Recently, I’ve been hearing that I need to read more. This is certainly true. When I was a child I was always reading. It helped that my grandpa worked for a publishers* so we always had a houseful of books. Reading was my favourite activity; I could escape into magical worlds where lions could talk, or find a kindred spirit in the present day.
These days though? Frankly, who has the time? When I get the opportunity to sink into a good book, I get interrupted by a small child. It was even worse when I was pregnant. I had to give up on ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ because I could barely remember who anyone was.
Making time to read
There are so many other things to do that finding time for a book feels like an indulgence. I’ve already carved out some ‘office hours’, even though I work from home. Then there’s time for the children, dinner and hopefully a conversation with my husband at some point.
By the time it’s all done I’m shattered and I just turn on the TV.I used to think that focussing on print was too much effort.Now I realise that I’ll happily spend hours on Facebook with the TV wallpaper talking to itself in the background.
So, I’ve decided to change my ways. Instead of ignoring a programme I’m not watching I’m going to switch it off. Then I’m going to pick up a book. It might be something entertaining, although as I’m also working on a novel, reading crime fiction counts as research. My friends have also recommended quite a few business books over time. I’ve even downloaded a few e-books and they’re all still waiting to be read.
Could audio books be part of the solution?
Over the past few months, more and more people are talking to me about audio books. They’re a familiar concept. When I was a child my Dad had several eye surgeries and spent a fair bit of time with dressings obscuring his vision. We’d always take books on tape into hospital for him so he didn’t get bored.
Other people have told me that they listen to a book whilst they’re pottering around the house or in the car. I’ve also realised that if I’m tired I can listen with my eyes shut!
It’s quite a comforting idea when I think about it. I love reading bedtime stories to my children. There are some wonderful children’s books that either passed me by or just weren’t around when I was little. Now I read and help them to settle down for sleep.
It’s been a long time since anyone read to me. At least, it is if you ignore the excerpts my husband reads to me from Game of Thrones whilst he’s pondering his theory about who Jon Snow’s father really is.
Giving audio books a try
So, I’m going to give it a go. If anyone has any audio book recommendations, please drop me a comment and let me know. Alternatively, if you think audio books are cheating, I’d like to hear from you too!
*Brockhampton Press, home of the Magic Roundabout, if you were wondering.