People are always telling me how great it is that I manage to ‘take out’ time for reading in a busy life, and last week a friend tweeted about me saying ‘She’s on Twitter and still finds time to read books, she’s awesome!’ I replied with a ‘Maybe that’s my superpower haha’ and wondered if it was true. And I am really awesome, no doubt about that, because over the years I have seen how the most crazy readers (people who refused to go out to the malls or for shopping because they had to finish a book) around me have turned into guilty weekend-readers, and yet I have somehow managed to maintain my frequency. Of course thing are different now with independent clients and crazy (I say it in a good way, in case any client reads this) campaigns and a husband who obviously loves me too much to let me sit alone, sipping a coffee and reading a book for more than half an hour – plus there is my so called social life on Twitter which is extremely demanding, among other things, but darlings, where there is a will, there is definitely a way. So for all of you who keep coming back to that pathetic theme of No Time To Read, I’m here to help.
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Here are places and situations where I pick a book and read. Be inspired.
While making and having breakfast. Really. I think it’s pretty easy. If no one else can do it then maybe managing to read is my superpower after all. The thing is, while you fix yourself some quick breakfast, you can easily read a couple of pages of your book. Take for example, when the milk is boiling or when the omelette’s cooking inside the microwave and the coffee is brewing inside the coffee maker – why not pick a book and immerse yourself in the magical fantasy world of Tolkien or Terry Pratchett? So what if your cereal turns a bit soggy or your eggs burn a little, it is all worth it because you are getting some time to read. Ta da!
During mail exchanges. We all work with people who want URGENT mail replies and sometimes we are these people – staring at our screens, tapping our fingers on the table, waiting for that oh-so-important email. To me, this happens at least once every day. But why waste those precious minutes when you can shed the restlessness by digging into some delicious stories by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni or some Nick Hornby and his dry humour. No harm, right? Also keeps your mind off the work stress for a while.
While on the treadmill. Sweating it out on the mechanical bitch? Make it sweet by learning to balance Langston Hughes’s collection of poems against the display and wohoo! Working out was never this fun! I love poetry during my runs because A.) I know it sounds crazy, but it keeps me focused and B.) this combination puts both mind and body at work. Real fun. Um. Okay, if poetry during a workout is not your idea of reading (which is really stupid and I hate you already), then maybe a copy of old Mills and Boons will do the trick for you, if you know what I mean. Now now, don’t you pretend you don’t like them or don’t have any, stashed at the back of your book shelf. I know you’re a fan of ‘real literature’ and you publicly cry at the death of literature whenever someone mentions the good old M&Bs, but come on, you can’t deny its therapeutic qualities!
While watching your favorite show. The show is great and you love it, but why watch the lame commercials when Kazuo Ishiguro is there to sweep you away with his dreamy realism and his emotional tug-at-heart stories? So you miss a few seconds of your show and you feel a little disoriented at the beginning, but you’ll get used to it with some practice. Plus, having to re-read some parts written by your favorite author can’t be that bad, huh? TRY.
Anyway, I work from home now so no one gives a shit if I casually pick up a book during work hours. It’s quite liberating actually, if you compare it with the days when I kept books on my desk, staring lustily at them for hours without a chance to open them and when I finally did get a free moment, I would barely finish a page when my boss emerged out of her cabin asking for this report or that. Phew. But for those of you who are still in that position, ebooks stored on your phone are a brilliant tool. Go install a good app, download your favorite books, read them whenever possible (sutta breaks are perfect) and never ever say I don’t give you any good ideas.