I’ve written before about how jobs or school or life can seriously kill a good reading streak. I’ve hit bad slumps before, either when I’m overloaded with reading for classes or I’ve simply got too much work to do and too little time in which to do it.
I recently started working remotely from home, both as an editor and as a marketing/publicist assistant for authors. The first couple of days were a piece of cake. I got to wake up, sit around in my sweatpants, and edit: my dream job.
Then came the slump.
I realized quickly that if I sat around in my sweatpants or pajamas in the morning, I ended up wearing them all day. I’d linger longer and longer in bed, each evening setting my alarm later and later for the next morning. Worst of all, I wasn’t reading for fun anymore. I was reading for work so much during the day that even though it wasn’t my preferred genre, I wasn’t reaching for my stack of “fun” books in the evening. I didn’t feel motivated to read my TBR list, let alone any of my favorite re-reads.
Soon, I decided to make a change. I started making any excuse to leave the house. Work got canceled until noon? Go to the gym. Out of cream for my coffee? Make a quick run to the grocery store during my lunch break. All of these excuses were good for one day, but there were only so many cartons of creamer I could buy before my wallet started protesting. And then I found it: the perfect excuse to leave the house, and it didn’t even cost a penny.
I live in Mechanicsville, VA, so my library is one of the Pamunkey Regional libraries. They, like most libraries now, have an online system that lets you order books online in order to place a hold on them. This comes in handy, especially when the book you’re looking for is a bestseller or new release.
I went crazy with power. I was ordering a book every day. Luckily (or so I thought), I was ordering new releases, all of which had waiting lists, which meant the times they were ready for me to pick them up would be staggered. This system worked pretty well until one week, when I had six new releases to read at once! It seems like a good problem to have, but when it’s on a waiting list, you can’t renew it to keep reading. But I learned from my mistakes.
The point is, working from home is awesome. Just kidding! (Although it’s been an amazing experience for me.) The point is that the “I don’t have time…” excuse doesn’t work. You do have time.
I’m working three jobs right now, but I’ve found the perfect time (for me) to fit in “fun” reading: as I’m eating breakfast. Everyone has a different schedule, so everyone has a different time to read. Maybe it’s listening to an audiobook in the car on the way to work every morning. Maybe it’s catching up on your Kindle as you ride the train during your commute. Maybe it’s balancing a paperback in one hand while trying to spoon cereal into your mouth with the other (something I’m totally guilty of). Keep a book in your purse, your coat, your car. You have your niche time to read; find it.
Your job isn’t a detriment to your reading habits. It’s a solution! Go out and instead of making excuses about why you can’t read, make any excuse to read.
And use your local library!