Monday, November 21, 2011

Do You Have Time To Read?

Generally when people find out I’m an author, they like to talk about books. Inevitably I will ask them who their favorite authors are and lately, the response seems to be, “Oh, I don’t have time to read.”

It always surprises me a little when people say this. Maybe it’s because reading is such a needed part of my life. For me, with eight children, teaching, writing, blogging, my service commitments in my church, and everything else that comes with being me, I really have to take those fifteen minutes each night to just lose myself in a book. It rejuvenates and refreshes me in a way I can’t really describe. Reading is my time.

I also like that most of my children like to read. I love reading stories to them and making up stories for them. Some of our greatest memories have been when we’re all lying in the dark and I’m making up stories of princesses with magical powers and eagles that can take human forms to fight the dragons. And oddly, all these brave eagles and princesses have my children’s names.

I’ve even learned a lot just from reading. The books I read are often set in foreign countries or historical settings and I know I’ve picked up a lot more than I realize.

With all of that said, I know it’s hard to find the time to squeeze reading in when you are a busy person. In my home growing up, there were always books in the bathroom. I thought that was the grossest thing ever, until I became a mom myself and realized that sometimes, being in the bathroom is the only alone time you get! (And sometimes not even then!) But I do carry my Kindle in the car with me while waiting for carpools and appointments, so I can usually get in at least a bit of reading time each day. Mostly, though, the best time for me is right before bed, when the house is quiet and everyone is asleep.

Yet, even with my head knowing that it’s good to read to set examples for children and to learn new things so I should make time for it, my primary motivation is always my heart. I love reading and as a busy mom I love being able to have that small amount of time that is all mine, that transports me and rejuvenates me and gives me a little reassurance that it’s okay for me to take a small stop on my journey to smell the flowers and do something for myself.

How do you find time to read? And is reading important in your life?

11 comments:

Sarah Pearson said...

I usually have showers but sometimes I take a bath just so I can finish a book in peace :-)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Ooh, Sarah, that sounds so relaxing! *le sigh*

Melanie Goldmund said...

I think people always find time for what's really important for them, so if people say they don't have time to read, it makes me think that books just aren't very important in their lives. I suppose it takes all kinds to make a world ...

Me? I live to read. Finding time to read is not a problem in my life -- but don't ask what my house looks like or why I only have two children. *g* If I need to do an odious household task, I frequently reward myself with a reading session afterwards.

When I go to the doctor, I always take two books, the one I'm currently reading, and another one in case I finish the first while I'm there. You just never know how long some appointments will take! In fact, if there's any chance at all I might end up waiting somewhere, I pack a book. People have observed me waiting for my husband after church, seated in a corner of the foyer avidly devouring the printed page.

Actually, I'm probably obsessive-compulsive when it comes to books. Sadly, my sons take after their father and only read when absolutely necessary. *sigh*

Debra Erfert said...

Once I start a book it's very hard to get it from my hands. If I "read" Melanie right, my house looks about like hers. *grins* I'm about the same way when I start writing a book, though. Don't ask me to do anything like cleaning when I'm in the middle of a story. My brain is off on an adventure and sweeping the floor isn't conducive. Ah, but a hot soak in the tub so totally is! Obviously taking my Mac near the water isn't the brightest idea, but I've damaged more than one book turning pages while I've read by candlelight up to my neck in a bubble bath.

Jon Spell said...

My reading time has pretty much approached zero since we've had the twins, but somehow, I managed to squeeze in Variant this weekend. It's probably because I was sick and laying down a lot. (side note: really, really good book!)

Maybe if someone gets me a Kindle Fire for Christmas, I could get a little more reading done...

~T~ said...

Fifteen minutes a day just isn't enough...

Gina said...

This always boggles my mind, when people say they don't have time to read. Inevitably, if you let the conversation takes its course, they will tell you what happened last week on several television shows. It's not that they don't have time- it's that they choose something else.

Which is totally fine.

Like you, I FIND the time to read. When my children are playing nicely together, I sit in the room with them and read. When they come up to me, needing my attention, I break away from the book and give them my time. I read during breakfast and lunch, and yes, I too read at night, just before bed.

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I'm a reading addict to the point where I will ignore everything if I find a good book. Because of my example, all my kids read really well and have messy rooms. I like audio books because I can do housework while reading.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Melanie, I think you're right, people do make time for what they really want to do.


Debra, if a book is that good, I lose myself in it sometimes, too. I think that's okay to do once in a while, too!

Jon, I still need to read it! It's gotten rave reviews from everyone I know, though.

T- sometimes it depends on the story, you know? LOL

Gina, I completely agree and you know, I do make time to watch my two favorite TV shows, but that's all I watch, and I usually read about a book a week. But you're right, it's a personal choice for sure.

Rebecca, I love finding a book that hooks me so much I want to ignore everything else. It's such a great feeling to be so engrossed in a story and just having to know what happens next!

Thanks for all your comments! :)

Rory said...

It's definitely about making the time to read.
It's so easy to get caught up with other distractions. But once I'm hooked into a good page-turner, it does become a lot easier for everything else to move down the "priority-list" a bit :-)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Rory, we are TOTALLY on the same page with that one. :)