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lack of reading

August 24, 2017

i try to set myself a goodreads book challenge every year (and i use goodreads because it makes me accountable, because it’s all tracked online and other people can see it). most years, i aim for 25-30 books, which seems like a lot to me. but then i see people on twitter doing #95books. NINETY-FIVE BOOKS IN A YEAR. if you read a lot of poetry, this would be absolutely doable. but novels? i’d have to put my nose to the grindstone and really work hard at hitting the goal, and for me… i’m not sure that would be pleasurable. i want to read when i want to read, not because i feel obligated to.

which brings me to the main point: i’ve barely read anything this year. i’m so behind on my reading challenge, and my little goodreads ticker on the right side of this blog has been woefully un-updated. i just don’t have the urge. which is weird for me. but i also figure that i’m doing so much writing that my written-word reserves might be tapped, and so my brain doesn’t want me to pick up a heavy novel and dive into it.

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this is something i’ve found, working in news. i read all day, every day. i get into work and open up a story and just go, non-stop, from there. if i’m not copy-editing, i’m proofing pages. if i’m not proofing, i’m designing pages and working with words. it’s completely word-oriented work, and i’m good at it, and i like it, but it also means that i never get onto the subway after work and want to crack open a book. usually, i have a headache and dry eyes from squinting at a screen for eight hours straight. it’s often preferable to put on a podcast and close my eyes for the 30-minute ride. factor in my own writing, and my own editing, and i’m a word wreck.

it’s a bit distressing, not wanting to read and having lost the urge to. i have books by good friends just sitting on my bedside table. i bought them to support people i love, but now i can’t join the conversation because i’m lazy/tired/sapped/tapping out because of all the words that i deal with in other aspects of my life.

but i think i just need to let and let god. im writing. im writing my brains out. i’m editing my own work in the mornings and im going to work and editing globe and mail writers’ work all night. all day every day, im involved with words. i think i just have to trust that once the book edits are done, i’ll rebound. or maybe, if writing books becomes my life, i’ll have to learn how to adapt, how to be able to read vociferously like i used to while still writing my own words. i think it’s a journey, and so far, my first few steps haven’t been great. but maybe i’ll just trust that it’ll all even out and, some way down the road, i’ll be carting big books around on the subway again.

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