Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday Feature: The Joy of Books

Last weekend, I got very excited over a seemingly small thing.

I finished a book.

I read a lot, but I rarely sit down and curl up with a book, and this time was no different. The book I finished was Michelle Obama's Becoming (which I highly recommend) and I had listened to it, sentence-by-sentence, chapter-by-chapter, in the car.

Mind you, I don't really spend that much time in the car. It takes me seven minutes or less to get to work (when there's no construction) and most of my other driving is around town. Still, when I read an article last year about how to read more books, I decided to put the suggestion of listening to audiobooks to work. I'd downloaded Audible last summer so I could listen to books on the beach. Why not try adding a little reading to my commute?

I'm really glad I did. Listening to Becoming, as read by the author, only enhanced my experience. Listening to it a little at a time allowed me to savor it as well.

But back to reading a lot, but not sitting down with a book. It wasn't until I read this article in the Harvard Business Review that I actually credited myself with reading a lot. I absolutely fall into the "consuming more information...than we ever have before" category, reading not only the e-mails and social media tidbits author Neil Pasricha cited, but online articles as well. 

That's still reading.

Yet, I don't make time for books. 

A funny thing happened when my audibook habit collided with Pasricha's article. My appetite for reading actual books was whetted. 

I have no intention of quitting my audiobook habit. Currently, I'm cycling among Billy Crystal's Still Foolin' 'Em, BrenĂ© Brown's Dare to Lead and Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, depending upon my mood and my destination. In addition, I've turned my attention back to several of the bookmarked books on my physical bookshelf, determined to hit the finish line with those as well. One didn't make the cut and is now destined for the library donation box, but two others are in regular rotation again. 

For writers, when "free" time appears, finding the reading/writing balance can be a challenge, but it's a challenge I'm ready, willing and able to rise to. 

What are you reading?

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