“My early and invincible love of reading I would not exchange for all the riches of India.”
– Edward Gibbon.
We all claim to have busy lives these days; that our work-life balance makes it increasingly hard to find time for the simpler pleasures in life. But one specific complaint is made especially plaintively: We don’t have any time to read.
Bullshit. I appreciate that the conditions we live in today are not those of 30 or even 50 years ago, but to say (and believe it) that you don’t have time to read; to enjoy such a simple pleasure is a tremendous fallacy. There is always a way.
And unfortunately, in most people’s mindset, trying to free up the odd 30 minutes never works. They find that the act of simply pausing to carry out a simple, but enormously pleasurable task is impossible to separate from a persons’ flywheel of spinning work-related thoughts. Or they are too tired to deal with the challenging chore of reading a book.
Why? What’s wrong with this picture? When supposedly intelligent people peddle tripe like this, here’s what’s wrong:
“Thinking of time as a resource to be maximised means you approach it instrumentally, judging any given moment as well spent only in so far as it advances progress toward some goal.”
“Immersive reading depends on being willing to risk inefficiency, goallessness, even time-wasting. It can only be replaced by goal-focused reading.”
“Such ritualistic behaviour helps us “step outside time’s flow” into “soul time”. Reading becomes the default state from which you temporarily surface to take care of business, before dropping back down”. (Eberle, 2009).
Has the value of plain common sense deserted people? Less is more. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. And it remains so with the uncomplicated act of reading a book. You can do it! Find your own solution to this pseudo-problem. Carry a book with you at all times if that’s your thang. Anything that’s comfortable for you, and gets a book in front of you is good.
And on a really good day, it no longer feels as if you’re “making time to read”, but just reading. Love to read. Enjoy the pleasure of unwinding while absorbing a story well crafted and well told.
Everything else can just take a short walk off a very tall cliff.