Monday, February 22, 2016

To Resolve, Perhaps, To Read

Perhaps if I could pass a bookstore without going in, I'd have less of a problem.
I just bought a new book for my Kindle. And there's a novel at home that's due back to the library today, only I haven't yet finished reading it. In addition, I not only have full bookcases in the living room and the mudroom, but also bins of books in the basement. I could feed my reading habit for a year -- perhaps longer -- without ever leaving my house.

Hi, I'm Lisa and I'm a bookaholic.

I know I'm not alone. I know that for every one of you out there reading this and shaking his or her head, there's at least one person nodding along, copping to her own pile of books under the bed or his own stack of stories on the nightstand.

The sad thing is, I actually had to make a new year's resolution to read. I'm obviously well-supplied, and it's certainly something I enjoy. So...why? Why did I need to resolve to make time to do something I love?
It's a conundrum familiar to many people, and perhaps more common among writers than any other group of bibliophiles. Life is busy, and full of many things. If we're lucky, we enjoy most of those things, and if we're realistic, some simply cannot be ignored.

And so reading is that thing we fit in "when there's time." For writers, writing often gets assigned the same time slot. Some days -- many days -- "when there's time" doesn't materialize and on those days when it does, we need to choose. Read or write? What should, in a perfect world, be a 50-50 split is more like a 10-90 landslide.

So the books pile up. E-books only make it worse. I can at least see my stash of paperbacks and magazines. Some days, I can practically hear them calling to me. But e-books? They're neatly tucked away, efficiently lined up on a list, patiently waiting for me to blow the dust off my Kindle or open my Nook app and give them the time of day.

Which I will do. Today. Or maybe later this week.

As soon as I finish that novel.

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