Friday, April 13, 2007

Reading less

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.


Miguel Cane said...

Dear Dushka,

I don't know, what to do? What to do? I write a lot, so it takes a taxing on my reading too... however, I've found that I've got the knack to read on the subway and while I walk -- I've got to keep an eye on the ground but still-.

Anyhow, I guess that juggling is part of our modern way of living.

(I gave up on TV. I watch complete seasons on DVD rather than following week-by-week)

But it's ever so refreshing to find a reading devotee, like oneself.

Much love,


PS: Hi, Luca!
PPS: I am a daddy. It's official. Where can I send the box of Godivas?


Dushka said...

Ugh, Miguel! I envy you! Luca reads on moving vehicles too. I get motion sickness.

Miguel Cane said...

It's funny, you know, when I was a little boy (yes, I was once a real little boy, even though I was a real strange kid too) I learned to read comics and storybooks in the car.

My Grandmother would chastise me about it, saying that it would cause me motion sickness (I never get sick on cars, except when I am on my way to Acapulco, which is much less these days than before, Lord knows why!). My father thought it was okay, as it kept me on the hush side on long road trips.

Babar was my buddy on those weekly commutes to Cuernavaca, every friday and sunday for a whole year.

But then again, there are things I envy you, one being your fast, ferocious and flawless flux of freethinking. (I love wordgames)

Can you read on planes? It's what kept me sane on my line of business.

Weekend hugs,

Proud Papa

Dushka said...

When I was little we often went to Cuernavaca, and, suffering from motion sickness, I threw up every time, no exception. So much for "on the hush side".

As for the plane, I can skim magazines, but not read books.

Luca can read and sleep wherever. Planes, cars, little sofas, the floor, the back of a bus.

Miguel Cane said...

Read and sleep whenever/whenever, huh?

Ah, a kindred spirit!

Nothing comes between me and the land of Nod, when neccessary.

I am, as it were, a bespectacled sloth. *Giggle*

What I meant about the Godivas was no jest, though.

Your most obedient,

Ben said...

While you walk Canito? REALLY? LOL I can read in cars, planes, subways, not that we have any here, while I cook, while I sh...ower. My dad made us read everywhere, especially in the car.

I never got motion sickness, we traveled by car the most awry and dangerous Mexican roads ever since I can remember. I guess that's why I love roller coasters now :-p

And I agree with you Dushka, so much entertainment... I don't watch much TV so that gives me time to read a lot. I have been slacking this past weeks, but I usually read 2 to 3 books a week. That reminds me of a poster I saw in Mexico once, the one with the donkey saying: Si no leo me aburro... Hahahaha


Anonymous said...

Oh Dushka, 9 books in 3 months. I read one! Yet again you amaze me. You're just fine...

Emma W