Monday, February 15, 2016

A Dilemma: How to Read More Books Part II

Yesterday I talked about how I feel like I don't really read books anymore. Today you must be wondering; "What do you do to fix that, Lucy Rose? Is there anything we poor folks can do about this epidemic of de-literacy?" Well, I do think that reading is going down the tubes globally, but I will deign to tell you what I have been doing about it in my own life.

1. Designate a Reading Time
At the beginning of the school year I gave myself the treat of waking up at 7 and eating breakfast while reading a "free reading" book. In the third grade we called the time immediately after class D.E.A.R or Drop Everything And Read. We would have the lights dimmed and we would lounge around all over the classroom and read whatever we wanted. It was my absolute favourite part of the day. I designated my breakfast time as Non-School Book Time. N.S.B.T is the college-level version of D.E.A.R. College students like to distance themselves from babyish acronyms that spell out words of endearment and prefer more grown-up letter combos like B.G.C. (Billy Graham Center) or O.M.D (Office of Multicultural Development) or D.T.R (Define The Relationship).

2. Take a Book Everywhere You Go
I have also been carrying my books around with me again, like I used to do before college. I slip my NSB into my bag and take it out in at lunch in the dining hall or while I am waiting for class to start.

3. Minimise Phone Time and TV
Now that I no longer use a smart phone I have found that I reach for a book more often. I used to reach for my phone in the bathroom or while waiting in line, but now I don't have that time filler available to me. I also have more time now that I don't have Netflix.

4. Read on the Toilet
I put non-school books is the bathroom. I leave more light-hearted ones in there like this one that I received as a gift from a dear friend's mother. I can easily dip in and out of books like that without loosing my place in the narrative. Earlier in the year I actually read the entirety of this book by only reading it during bathroom sessions. Impressive, I know.

5. Read For Fun
I have given myself permission to read froufrou books. That means books that won't impress anyone in my literature classes or the fancy dinner parties Sheldon and I are always getting invited to. I have also given myself permission to reread old favourites. In moments of quiet I have been taking lovely sips of Middlemarch, which I read in high school. Sheldon and I have also been reading some of our childhood favourites like The Series of Unfortunate Events, Finn Family Moomintroll and The Trolls. This helps if reading has become a chore, like with me and school readings.

The gist of all this is that I have been surrounding myself with more books lately. I have purposefully been putting them into parts of my life. By making them easily accessible I have made myself more likely to dip into them. I hope these help you. I hold a deep belief in the good of reading. I believe it was what kept me sane during my years of the Czech post-communist school system. I also believe it is what helped me get into college!

But more on that later...

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