I don’t read enough.
I write a lot, a heck of a lot, but I don’t read enough.
A lot of people I talk to say they don’t read enough either, and the main reason given is that there isn’t enough time.
I guess it depends what we each get out of reading.
When you’re reading a good book, or a good piece of writing, you are often taken away to a world created by that writing you can become immersed in another world.
You can be prompted by that world to think and feel things that you may find surprising. You can learn things in a natural way, it can feel like experiential learning rather than tutoring.
You can meet people you’d never be able to meet in the real world, get to know them, go along with them on their journey.
But isn’t all that true of movies too? Of theatre, radio, of other forms of storytelling?
And it is. But in a book, or a well written piece, we feel drawn in, surrounded in a unique way.
Maybe it’s an age or generational thing, something those of a similar age to me carry over from childhood, where reading was more readily available than other forms of storytelling?
I love it when a good book draws me in. It sparks the imagination, allows me to exercise my brain, it makes me feel creative just through reading.
So why don’t I read enough?
With me it’s a focus and time thing.
I need to focus on my writing at the moment, and when I read I get pulled in different directions, often nudged in to imagining things differently, triggering creative bursts that I want to use in other areas, either writing or gaming. I find it hard to just read the story.
Time is precious. As we get older I think we all realise that. There is never enough of it. So we tend to see time in terms of what will ‘gain’ us the most, what will be the most productive, what is the ‘best’ use of our time.
That time thing is a bit of a cop-out really, and I know it.
If we really want to do something we find the time to do it. Another truth that becomes clearer with age.
I think it’s great that more people are using electronic devices to read: anything that makes it easier to read and get involved with the written word can only be a good thing.
Who reads paper-based books? Who reads using a Kindle or other similar device? Do we read mainly shorter stories, are the longer novels becoming niche market pieces? How do we hear about the things we read, word of mouth or through social media?
And what are you reading?