This week I’m happily indulging in books in a way I haven’t in months. I went to a book club meeting for the first time in months last night. I joined the paperback swap. I have a book in my bag right along with my sketchbook and knitting. I’ve even dug up my book holder so I can knit and read at the same time.
I’ve missed books. Just like the rest of my life in the past 7 months, I just haven’t had the time. It’s taken about 4 months of saying no to pretty much everything to get to the point where I can enjoy regular reading time again.
Why is it such a big deal to me to be reading on a regular basis? Well here are my top 3 reasons:
I won’t deny it, submerging myself into a book is a wonderful way to escape into a new reality, to leave the cares of the day behind, to enjoy something new and outside of myself–like my recent quest to Africa with The Alchemist.
Most books contain great little life lessons. Reminders that a lot of life is all about perception. That even bad things can lead to good. That taking time to enjoy the little things in life really make it grand, not just the big stuff.
When I’m reading a lot, my writing skills improve. I see things, I pick up new words, find new phrasing ideas, enjoy the style of the writer and learn from it. Writing and reading go hand and hand for me.
I have to admit, I’m still pretty busy. I have an exhibit this week, I have a show next month, I’m working on the book, Craft Leftovers Monthly is always in the works, trying to improve the shop, trying to improve myself, cooking, cleaning, oh and packing for a big move (the end of this month maybe).
How do I find time to read?
Well, it isn’t easy, and I would be lying if I said it was. Like I mentioned above, I’ve pretty much said no to everything that isn’t Craft Leftovers related for the past 4 months. You really need to stick to what you love, the world won’t end if you don’t commit every last second of your life to other people’s projects.
I make it easy for myself to read anytime I want.
I always keep the book I’m reading with me in my bag. I read on breaks, I read at railroad crossings, I read while waiting for people, I read on the elliptical at the gym, I read while in line. Basically anytime I get a spare second or two I pull out my book and dig in.
I turn off the tv. I’ve realized that I don’t read if the tv is on all the time. I’ve carved out a little nook for myself in our apartment where I can go and read. Sometimes I’ll put on my ipod and listen to music to mute out other activities. I don’t need quite, but for me, I have a hard time reading if I can hear talking, my mind gets too sidetracked.
I have a book holder. This has really helped out. Now I can read while using my hands. It keeps it open for me so I don’t have to fuss with the pages flopping back and forth.
I read several books at a time. While this might make you think I could never get anything finished, the opposite is true. When I try to just plow through one book, I tend to drop it. Especially non fiction. I find it’s best to have two – three books going at the same time. Usually one fiction, one non-fiction, and one instructional (like the handmade marketplace). I tend to read non fiction and instructional during breakfast and while running on the elliptical, then fiction is the one I take with me everywhere. Usually the fiction is my book club book.
Audio books. These have been a real dream for me. And thankfully, with the inception of the digital age, there are so many ways to get access to them. I tend to listen to audio books while working in the studio or at home cleaning/cooking. It makes the time fly!
How do you make time for books? I’m filling up my reading list, any suggestions?
I’m listening to:
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
– great series on this book on the Simple Dollar, start with part 1 here.