Good Morning. The last few months I've not been writing, I thought that would give me more time for reading. When I was living at the beach, long before Monster, even though I worked three or more jobs at the same time, I always had a book in my hand. I could probably get through 4 or 5 a week.
You would think because I stopped writing, I would have more time to read. You would think with real life finally under control I would have time to relax on the couch with a good book. And I'd recently bought a book by a favorite author that I've been dying to sink my teeth into.
Usually when I find myself with free time, there's always something else to do, you know what I mean... clean the clutter off the sideboard. Put the things that have been sitting on the stairs away. Straighten out Monster's bedroom -- again.
But one day I found that all that was done. I had even started the dishwasher. I actually had TRUE free time.
And I turned on the tv. And I sat and watched Castle reruns for two hours.
Why didn't I read the book? I asked myself that a million times since. Because you know I haven't found a spare moment since.
It was just too hard.
What? Since when is reading hard? I've been reading books since I was 4. It wasn't as if the book I wanted to read was a comparative dissertation on Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. It was a quick women's fiction, only 235 pages. And I liked her first book, so I was sure I'd like this one.
Then why did I sit on the couch and waste two hours watching Nathan Fillion? (Well, yeah, because hey, it's Nathan Fillion). But more importantly, it was mindless. I didn't have to pay attention. I'd seen it before.
In reading that book, I would have had to engage my brain. Fire the synapses to make connections with my inner self -- memory, vocabulary, imagination. First, I would have to THINK. Second, I would probably have inner edited. Putting that aside for the moment, third, I would have felt incredibly guilty that I wasn't writing. Inner deadlines, you know.
I miss reading. I really do. I miss letting myself go into another world, miss meeting new people (characters) who are different from me. I miss spending time in other places. Places I might never go. That I don't have to research.
Which I guess is the reason why I watch television. It's easy. You just have to sit and watch. You don't have to think. In the seconds you SEE something, your brain registers it. There's really no thinking involved.
When you read, you have to figure out what the author meant when she describes the wind whispering in between the window casing. Or the color between turquoise and teal. When you watch tv, it's right there in front of you. Your imagination is not engaged. There's nothing hard about watching television. Just plop your butt in the chair and turn it on.
Tell me -- Do you read more or less than you used to?
Anne Gallagher (c) 2013