As longtime readers know, I was an English major in college. During my senior year, I said to a friend, “being an English major has made me so tired of reading. I just need a break from reading critically all the time.” Looking back, that was a dumb thing to say. I may have felt stressed or tired, but I still kick myself for uttering “I just need a break from reading.” With the case law reading in law school, I often find myself yearning for a good novel. Time to read something creative, some fiction that makes me think about the world, and see into a person’s life, get comfortable with a character, and watch a story develop. I sometimes hear law students mention they begin or end their day with a novel, just to break up all the legal reading. By the end of the day, I often prefer TV to a novel. However, I recently started following some “bookstagram” accounts (book Instagram accounts), and I see so many books that have gotten rave reviews, and I find myself wishing I had more time to read.
I’ve heard a few bloggers say they now rely on audiobooks because it makes it easier to stay up on their “to be read” list, and they read actual novels on their commutes. My commute to law school is roughly five minutes (on a slow day). I go to the gym to relieve stress and take a mental break. I watch TV before bed. [Side note: there are some great shows out right now. I recommend Rise, For the People (wildly unrealistic, legally, but still entertaining), and The Good Fight.] Anyway, I recently watched the movie Call Me By Your Name, and the film left me wanting more of the story between the two main characters. I was thinking about the film nonstop for roughly twelve hours. So, I picked up the book (with a gift card! one of my 2018 goals is to not buy new books unless I use a gift card). Last night, I skipped TV and read the novel. It was like returning to your favorite vacation spot or an old friend. The prose enveloped me immediately and I felt so content. I usually only read on school breaks, but it felt so refreshing to just take an hour or two and read a novel. Something beautiful, creative, and foreign.
I think reading is food for our souls. Reading novels used to be my life. Literally… I read novels constantly for class. Now, I’m lucky if I read four books in the summer and three books over Christmas. I have no one to blame but myself for that because I’m in charge of my time. But still, I want to ensure that I am making time for the thing that’s been a constant in my life: novels. Reading was always my first love, and I’m hoping to make more of an effort to make time for it because I miss it. I know I’ve said in the past that I intend to read more, and I do read a fair amount, but I want to make sure that I read more in the future because I haven’t really been able to read for pleasure recently. I will say I was trying to get through Hillbilly Elegy, but I just couldn’t get into a nonfiction at the end of long days. So, I’m shelving it for now and hope to pick it back up after spring semester finals.
Ways to make more time for reading? Get up earlier, go to bed and forego TV and read a few pages, or read during your lunch break if time. Obviously sometimes life happens, but if we strategically choose reading over other things when we can, I think it’s easier to find time to read.
How do you find time to read for pleasure?