I have four bookcases with 600 books. They range from a history of the bible to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson via Marx and bridges. From Roald Dahl to Jose Saramago through Hugo and Melville. Like everything else in my life there is an eclectic mix of topics. Also like everything else they are just sitting there collecting dust.
I was once able to set myself a target of reading fifteen books a year, and could achieve that. A combination of plenty of alone time and a comfortable toilet seat meant I could power through a book in a week or so. Now I seem to take an age just to get through a chapter. I love reading, but what can I do to read more?
I used to try and read on the train to work but what happens when I reach my destination and I haven’t finished? How can I be expected to put it away to wait half a day before I can find out what happened? This is why I can’t read Game of Thrones on the locomotive, I would go sailing by my stop and spend an evening going up and down the rail network.
First thing in the morning is not that conducive to doing mental tasks, especially those that require visual acuity to do. My eyes and brain are too tired to fully process the words on a page. Considering tome in my satchel is “The signal and the noise”, about using big data to forecast events, then I may just call this a losing battle.
Perhaps I should read at night before I go to sleep, but reading excites me. Whether it is because I’m reading an enjoyable novel or an interesting piece of nonfiction having a glance at a book at night only wakes me up. I suppose I could try something less exciting, or boring, but do you know what they call those books… Man Booker prize winners. I’m looking at you Life of Pi, a book so boring it makes me angry I even read the back cover blurb.
Seriously, don’t bother with Life of Pi.
It should be good sleep hygiene to turn off a screen and pick up the sheets of paper that don’t burn into your brain and keep you awake. Yet I’m slowly buying more and more digital books just so the next time I move I don’t have to pack them all up.
Just like the train ride, I also don’t want to reach a point where the book is smashing into my face because I’m too tired to stop reading an exciting part. The stress of a Red Wedding is not the ideal preparation for a good night’s sleep.
So now the only time I get to read is around 7pm when the Feliciraptor goes to bed and she gets her bedtime story. I’ve already read The Tiger that came to Tea and Dr Seuss so instead I’m going to read some of my own books, I have a rather interesting one on quantum physics and the latest Game of Thrones that I’m still working on. It will be a very strange childhood for them.