Why aren’t you reading?

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…

Bonus deal:

Gold Box Deal of the Day: Top-Rated Kindle Books: Novels, Nonfiction, and More (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

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.


17 Responses to “Why aren’t you reading?”

  1. Melissa Brown Says:

    I remember reading as a child, sitting in the very bottom part of a grocery cart, as my parent completed the weekly grocery shopping. I was vividly reminded of that quite recently, when I allowed my child to pick out a book at the beginning of a shopping trip, and he spent the rest of the time in the store reading while sitting in the cart.

  2. Harold Delk Says:

    Not to get too personal, but Maddie (the rescue vizsla who owns me) and I want to see a picture of the new dog.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      By your request…I didn’t see an easy way to put the image in the comment, so I updated the post with it.

  3. Phyllis Simpson Says:

    Thank you so much for your outstanding blog. I think you have the most outstanding blog on kindle. It is nice to get the news and information fresh in time to take advantage of the offers out there.

    I remember some blogs back about you mentioning a WIFI problem on your Kindle Fire HDX and you had to keep going to air plane mode and back to get it to come back on. I too had that problem and mine was really bad. Maybe it would stay on 5 minutes, and had a hard time really getting acquantied with all the features. I clicked on Mayday and talked to Sonya C. and described my problem to her and she asked for my phone number incase we got disconnected. It was fortunate she did as almost immediately my Kindle HDX lost connection. A few minutes later she called on the phone and worked with me trying to resolve the problem. It was apparently a difficult problem and she worked with me about a month to get the problem resolved and my Kindle Fire HDX working properly. She would call me about twice a week to see how things were going. She also sent me e-mails to keep in touch. I found it a refreshing change to what I had experienced in customer service from any company I had done business with. My Kindle Fire HDX 7″ is now working fine and I am so glad I bought it and hung in there. I am probably not the only person with this problem, but hang in there as I understand there is an update comeing in a couple weeks.
    Thanks again,
    Phyllis Simpson

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phyllis!

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Yes, Kindle Customer Service is great!

      Interestingly, my Fire stopped having the problem a little while back, apparently with no intervention (and no update yet).

      Did they tell you on the phone that the update is coming? I’ve mentioned a possible one earlier, but haven’t heard any specifics.

  4. Laurie Says:

    Floating down the Lazy River at a WI waterpark with my Kindle safely enclosed in its DryCase. Relaxing!

  5. Harold Delk Says:

    Thank you; Elf is too cute for words. Maddie thinks she’s adorable and would love to play, but has no way to travel to the west coast on her own.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      Elf is super social: we have the friendliest dog when we go to the dog park. It’s interesting, because we were told Elf was a street dog in Oakland. We think Elf’s survival skill was walking up to strangers looking cute…so they’d give the little dog some food. 😉 Elf wants to approach every stranger (human and dog), but doesn’t like strangers reaching over the head…we think Elf want to avoid being grabbed that way.

      • Harold Delk Says:

        Maddie is totally a people dog; likes other dogs but humans are her favorite playthings. She’s eight and, as are most vizslas, is still a puppy at heart. We call vizslas “The Patron Saints of Perpetual Motion” which pretty much sums up a wonderful breed which was almost extinct thanks to Hitler. (They were the palace dogs of the Hapsburgs.) An amazing breed and so much fun to be owned by … she’s our third vizsla rescue; we all three camped (five counting humans) together in a small RV for a few years. Maybe some day in our travels we’ll have the pleasure of meeting you and your family in person. Keep Elf safe and happy; that’s what we are destined to do for the ones we love.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Harold!

        I can understand that term for them. 🙂

        We’ve always taught our dogs to run around and let off steam, pretty much on command. That command? “Rocket dog!”

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      I’m sure they’d have fun. 🙂 Is Maddie over 25 pounds? The dog park to which we go separates dogs above and below, although little ones can go in the big dog part.

  6. Zebras Says:

    Elf looks like a love bug. So cute.

  7. Phyllis Simpson Says:

    I assume that the update will have to do with the WIFI feature, since that was my problem. I am not sure what else it would cover. Amazon is very helpful with technical support, buti kind of tight with information. Maybe they want us to be surprised.
    Phyllis Simpson

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phyllis!

      Well, according to a press release I linked here, there should be more to it:


      I said:

      “The PR focuses on some important and interesting changes to Kindle FreeTime, which helps guardians set limits on the use of the tablet. One interesting one is the ability to require a certain amount of “educational” use before you can use it for “entertainment”.”

      This is one of the very few times I can recall where Amazon basically missed an announced date…it could be because they are also working on bug fixes, and don’t want to put it out until those are solved.

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