After I read a book I write the title in a notebook I keep with me at all times. This highly satisfying habit brings together two of my many compulsions: list making and notebook bearing.
This is how I noticed with dismay that this year I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I usually do.
I know exactly why: I read the newspaper every day (San Jose Mercury News, New York times, and news reports online throughout the day), and receive a ridiculous amount of magazines I force myself to go through (Time, Newsweek, Wired, Oprah, Real Simple, Sunset, to name a few).
I have my own blog and have discovered many others I like to read (see column on the right). Not to mention my subscription to Netflix, through which I watch at least two movies a week; and my out-of-the-closet television habit.
By the time I get to bed, I read two pages of whatever is on my nightstand and fall asleep.
The fact that I’m sleeping better lately plays a role too. This unexpected, somewhat mystifying absence of insomnia is not helping further my reading at all.
Also, I used to listen to audio books during my commute, which was cut in half due to a job change about a year and a half ago. This otherwise fortunate occurrence had a huge impact on our audio book burn rate.
Most recently, instead of listening to audio books in the car, Luca and I listen to music. Either that or one of us is on an important conference call, making it impossible for the other to do anything else (even cracking the window open causes the one on the call to make violent jerky movements with his hands – and by “his”, you might be able to infer that I don’t mean mine.)
The consequences of all this are evident in my notes: I read five books in January, two books in February, and two books in March. Before February, the last time I only read two books in a month was December 2001.
I guess something has to go. Should I suspend a few magazine subscriptions? Sacrifice a television show or two? Sleep less? Should I read a few pages of a book over breakfast instead of the newspaper?
So little time, so much entertainment.