{05/01/2013}   When to read a book

Some friends seem to get through loads of books; I have been reading my current book for almost three months.  I had planned to read yesterday, in fact to finish the book I am enjoying but haven’t managed to finish.  The problem is, I am more likely to have free time in the evening but I have never been able to read at night time because as soon as I start, I feel sleepy and can’t continue.  Yes, I have occasionally read a “holiday read” type book and stayed awake until the small hours reading it, but I resent those books as I do not devour them because they are well written, I devour them because they appeal to (usually) my “romantic” side, ie, yes, chick lit!

I optimistically took two books, one I want to read and my current book, Under the Glacier, to Iceland, thinking how nice it would be to finish reading the latter in the country where it’s set.  I read about 20 pages on the train home and that was it.  I don’t like to read in the morning, probably when I most want to read, because I know I could sit and read for hours.  By about 3pm it’s a pointless activity as I will fall asleep.  So I usually read on trains, but for the past few months I’ve had other things to do on my commute, from writing Christmas cards to a few writing projects.  On the way home, I often end up reading the Evening Standard.  I can read on a train at night time as I know I have to stay awake.

So how come some people, even people far busier than me, can get through a few books a month?  I guess part of my problem is that I can only read in silence, so if I were in a room with a television or radio on, I couldn’t read a book; I could read a magazine though.  I also can’t read on short journeys as my memory is so rubbish that I have to re-read at least the previous page to get back into it and this takes time I don’t have on shorter travel chunks.  Plus, I cannot read standing up on a train or tube.  Sometimes I get a coffee in the morning before work.  I could read then, but it’s too short a time and I can’t concentrate enough in a cafe.

So when is my book going to get read?  I had planned to read more at lunch time yesterday but that didn’t happen as I found things I deemed more important to do.  But I do actually think that reading is important and I should make more time for it.  In fact, one of my new year resolutions is to read at least a book a month.  I am sure I used to read way more than that so it should be achievable.  I envy people who can read before bed and who say it helps them fall asleep.  I don’t need any help falling asleep as I usually get into bed, fidget a bit and fall asleep.

I think this year I will keep a record of all the books I read.  In fact I am really looking forward to it, especially now that I have a shelf full of books I want to read.  But 12 books over a years seems a pathetically small number.  I clearly need a beach holiday!


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