TSS - Not Reading moments

I often hear bookophiles adamantly stating that they keep a book with them EVERYWHERE they go. And I totally get that. I mean, I definitely TRY to keep a book with me EVERYWHERE I go because obviously on those days when I don't have a book it's a time when one could have come in handy.

Along with this exclamation, it is usually followed with: "I read any time I get an opportunity. If I am stuck in line at the post office, I'll pull out a book and read it for the few minutes. Waiting at a stop light? I have a book." (Er, okay, so maybe the last statement is a bit too much). The obvious idea behind this is: I read every time I am not already engaged in another activity, EVEN IF it is sixty seconds.

I'm not pointing fingers. If this is you then more power to you. It's probably why I generally only read 100 books a year instead of 105. Because, realistically, those two to three minutes standing in line is not enough time for me to enjoy my reading. And isn't that what reading should be? An enjoyment? I mean we're not taking exams on these books, and outside of the ARCS and book tours there's usually not a deadline. (My college readers are in another category).

This has been on my mind more the past ten days and I'm sure well into the next ten days. Students will be coming back tomorrow. The two weeks leading up to this huge moment has been caa-ray-zee. There were days when I didn't know if I was coming or going, sleeping or standing, in meetings or just dreaming about them. My reading plummeted. Sure, I could have read those five minutes during our rotation break, but my head was swollen with information and my mouth needed to exercise since I had been quiet for four hours. - Texting of course does not exercise my mouth - .

I did start to read the first couple of days in bed before I fell asleep, but you wanna know what happened? i barely got through two pages before I fell asleep and then had to re-read what I read the day before because I was in a fugue and could not recall having read what I did.

This encouraged me to recognize that there are just some times in my life when I should not read. It is no longer enjoyment. Five minutes does not give me enough time to get into the book, bond with the characters, get transported into their world. Nope. It'd be like going to a concert and only hearing the refrain of your favorite song and then being swept away. Or, getting a huge slice of chocolate cake and only being able to lick the icing off of a fork before the waiter comes and takes the plate away.

I want to read when I can fully embrace the words. Ideally it would never be less than thirty minutes, but I am quite comfortable if during my rushed moments to pull out a book for only fifteen. I know that my world will settle down once I find the balance of Routine and until then I will not pressure myself to gobble up a book in five minute intervals.

Picture from this cool store.


  1. So many times when I'm going to read for just a few minutes, I look up and a half hour has gone by. Or for 3o min., and 2 hours elapse.

    And there are, I agree, times when reading is pointless because you are too tired or too distracted. I find these times frustrating--when getting into the book just doesn't happen.

  2. This is soooo beautifully stated.

    I would love to read more often, but as you note, quality trumps quantity (in a fashion).

    Like Jenclair, I find that reading can be a timestop. Not that I intended to schedule reading, but I kinda do, especially in the morning.

    Put a pot of coffee on, open the back door (screened of course) so the kitties have a sun pool, and then curl up on the couch while they curl up in the sun.

    That hour in the morning sets the tone for the day and I love it.

    But I still keep a book in my purse. Even though it's a Sudoku instead of the latest in fiction.

  3. I know exactly what you mean here. Although I do try to carry a book with me, I don't make a point of pulling it out at every spare moment. Mostly the book I carry around is for if I'm stuck somewhere and will have to be there a while, not for every spare two minutes.

    If I only have two minutes, I won't get enough reading done to make it worth the trouble. I wait until I have time to enjoy it. I can always fill two minutes just contemplating life.

  4. I've been known to read when in line at the post office, but I definitely need to know I'll be there for more than 5 minutes to even bother. For me, reading for very short periods of time works better for some books than others. It works for non-fiction or for past-faced fiction, but not so much for denser works, or for books I'm not already really caught up on.

  5. I can enjoy a book for 10 minutes waiting in a doctor's waiting room, but 2 minutes in a checkout line does nothing for me. I know exactly what you mean.

  6. It depends on the book, certainly, but I often bring books to places where I think I'll have to wait for a while. I read while I'm cleaning my teeth as well; and if I could safely read at stoplights, I'd do it. Two to five minutes isn't enough to read a LOT of a book, but it's enough to read a little bit, so I still enjoy it. :)

  7. Well said! I can't imagine pulling out a book while waiting at the post office. Then again, I don't bring books everywhere with me because I don't like carrying a purse.

  8. If I'm reading, I need to have enough time to get through at least one chapter if not several, otherwise I don't see the point as I won't read enough to enjoy it.

  9. Jenclair - I definitely lose track of time when I'm reading as well. I get so mad whenever I am lying in bed tired but I want to keep reading!

    JC - reading on my porch during the Fall (or at least what is considered Fall in Florida) is my favorite.

    Teresa - I keep a book with almost everywhere for those unexpected moments of delayed meetings (hahaha, or boring meetings), etc.

    Ana - I guess I've never been stuck in the post office for that long (which is why I used that example). Usually if I'm in line I play games on my cell phone. Bad time waster. But quick enough that I don't fret if I have to stop.

    Andi - You got it. I totally bring a book in the doc's office. Especially because they are always running late.

    Jenny - Good point, I suppose if I was reading a book of poems it would work. Or a quick read where it seems more like "skimming" than in depth reading.

    Julie - Haha, I love purses. I buy them and swap them daily. :)

    Nickki - Yup. One chapter at least. Unless it's a long chapter. So infuriating when chapters are 50 pages!


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