Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reading time

When I lived in the city, when I commuted to work I brought a book with me. On lunch breaks and while I commuted I read. I so enjoyed my read.

Now I don't live in the city, now my work is ever-present so I have scheduled reading time into my day. Reading time was once scheduled for bedtime. However, this didn't work. I was just too tired. Hubby is a night owl, so by the time I went to bed I hit the pillow, my eyes closed and I was asleep. I had no time to read. Now reading time is at three o'clock and lasts for an hour. By three I have put in a good day of work and am ready for a break. And besides I consider this reading time as part of my work.

Right now I'm reading three books. I choose an uplifting book, a book that educates and a work of fiction. I'm mainly (although, I have occasionally strayed from this path) a fiction writer so inclusion of a work of fiction makes sense. Currently, I'm reading Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins. This is my second reading of this book. The first time was about ten years ago. I don't, as a rule, re-read books. The other exception was Ethan From. I first encountered Ethan From while in high school.

The uplifting book that I'm reading is Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. It is easy to pooh-pooh books like this. I've even done it myself.
"Oh, the things you'll learn it that book you've only heard one hundred times before," we say.
This is true but how many times do you need to read something in order for it to stick. Many religions are built on one uplifting book: the Holy Bible, the Koran, the Torah. Worship involves the reading and re-reading of one book Sunday (or Saturday) after Sunday.
And it may be the same lessons that you are learning but it may take years to learn them. It may take someone phrasing the lesson in certain way to enable you to finally learn.
As well, there are negative, destructive books out there. Books that can and do fill your mind with junk. I'm not calling for censorship. I'm calling for balance.

The educational book that I'm reading is Nancy Lamb's The Art and Craft of Storytelling: A Comprehensive Guide to Classic Writing Techniques. This is a well-crafted, informative book that I believe every writer would benefit from reading. I have learned so much. I hope the lessons stick. I don't like marking books up with highlighters but I'm gravely tempted to commit this art to this book. I want so badly to retain the information. Taking notes rarely works for me. I have a bad habit of not reading them. However, highlighting does seem to. You see I don't like marking up books but I am capable of doing so. Not only am I capable of using highlighters but I'm also capable of writing in the margins. Please forgive me.

So that's when, where and why I read.

Happy reading,


Blogger Charlotte said...

I know what you mean about having to schedule reading time. If I don't do that, I won't let myself take the time. I need to treat it like I would a staff meeting when I was working! Tom Robbins is one of those prolific authors I'd never heard of until I came across some of his books while browsing through, where I pick up nearly all of my books and DVDs now. I keep meaning to pick up his "Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas" because I love the title!

10:33 AM  

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