Booking Through Thursday: A Time to Read?

1. Do you get to read as much as you WANT to read?

Not really, even though I actually have the time. But for almost two years now, I’ve often read less each day than I used to.

One thing that’s slowed my reading is no longer having a pile of subscriptions to newspapers, magazines and literary journals. I can’t afford the subscriptions, and I desperately miss my periodicals.

And unlike some of you, I like actual newspapers and magazines in my hand,  as I like books in my hand. I’m not a Luddite, but the decline of print media distresses me.

Besides being a print journalist at heart, I’m deeply troubled by the decline of the newspaper industry. I think it’s destructive and dangerous. (BookDaddy Jerome Weeks has a nice post on dwindling arts criticism in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.)

Also, the very idea of electronic book readers just makes me cringe.

Another thing that seems to have slowed my reading has been adjusting to marriage with an instant family installed, especially with TVs blaring in almost every room in the house, and kids whining they’re bored. I have to go to our bedroom, shut myself in, and read.

Of course, there’s a TV in our room and its lure is constantly compelling. I’m trying to cut back on the idle TV watching, and hope to do it as football season closes out. (Football is a true addiction.)

Since I’ve gotten married, and since I’ve moved about four times in about a year and a half, I’ve also visited the local library less. The library used to be a source of peace and quiet and access to periodicals.

2. If you had (magically) more time to read–what would you read? Something educational? Classic? Comfort Reading? Escapism? Magazines?

If I had time (read quiet and privacy) and money, I’d renew my newspaper and magazine subscriptions. I especially miss The New Yorker and Harper’s, and occasionally the New York Review of Books. I have these periodicals bookmarked online, but, again, I love being able to sit back and fold pages and read.


4 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: A Time to Read?

  1. Yes, the tv is very compelling and distracting. However, once I decided to watch only shows recorded on dvr, I have a lot more time to read. Hope you find your quiet time.

    Robin of mytwoblessings

    • Robin,
      Thanks for the comment. Actually, as I think about it, much of the distraction comes during my writing time, and it’s something you’d think I’d be used to having worked in a busy newsroom. But perhaps that’s because it’s a different set of distractions that I haven’t gotten used to, and haven’t learned to tune out.

  2. I like having the periodicals in my hand too. I find it hard to focus when I’m reading online — it’s too easy to start skimming and then click on some link and never return. I find magazines make excellent meal-time reading.

    • Dorothy,
      Yes, books and periodicals are difficult to read online. Periodicals, especially, since so many articles have links. Links are great, and yet distracting. You either have to read the whole article, ignoring the links, or interrupt your reading to click the link to see what’s behind it. Of course the same is true for blog posts, which as a blogger, it seems useful to post links in the blog, because linking seems to be a way to gain readership. At the same time, the links, when reading them seem to be distracting. Then again, links seem like bubble wrap. You’re almost compelled to click them like popping the bubbles.

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