Tuesday 28 March 2017

Who's Got Time to Read?

Many people want to read more books, but complain that they just can't find the time, or that there aren't enough hours in a day.

I get that. I really do. I read a lot, but even for myself, my life of late has become so hectic that it's difficult to find the time. Especially since moving into a house, and adopting a dog (neither of which I would trade for the world), my evenings and weekends tend to be full of all the chores that come with having those things.

For what it's worth, allow me to share how I try to find time to read.

First off, I love e-books. The ability to set the font size, brightness, and contrast, are absolute Godsends for someone like me, who has terrible vision and finds it hard to read off paper. Then there's the convenience of having my books with me wherever I go.

I have a genetic eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, and because of my poor vision, I can't drive, so my wife drops me off at work in the mornings and then drives to her job about half-an-hour away. In the afternoons, she finishes work at 17:00, and then comes to fetch me. She generally arrives to pick me up at about 17:30, and it's that extra half-hour where I get the bulk of my reading done.

Although it's not very politically correct to admit it these days, I'm also a smoker, and I take smoke breaks during the workday, when I can find the time. During those breaks, along with every other spare minute I have (on the toilet, waiting for meeting participants to arrive, etc.), I read a page or two of my book on my cellphone. Then, come 17:00, I switch to my tablet and pick up where I left off.

And that's it. I actually seldom read at home in the evenings, or over the weekends, because life is just too busy.

Now, of course, sometimes I'm really busy at work, and I don't get as many breaks... or those breaks are spent talking about work. Other times, I'm working towards huge deadlines, so I end up coding right up until 17:30. Also, your situation's probably really different to mine, but the point I'm trying to make is that it's always possible to find time to catch a page or two if reading's something you're serious about.

And e-books help - I'm not sure I'd be able to read nearly as much if I relied on print books, even were it not for my poor eyesight.

So, how do you find time to read?

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