Splitting my time

Huge amounts of reading (both for pleasure and studying) have been taking up my time lately. I’ve found (and you’re gonna love this Mom) that I’m rekindling a taste for reading in general.
I’ve always been an above average reader as far as comprehension, speed, and vocabulary have been concerned but as I entered my teen years and other activities took my fancy I abandoned the habit of pleasure reading and focused instead on reading only what was necessary to survive or expand my knowledge professionally.

My mom is an avid, and perhaps rabid, reader. She doesn’t read books – she consumes them. My mother is the most well-read person I know and I have never been able to connect with her on that level. I still can’t, but at least the pleasure of reading is entering my life again.

I remember my first thought when I decided to take writing more seriously: Crap! I’ve got to read more…
Yes, you should read as much as you can if you want to write. At first, I read begrudgingly; splitting my time to include pleasure reading was something I felt I had to shoehorn into my life and that meant other things had to change. I sort of resented the intrusion at first. For some reason, I could always find the time to read a magazine or a new programming/tech book, but to read short stories or a novel? How intrusive!

Turns out, I’ve begun to enjoy the intrusion. I’m not wasting time by reading as I’d convinced myself so many years ago. I’m enriching, and best of all, enjoying. I’ll likely be a better writer thanks to the exposure, and if nothing else, I’ll be happier.


(Don’t forget that I have a second blog where I discuss things purely relating to writing and the path I’m forging professionally with it. There’s always a link to it in the More of Me section of the sidebar, but I’ll give you the link here too.)

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8 thoughts on “Splitting my time”

  1. Oh! I have a writing blog too, I just remembered that. I also need to spend more time reading and writing. Are you going to try the National Novel Month challenge this year?


  2. “and focused instead on reading only what was necessary to survive or expand my knowledge professionally.”

    Hello Jen

    I get the feeling that your job is a dominating part of your (acceptence) make-up. If you can free yourself of that, then you will find that life is more fun (something you are beginning to get a taste of).

    I know it will sound weird to you but to me it doesn’t matter how well read one is or how sharp they are compared to the (so called) average joe – but it’s somehow comforting to know that reading books doesn’t make you any smarter.


  3. Hi Kev!

    It’s a serious possibility. I would love to do it. I suppose I should just bite it and say yes, definitely…

    And yes, you need to get reading and writing too! (I check your writing blog from time to time just in case. I haven’t given up hope yet! πŸ˜€ )

  4. Hi Geoff-

    Actually, I’m afraid you’re off-target there. I’d dropped out of pleasure reading long before my Industrial Design Degree and continued the trend after dipping my toes into the ‘real-world’ workforce. But my last job in the US was all-consuming, often upwards of 60 hours per week and on-call most of the rest of the time. It was a matter of reading to keep up on technology and I ended up enjoying that so much that I didn’t make room for anything else. (It is strangely possible to love even a job that draining!)

    I’ve never been one who defines herself by her job, but I do take a lot of pride and perhaps spend too much concentration on the things I excel at. Pleasure reading wasn’t necessary in that realm, and it’s taken a long time to not feel odd about the pampering act of reading non-techy stuff again.

    As the daughter of a psychologist (some things do rub off πŸ˜‰ ) I do see where you could attempt to apply particular patterns to behaviour, however, I don’t have any reason to believe or hope that reading can ‘make me smarter,’ although I can say my career in tech would’ve been much shorter without reading! πŸ˜‰ I can have my horizons broadened, but I’ve never strived to nudge up my IQ by reading the latest Iain Banks. Nope, me and my IQ are happy campers, but at least now I feel like, through reading for pleasure, I’m taking my brain on a date to the spa for a mental salt scrub. That’s a good feeling. πŸ™‚

    Acceptance (self or from others) hasn’t ever been much of an issue for me, outside of an ADD flare-up here and there. I may not be liked by everyone, but I do like myself, flaws n’ all.

    (And now I’m off for a curl-up with the TC Boyle book I’m devouring and a tasty glass of Chilean Merlot…)

  5. I’d love to see the infomercial where you got your degree in psychiatry Geoff πŸ˜‰
    And books may not be able to boost your IQ but they can make you smarter. (You just have to read decent books!)

    So who’s your favorite author Jen? What TC Boyle book are you reading?

  6. Hi Alan- welcome to my blog! πŸ˜€
    (and be nice to the other folks leaving comments please)

    I’m reading Tooth and Claw by TC Boyle right now. It’s a book of short stories. I don’t think I can name a favourite author just yet, but I’ll let you know. (probably in a blog post)

  7. Iβ€šΓ„ΓΆ?Γ‘?Β₯d love to see the infomercial where you got your degree in psychiatry Geoff

    Can’t you tell that I eat cornflakes? πŸ˜€

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