas, not only am I a slow reader, but a greedy one as well and I'm also easily distracted (by others as well as by my own whims) thus making it all the more difficult to finish the books I get started. Sigh.....
Am trying to constantly remind myself that as long as I enjoy my reading, that should be what matters at the end of the day. Having said that, I still hope to be a better and more efficient reader, though. :)


Yes, we are quite similar in our reading habits! :) It is most definitely the journey (to use an awful cliche) and not the destination, so to speak. I sometimes need to remind myself to just enjoy whatever book I have in hand at the moment and not worry about what comes next or what I am 'ignoring' in favor of another book. I give in far too easily to whims sometimes, but try at least to maintain a happy medium between books I need to read and books I want to read...I am always happy to improve my reading skills, too!

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