…that all I really want to do is read.

Do you have this problem?

I feign a mild interest in exercise, current events, facebook and my children,  but what I’m really thinking is:

When can I get back to my book?

I know I need to catch up on (start) my digital scrapbooks.  I know I need to catch up on (start) my food storage.  I know I need to clean my house, wash my car, catch up on (start) my family history, read to my kindergartener and start eating carb-free.  But when I face each of these worthy pursuits with honesty, all I can think is:

When can I get back to my book?

Do you have this problem?

Every day I confront my To-Do List.  It’s long and hairy and ugly as, I’m certain, is your own.  Rather than taking satisfaction in my daily accomplishments, however, I simply see each tedious, time-consuming task on it as the archenemy of my One True Love.

Do you have this problem?

I’ll bet you do.  Bloggers are Readers.  We travel in packs.

I’d like to pretend that my obsession with reading comes from an intellectually curious place deep within me, but that is not true.  It actually comes from sheer laziness.  Reading requires no moving.  Zero.  How many things can you say that about?  I can sit on my bed as slovenly and sloppy and beached-whaley as I want to, a cup of cocoa warming on the nightstand, and with no physical effort or illegal substances, I’m off to La-La Land within minutes.  Think of it.

Reading also requires no cleaning, cooking, driving, or getting off one’s tush in general.  Reading requires no learned skill (unless you count literacy as a learned skill, but I hope we’re past that by now.)  It requires no hand-eye coordination, no  great taste or sense of style, no social skills, no money, and no inherent talents.  Nothing about reading is about impressing others, unless you’re one of those pretentious sorries who crams your bookshelf with haughty, half-read literature to help you look like an intellectual.  (If such is the case, you’re surely not wasting time on this blog.)  In fact, the best thing about reading is that you get to pick whatever you want to read.  Every time.  No one can make you read anything you don’t want to.  You are in complete control.  How many things can you say that about?  I can say it about exactly one.

I do love to read.  But as long as we’re being honest, I have to confess that I don’t do it as much or as often as this swoony post may suggest.  I am a busy wife and mother, and I make way too much love to my To-Do list every day.  I am also a rather slow reader, and don’t fly through books like some of my friends do.  But I’m always reading something, and I’m usually just in love with whatever I’m reading.  (I have no problem quitting a book if I don’t love it.)  And I do think that one of the reasons I’m slow, besides just not being terribly bright, is that I make friends with the characters in the book and settle in as I get to know them.  I savor my time with each one and remember our conversations long after they’re gone.  Painfully nerdy, I know.  But true.

The problem is:  Life keeps finding other things for me to do besides read.

Do you have this problem?

When do you read?  What do you read?  What are you reading right now?  I’m almost done with a book called These Is My Words, and it is fabfabfabulous.  It’s fabulousness inspired this post.

What book has inspired you?

Tell me.  And I want to know if your life is full of the same hardships that mine is.  Why aren’t we entitled to sit in bed all day and read?  Who came up with any alternative plan to that?  I need to break my leg or something. Laid-up for six weeks with the Relief Society watching my kids and bringing me dinner?  Sounds like a great way to finally, finally get back to my book.

14 thoughts on “The problem is…

  1. Happens to me WHEN I have a good book. Right now I’m trying to read “Crespusculo” (yes, that is Twilight in Spanish…and ugh…it is not such a fast and easy read in a 2nd language…hahaha!). I recently read A Thousand Splendid Suns and thought it was very powerful. Made me grateful for growing up in a country that values women!

  2. Thanks for all the comments everyone–I knew I was in good company! I want to respond to every single one, but I am going to refrain as I know that is a blogging no-no (so I’ve been told), and simply say that:

    Shantelle: I, too, am in love with Jack (what my husband doesn’t know won’t hurt him) and,

    Danelle: You win “Comment of the Week!” (I just started a new contest after reading your comment.) Oh, Danelle, I want to/am scared to know more about this “game” you and your husband play. Tell me. No, don’t. (But do.)

  3. Oh, Jen – this is so true! Sometimes I feel the same way about my shows that are waiting for me on DVR, too. I will admit it. I am a grown woman who likes to watch TV. But, my first and true love is reading. When I’m into a good book it takes precedence over all other leisure activities. My most recent reads were “The Thirteenth Tale”, which I could not put down. I loved it b/c I don’t usually read those kinds of books. It was a total page turner. And I just finished “The Jewel of St. Petersburg”. Never heard of it? Probably because it was just okay. Yet I found it juicy and un-put-downable. Now I’m obligated to read it’s sequel, “The Russian Concubine”. Oh well. I’m also currently reading (very slowly) President Monson’s biography. I really am trying to get into it, I swear.

    Whenever I’m in one of my reading fits, Doug will often remark that he wishes he were as interesting as my book. I have to agree.

  4. Same problem. I have been known to “hide” in the bathroom just to get a few more minutes of reading. I just finished a book called “Escape” about a woman who escaped from polygamy. I literally couldn’t put it down!

  5. I miss reading – I have let Girl Scouts, PTO, etc get in the way. My husband even got me a fancy nook and I hardly read from it. I watch my eight year old read and I am jealous that she can just read! Speaking of which – my kids are playing quietly – I am going to grab this book I have been trying to read and read!

  6. Yes. YES. I am obsessed with reading. I’ll stay up all night; I’ll walk to the bus stop with my nose in a book, stumbling into bushes and almost walking into traffic.

    Fave authors: David Sedaris, Margaret Atwood, Lorrie Moore, Joyce Carol Oates.

    I really enjoy non-fiction, too. Most recently, lots of books about grammar (!), writing, sewing, cooking, hand-drawn type, and pattern. I will sit in bed and read cookbooks from cover to cover.

  7. So there with you. I read at night, but then it will creep into my day if I’m almost finished with a book (read: two hours from finishing). Your current book is fabulous. I loved The Help and Life As I Know It. Are we friends on Goodreads? I don’t post on there often, but I love to check out friends’ book lists. I would love to share mine with you. Lots of fantasy. Lots of escape. Probably far too much, but we need it now and then!

  8. I’m so glad that you liked These is my words. It’s my favorite book of ALL time. I was so sad when I was done–not because of the ending, but because, even if I read it again (and I have) it won’t be the same…

  9. I spent my whole morning *not* accomplishing anything on my to-do list and trying to fix or pick up the pile of destruction left by two darling little boys (monsters–cute ones though). It was one of those mornings. I finally ditched this joint but not until I realized I REALLY should have spent the morning reading. The house would have looked the same and I would have been so much happier!!

    These Is My Words is a great book. I’m excited to read it again.

    And when do I read? Whenever I can but mostly when I’m waiting. Waiting to pick kids up, waiting to drop kids off, waiting through a red light (I’m serious), waiting for an appointment. Waiting time is prime reading time for me. I also read at bedtime, but usually it doesn’t last too long because the zzzzz’s come get me.

  10. Oh my kindred spirit…my slovenly, sloppy, beached whaley kindred spirit. Tim and I have…ahem…a little *game* – it’s called ‘what will it take to seduce Danelle from her book?’ He’s like a prize fighter when the book finally goes down. Who needs sleazy lingerie when I have a ‘book’ 😉

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