Someone asked me the other day how on earth I manage to read so many books.
For starters, let it be known that the books I write about on The Bookshelf are often books I’ve read a while ago, not necessarily books I’ve read that particular week.
But here are some of the ways I manage to read so much.
I don’t watch movies or TV. Unless I’m doing aerobics at the same time or it is The Amazing Race, for me the television holds little of interest and that clears up a lot of time for reading.
I don’t finish every book I start. Sometimes, I just can’t do it, even if I want to. There are too many books, too little time, and too many other things to do in life. So some of the books I mention in the What I’m Reading Section are books that I started but never finished. The Tiger’s Wife is one, All the Light We Cannot See is another, though I’m still hoping to get through that one.
I skim. I don’t read every single word, at least not in every single book. Many, I do read every word and sometimes every word twice because they are so much fun or so incredible. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Station Eleven. If you saw how quickly I flipped through the Divergent Triology or the Delirium Trilogy you might take issue with me claiming to have ‘read’ these books.
I count listening as reading. So while I run (25-35 miles a week), I listen to audiobooks or sermons or podcasts, not music. I listen while I cook and sometimes while I drive. The whole family listened to Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever while on a 4 hour road trip to our camping destination a few weeks ago.
I read some books for work. My organization here wants to keep us on our toes. This means reading books like When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself and The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence. The head of our organization here happens to be my husband so I get to have input, too, and get to help choose great, challenging books.
I read some books out of desperation. Like Smart but Scattered Teens: The “Executive Skills” Program for Helping Teens Reach Their Potential, to help me understand why my intelligent teenagers can’t turn homework in on time.
I read out loud to my kids. My kids are 9, 14, and 14 so we aren’t talking Dr. Seuss anymore but books like The Turtle of Oman. So reading is part of my parenting.
Do you read a lot? How do you get it all in?
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People sometimes ask me this too. I’d agree with your list and only add that I do very little housework. Most people would find my standard of housekeeping unacceptable!!
I’m glad someone else counts listening as reading! I listen while driving, working out and if people are bothering me in my office I put on a book and away they go.
When I read your posts, I always feel like I could have you over for Ethiopian coffee 3 times over, and we’d still not run out of things to talk about!
I too skim through books usually the “fluffy” romance or tween book. I also read to my boys (just began reading Oliver Twist with my 4th grader), and host a women’s bible study, so I can stay a bit focused on the Lord even in my reading. I listen to audio books that I know I wouldn’t be able to finish reading, usually books that are 400+ pages. Not finishing a book would drive me bonkers… not knowing how it ends. What!?! How can you move on!?! 🙂 Oh, and I’d probably watch more TV if they hadn’t cancelled Law & Order.
I do not read enough, but I read most every night for 15-30 minutes to help my mind shut down before going to sleep. When we were based in the US and were homeschooling, the radio was rarely on. We listened to books as we did errands and went to events.
I try to read before bed and I read out loud the girls. I’ve been known to read out loud on long car rides. I like your idea of audiobooks. I need to check into that…I seem to think I might be able to check some out at my library, which would be really great….