Distracted from Reading

I’m a reader. Always have been, always will be. I mean–come on. Librarian? Author? I don’t just read books. I devour them.

Except . . . I haven’t been lately.

My To Read pile seems to get only larger, and my Have Read pile stays the same. I don’t think I’ve finished a book in at least a month, and just writing that down feels painful to me. I haven’t read a book in a month? What the heck is wrong with me?

So if I haven’t been reading books, what in the world *have* I been doing?

Lots of other things. I’ve been writing–revising, really. I’ve been collaborating on the website redesign, offering input to the site designer. I’ve been watching West Wing religiously. I’ve been dinking away on iPad games. I’ve played a bit of Magic. Done household chores. Played a fair bit of guitar. Prepped for church lessons.

Went face to face with a bat.

I still read, but what I’ve been reading has been different lately. The news. Links to articles on Facebook or Twitter. Blog posts. It feels like my time has been gobbled up by a horde of tiny piranha bites. This hasn’t been a situation where my reading has been eaten by some huge project. It’s been nibbled to death.

Some of this is stuff that I don’t really want to give up. I’ve been loving practicing guitar, for example. It’s a great stress reliever, and I sincerely enjoy it. But when you get right down to it, reading is important to me. I want to make time for it in my life, and you know what that means.

I’m going to have to set a reading goal.

An approach I’ve been using with the family lately is to schedule out our “fun activities” a bit better. The last while, I’d noticed the kids were just pestering me for what we were going to watch each evening after dinner. Mythbusters! Amazing Race! Merlin! I didn’t like that we were turning to television for our family activities each day. So we had a council, and we talked about the other things we could be doing. Reading together as a family and playing games together were two popular alternatives. And so now three nights a week, we watch something. Two nights, we read  something. Two nights, we play something. I like that balance much better–that feels more in line with where it ought to be.

So maybe I need to do something like that to my own personal media habits. Instead of two episodes of West Wing a night, every night, maybe I should only do that on selected nights. Could it be that binge watching television series is warping the way we consume TV? It is for me. Back in the day, I’d have to wait for a week between new episodes of my favorite shows. These days, I avoid new shows simply because I want to wait for them to accumulate so that I can then watch them all at once. Why would I watch an epic movie in a series of installments over weeks or months, after all?

But because I’m able to binge like that, I like to keep momentum on a show. I enjoy the daily doses–it’s my reading time that doesn’t.

Anyway. This is just to say that I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like, and I want to improve. A book a week? Maybe that’s a goal I could stick to and reach.

Has anyone else been having the same issues? Care to share what you do to keep yourself doing something you love to do, but for whatever reason haven’t found yourself doing as much of at the moment?

2 thoughts on “Distracted from Reading”

  1. I set goals, like you. The one I need to put back in place is my mini painting goal; I was doing one mini a week really solid until work stuff got crazy. It’s calmed down now, so I’ve got to get a mini done by Sunday night.

  2. Yeah. It’s very sad to me, though–that I have to set a goal so that I actually read stuff. I feel like a failure somehow . . .

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