Monday, July 29, 2013

I Can't Get No...Satisfaction



Source: keepcalmprints.com


How long is your to-be-read (TBR) list? If I count both books I've bought and ones I haven't, my list is probably two hundred. If I only count the ones that are mostly on my mind, stacked by my bed, or at the top of the wish-list, then the list is cut in half.

I'm always reading something, but life does require many other things. As a wife, teacher, mother of three, friend, and volunteer I find myself short on time to read. This is fine because I'm at a point in life where these things (specifically my family and career) need to have my focus. Seasons of life come and go and sooner than I can imagine my kids will grow and lead their own lives, I will retire, volunteer work will become more prevalent in my life, etc. and reading will always be fit in between these focuses as they come and go.

Thankfully, God has given me two abilities to supplement my love of reading: I read fast and I'm a night owl. Aside from some years where I had actual problems sleeping, I've always been a natural night person. In high school I'd read or do whatever until 3am and get up at 7am for school, no problem. Fifteen years later, I can only pull this off during the summertime and holiday vacations, but it is prime reading time. From 11pm - 3am no one needs my attention or my help. There aren't any obligations or appointments. Just me and my book. (It's also prime writing time for me...most of my blog posts are written on the note section of my iPad between midnight and 2am. It's 12:22am right now.)

And maybe a third ability that works to my reading advantage is organization and planning. I always carry a book in case of unexpected down time and always look at my upcoming schedule with times for reading in mind. For example, my car is getting waxed this week and I was told if I can't get a ride, I would be in their waiting room for two hours. "Really?! You promise?"...my mind immediately thinks..."Two hours of reading time!" 

I have noticed though that even when I've gotten some prime reading time in, I don't feel like I was able to read as much as I wanted. I almost always look back over a month and think I didn't read as much as I could have. The ever growing TBR list doesn't help. 

Maybe that's part of what keeps me reading? Knowing there's so much more out there to read and that all I can do is keep plugging away! Anyone else think this way? How do you think about your TBR pile and reading pace?

12 comments:

  1. Great blog!
    I'm wondering: Do book lovers necessarily have to be book collectors?
    I tried to get rid of my books and failed miserably
    (http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2013/07/you-get-to-decide-what-to-worship-iv.html).
    What do you think?

    Love from Germany,
    Bambi

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    1. Thanks! It wouldn't let me post a comment on your blog, so here's my response. I don't think ALL readers are book collectors. For example, ereader users don't have the physical book in their hands and I doubt many of them purchase electronic and physical copies. And some readers use the library, which I did when younger, and they don't get to keep the book. But some just want that book. I find myself in your place. Once I got to the point where I knew what I liked to read, I started keeping those books! I couldn't get rid of them if I tried.

      Have you read Biblioholsm by Tom Raabe? I think that book says it all about readers and book lovers! If you tried and failed, the you my dear are a book collector! (And you're not alone - minimalize something else ;)

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  2. I NEVER feel that I read as much as I could have. For example, right now I'm blogging and watching tv, which means that it will take me twice as long to do what I need to do - time that I COULD spend reading. And yes, I can't force myself to focus because it's 11 pm and I had a lot of coffee ;)

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    1. Well at least you are blogging about books and talking about books is the second best thing to reading them!

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  3. And let me tell you how book blogging changes reading habits and TBR piles. ;)

    I'm the opposite of you, it seems. I'm a slow reader and a morning gal. I try and try to read in bed, but more times than not I fall asleep. I get the bulk of my reading done during lunch but I have to split this time with blogging so it doesn't yield a whole lot of pages at the end of the day.

    Couple hundred sounds right. Bottom line...never enough time for all those books!! LOL!

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    1. Book blogging has done my TBR pile in for sure! During the school year I don't get very much late night reading time. After a day with 100+ teenagers, I'm asleep within a few pages! And then there's the grading and planning. Only works if I get an after school nap first!

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  4. My God girl you are as obsessed about reading as I am about writing.
    Here's a question for you.
    What if you had one month, or a couple weeks or even a couple of days to JUST READ. Out of your two hundred which would you chose to just immerse yourself in?
    Since you read fast, (and if you had more than a couple of days), I'm sure it would be many.

    I'm now asking myself, if I had a solid month, no work, no distractions of any kind...which of my projects would I tackle?
    Oh man, I can dream can't I?

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    1. Oh yes, a dream that would be! I would start with the YA books on my classroom shelf so I could better recommend them to students. My reading dream would be that I took a year off of work and read every day and I wonder how much I would get read in one year. It would make for an awesome memoir on a year in books afterward! Seeing all those characters and story lines melt in and out of my life throughout a year.

      Man, you just had to go there didn't you?

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    2. What a great idea for a book. I mean really it's a great idea. Jeez, write a proposal and do it. With your experience, my God it would be a wonderful read.

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    3. It's in my mind to do it. My husband is setting up a computer business at the moment, but if it does well, this is what I'd love to do!

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  5. Love this post! So hard to balance it all.. but it is great to see your passion for reading! I laughed though. I get called out all of the time for always having a book in my person and on my Kindle. Blogging has significantly increased my TBR pile as well. Glad other readers can relate!

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    1. Oh yes, totally able to relate. And even though the TBR pile has grown since blogging and reading blogs, it's a good growth because I've been exposed to books and genres I may have never picked up on my own!

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