My read-a-thon did not go exactly as planned.
But that’s okay because I plan to foster my reading habit everyday. Even if it means just reading an interesting article on communications or social media, an engaging blog post or a how-to book.
I’ve actually learned a lot about myself this summer.
- Apparently, I really enjoy nonfiction how-to books now. I never went NEAR nonfiction books at a bookstore; now it’s what I’ve been buying lately. I should be reading the classics and expanding my awareness of them but how-to books have been calling my name. One how-to book in particular I really liked was Richard Rhodes’ How To Write: Advice and Reflections. I’ve since been reading Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and am excitedly anticipating to read Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.
- Secondly, I don’t really set aside a quiet or relaxing time of day, such as the early morning, to read for enjoyment. I did get into a nice but short-lived habit of waking up fairly early, making a coffee and sitting down to read, when the rest of my family was fast asleep. We’re a pretty animated family (we like to talk, debate, make jokes, etc.) so there isn’t a lot of quiet time to read when everyone’s up and awake 🙂
- Thirdly, the summer does not always equal ample free time for reading. I had visits with family and friends, a wedding to attend, birthdays to celebrate, and personal and professional goals to achieve other than reading. It’s an enriching hobby that I need to cultivate, despite my busy schedule.
- Lastly, I alternate between books like I do between stories. I don’t know why this is but it’s definitely a weird habit. I’m a commitment-phobe when it comes to literature. I really need to focus on what interests me currently and return back to those other books. This is similar to my past habit of skipping ahead to read what happens next because I didn’t want to stay up all night getting to that point in the book. BAD BAD habit…It ruins the reading experience, just like alternating between different books does. I’ve long since squashed that bad skip-ahead habit, thankfully.
Currently, I’m also in the middle of The Count of Monte Cristo, another classic I wanted to read. I really love the balmy setting of southern France, the historical references and the pace. However, my progress with it has been undeniably slow. There are a lot of priorities that require my attention and care, so leisurely reading sometimes falls by the wayside.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit ashamed. But I do know that life is busy and unexpected events occur.
I’ve discovered that my challenge and goal should not be about how many books I can read, but how I can productively incorporate reading into my life. It’s a case of quality rather than quantity.
Hopefully I can cultivate good reading habits just like my writing habits.