I think my total reading is still consistent with the past few years. It just seems worse this year as I had set myself actual targets, a la the book challenges, and am falling far short! (1 out of 12 e-books, 2 out of 6 “unfinished” books)
I’m not going to bore you with the old excuse, “I didn’t have time to read”.
Quite simply: I made conscious choices to do other things with my time.
Not Having Time To Read
The two sentences above sound the same, but claiming “you don’t have time” doesn’t show the whole picture. It implies that, in your day-to-day life, you don’t have any free time at all, not even 10 minutes, to pick up a book and get through a few pages.
It implies you aren’t a master of your own time – which may be true for some individuals, whose time may revolve around other people (e.g. work, children, parents) – but not everybody! You may still “have time” to go window shopping. You may still “have time” to have a coffee with friends. You “have time” to be on Twitter or Facebook, or to watch a few YouTube videos.
The truth is, you choose to spend your free time on not reading.
List of Excuses
Reading will always be one of my favourite things to do. It’s just that, alongside it, I enjoy other activities as well.
So, here are my honest-to-goodness reasons for those other things that totally took away my book-reading time… in no particular order. Really!
- This tablet device that allows me to play games, watch movies, browse the Internet, use social networks, all from the comfort of my bed. And we all know, beds are really time warps in disguise.
- These personal projects that I initially believed be a breeze to get through, but the hours spent moaning over it at lunch and being diplomatic on Facebook and being deliberately vague on Twitter, has turned me cynical that there is such thing as an easy project. I mean, that’s why they’re projects, right?
- This person that I spend lots of time with, that the hours seem to melt away. ‘Nuff said.
- This responsibility that requires I spend hours away from home, doing things that I don’t always find fun or that make me feel anxious, but in a small way inch the country towards progress, supposedly.
- This state of mind that makes me feel small and empty and I find only fleeting enjoyment or worth in the things I do and the people I am with.
But just so you know, I am reading. And have been reading. 🙂
Read, in past tense
I have a habit of having several books going at a time. This probably contributes to why it takes me so long to finish books, but only a little bit…
- American Gods, Neil Gaiman
- The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt
- Kane and Abel, Jeffrey Archer (E-Book)
So, my abovementioned tablet device is not completely distracting!
- The Sweet Shop Owner, Graham Swift
Seems I mostly concentrated on finishing books acquired or lent this year, instead of “unfinished books”.
Started before 2011
These therefore qualify under the Unfinished Books 2011 challenge, but I did not manage to blog about each of them.
- The Age of Missing Information, Bill McKibben (Not blogged)
- The Art of Possibility, Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander (Unfinished Books, blogged here)
- Made in America, Bill Bryson (Unfinished Books, blogged here)
- The Road Less Travelled, M. Scott Peck (Not blogged)
Started this year, in 2011
- Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar
- Hector and the Search for Happiness, Francois Lelord
- Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero, Rick Riordan
- Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
- Superfreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
- The Tales of Beedle The Bard, J.K. Rowling
- This Book Will Save Your Life, A.M. Homes
- Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (E-Book)
- Sandman Series, Neil Gaiman
- I’m pretty sure I re-read at least one Harry Potter book!
- I may or may not have re-read a Discworld book this year
There, my need to justify myself has resulted in the above list. I don’t know if it proves anything, apart from the fact that I obviously struggle with achieving set goals. 😀
Much thanks to friends who have lent me books, and apologies to those whose books I am still holding on to!