Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How to be a Reader in a Busy World

Last night was like most nights. I got home, threw my keys somewhere (tomorrow's excitement), and made some highly-questionable microwave meal. (Not dead yet.) I buckled-down to do some work, and then--because this is America with the twenty-hour workday--I made a caffeinated beverage to stay awake only to keep working even more.

Basically, on busy days at around midnight, this is me:

Hot mess.

Don't get me wrong: I don't mind being busy. I am one of those personality types who crave to be busy. This is healthy for me, mentally and physically. But everyone is different, and it's important to think about where you lie on this spectrum, and to adjust your lifestyle accordingly.

However, when it comes to us busy people, we run into the same problems.

One of them I hear all of the time is: "Oh, I just don't have time to read."

Now, it's important to remember there are some people who truly love to read, and mean this. Then, to be frank, there are the "Good-Intentioned-Impostor Readers."

"Oh, I wish I had time to read, MD," they tell me. "That would be so nice."

Me: Mom, you haven't cracked open a book since 1972.

With that in mind, here are my tips for being a reader with a demanding lifestyle. These are small life changes you can make to get you back on the track to being a vivacious reader.

1. Audiobooks: I cannot praise this medium enough. You can listen to an audiobook on your commutes (after downloading it to an ipod, or ipad), or you can simply listen to audio CD's in the car. Have kids? Even better. LISTEN, KIDS. J.K. ROWLING IS READING. TO YOU. 

And please, check out audiobooks from the library. I'm not just saying this because I'm paid to do it. Audiobooks are expensive!

(And if you are new to audiobooks, can I recommend readers with accents? Preferably a British accent?)

(I'm sure you...understand.)

2.  Rework Wasted Time: Do you have a boring meeting you need to attend that permits laptops? Have a dry lecture coming up where you can use an ipad? I am not being the devil's advocate, but as the devil, last time I checked, life is short and there are many wonderful books out there. Do yourself a favor: instead of tweeting while at these tedious ordeals, explore the universe through books.

3. Chose a Different Reading Medium: Can't carry around a physical book with you throughout the day? I would recommend uploading an ebook to your phone, kindle, or other device you do have. During your dead-time, you will have a book at the ready. Huzzah!

After all, most classic literature exists in publicly available, free PDF's online, like with Project Gutenburg. 

And yes, our library offers ebooks, too. Call us up or dive on in to figure out how to use our eMedialibrary.

4. Set Priority: 

If you are a structured type of person, allow time within your schedule specifically for reading. Nothing else. Schedule a short amount of time each day that is your time. Whether it be 15 extra minutes you stay up every night, or you need to wake up earlier in the morning, you will be a better, more world-aware individual for reading.

5. Adventure Out to Read: Busy people often have to balance a great deal of stress. Take time to venture out to a specific place where you only have the goal of reading. This can be the library *slow, awkward librarian wink*, a coffee shop, a forest preserve, or any other place where you can have enough quiet and focus. This will do wonders for stress, as well.


Ah. That is all I have for today, folks.

Now, if you'll excuse me, Halloween City closes soon. I need to get some limbs and coffins for the Halloween book display.

Be Well, Busy Reader,