A few words on reading

Today Greg asked me if I ever get sick of reading. We were both reading at the time. He was finishing Where’d You Go Bernadette? — which was kind of a big deal because he barely ever reads novels. I was sneaking in a fast-reading, fun novel instead of finishing the slog through the final novel for my Mystery Fiction class (which is what I was supposed to be reading).

I’ll admit it, I read a lot. Lately I seem to be reading even more than usual, and regularly find myself choosing reading over watching movies. Until Greg asked, I didn’t really think much about it, but now I’m wondering if this makes me “odd.”

Sometimes I get sick of reading. Sometimes, especially after I finish a book and before I’ve decided what to start next, I can go for days or weeks without diving into a new book. But even then, I’m always reading articles on the internet, and following what’s going on in my timeline on Twitter. Come to think if it, from the moment I get up in the morning, until just before I go to bed at night, almost every free minute is spent reading something.

I read like “normal” people watch TV, I guess. And for that reason I am woefully out of the loop on all the “cool” TV shows (I’ve never seen an episode of Lost or Breaking Bad, for example). But I really don’t feel like I’m missing anything. There are just too many books I want to read. Good books, trashy books, YA books, fiction books, non-fiction books, and (this summer, at least) mystery books.

I constantly find more books that I want to read. I have two wish lists on Amazon in order to keep track of them — one for fiction and one for non-fiction. Currently, there are 81 books on my “someday / maybe fiction” wish list and 42 books on my “someday / maybe non-fiction” wish list. As fast as I read them, and as many times as I try to remove the ones I can’t even remember why I put on there in the first place, I still find more to add.

All this reading is both helping and hurting my other hobby, writing. I have limited free time, and if I spend it all swimming and reading, that doesn’t leave much time for writing. Just like I have more books on my wish lists than I’ll ever have time to read, I have more hobbies than I have available free time. Some of them (learning to program, sewing, biking, kayaking) get ignored regularly. Some hover on the precipice of being ignored (writing). And all because I have learned that in order to achieve balance in my life I must swim and I must read. 

Still, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to change things up every once in a while. I mean, I rode my bike to the pool today and it didn’t kill me. And now I’m writing this blog post instead of reading. There’s hope for me, yet.

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