Reading Patterns: Routine vs. When Inspired


From late October to basically this past week I did not read much of anything.  I think the challenges of working in the Rockaways in the aftermath of Storm Sandy, some lifestyle changes, and persistent cold I simply lost the habit of reading.  In November and December I did skateboard more, and socialized more. But I also got more into checking the computer all nights, and drank more than I should. I’m happy to report that last week I realized the genre workshop I participate through work was coming up.  I started the book.  With a few nights of dedicating time to reading I finished it late the night before the workshop. And then yesterday I read George Orwell’s Animal Farm in one day. And I started Main Street by Sinclair Lewis and I’m confident I’ll finish it for next week’s book club.  On this entry I’m going to try to make an opinion on reading habits by figuring out my own.

Over Christmas I talked to someone who recently singed up for military service, and he said every day he sets aside an hour a night to read. I remember in a work training several years ago a speaker mentioning if one dedicates about an hour a day to studying a certain subject or skill, in three years time one could have some expertise in that subject.  Without a doubt consistency is good for all things that one wants to be relevant at.  Reading one hour a day would do wonders for my reading logs, I bet instead of 20 to 30 books per year the log would be much more than that. However, I am not consistent at anything. Not only with reading but also with exercise and skating, I would like to be routine based and consistent.

On the flipside I’ve heard that people say that when you read or write when you want or are inspired you get more out of the experience.  I’ve included writing in this paragraph because I’ve heard that argument more so for writing then reading. I think with writing one needs to be inspired to create a story line, and that takes time. Reading is more like digesting and exercising the brain, so I think it should be done more regularly than writing. As a librarian I should promote that people read every day.

I won’t be too hard on myself, but try to figure out why I just stopped reading for a few months.  Mostly, it’s the habit of coming home and turning on the computer, and not having a routine based life. If I’m going to go out a few nights a week I should schedule out that Sundays I go out, and maybe Tuesdays. But deciding to go out for a few randomly on my commute home makes little chance to do things routinely.  Perhaps I should jot down a schedule of what I do on my spare time, and end most days with reading time.

Anyway, I’m going to stop bellyaching and I need to finish Main Street, a 500-page classic, by Monday. After that I’ll read something else or maybe even write something.  My literary self is back!

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