Why aren’t you reading?
Do you ever find yourself wondering why you aren’t reading?
You know, you’re doing something, like stirring the oatmeal, and you think to yourself, “Why aren’t you reading?”
That exact experience happened to me today: I was stirring a pot of oatmeal, reading the news crawl on the TV with the sound off (my Significant Other wasn’t out yet), and feeling like it would have been better if I’d set my Kindle up nearby so I could read a book at the same time.
That, despite the fact that I have to keep my eye on the oatmeal at that stage: I’d certainly be flicking my eyes back and forth, and not getting a lot of reading done.
Still, I thought, it would have been better than nothing.
But is “not reading” the same as “nothing”?
Clearly not. There are a lot of valuable things in my life besides reading. 😉
I have to say, I never feel guilty about having been reading. I also watch videos (TV, movie), although I’m often reading at the same time. I feel like I would have to justify having watched ten episodes of a mediocre TV show in a day…I don’t feel like one has to justify “binge reading” in the same way one does “binge watching”.
We have a new dog (we’ve had Elf* for a couple of months), and the three of us were walking up to the dog park (about a mile away). I didn’t read on the way up, which I would have done years ago if it was just me walking a dog.
Part of that is because I use a cane when I walk, now, and I have to keep looking where I put it: it w0uld not be a good thing to have that cane not provide solid support. That means that, even if I had my Kindle in my other hand, I wouldn’t have “eyes free” to see it. I could listen to text-to-speech, but that would take a major social element away from the walk.
Text-to-speech, though, has been a wonderful thing in the car! I like to say that I now feel like driving isn’t “wasted non-reading time”. 😉
It’s fascinating to me that so many people put reading on such an exalted plane: what can you do that is better for yourself and for the world than read?
However, it’s also clear that many people (perhaps more), don’t feel that way. “You shouldn’t read at the table.” “You should go outside and play”. “You should put down that book and meet people.” “You shouldn’t read while you are riding your bike”…well, that last one might have an argument. 😉 I knew somebody who smacked into the back of a parked truck, because they were riding a bike and reading at the same time.
Why do we feel like this?
Reading is the purest interaction we can have with another person’s mind…unencumbered by our perceptions of their physicality.
I’m sure that it’s true that people who read widely are more tolerant of others.
That doesn’t mean that reading is all you should do, of course…there are a lot of wonderful things to be done.
Reading, though? Never a wrong thing…
This is a great selection! There are 75 books from HarperCollins (I think they are all from HC), which is one of the five largest trade publishers in the USA…and they appear to each be $1.99!
Looking over the list, I’m struck by the amount of interesting non-fiction.
Remember that you can buy a book as a gift, and delay delivery until the appropriate occasion…this might be a good chance to get some small gifts for later.
Always check the price before you click that Buy button: books can move in and out of a deal, and this deal may not apply in your country.
Update: by request from one of my regular readers, Harold Delk, here is a picture of Elf:
Elf weighs about 12 pounds, and is quite long. The vet said that Elf looks like a Dandie Dinmont terrier (mix), and while that would be a bit odd circumstantially, much of it does match (except without the usual fur). My Significant Other has decided that Elf is a mix between a terrier and a Slinky Dog…a “Slinkier”. 😉
What do you think? Do you have a good example of when you suddenly thought to yourself that “…this would be better if I was reading?” Where is the weirdest place where you’ve been reading a book, the one that would most shock non-readers? Have you ever read a book on a roller coaster? Does your hand feel empty without a book in it? If you were a reader growing up, how did that affect other people’s perception of you? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.