How do I do it?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

A commenter, Sheri Dye from ReadBetwixtWords , after my last post with read and enjoyed asks “You read all of these? In April?.. Iā€™m so jealous! šŸ˜‚”

The answer popping into my head would be much too long for the comment box so I promised a post.

Normally I would read while eating my breakfast but this subject was much too engaging. Every second was spent thinking of all the things I wanted to say in reply.

So, how do I do it? Well, it’s complicated but not a bad thing. I have to say that because my first response to the question puts a big smile on my face, I think it’s pretty funny and I LOVE reading. When I think about it from the listener’s perspective, though, it sounds pathetic.

I am, for the most part, happy with my life. Even if I could do things differently I probably wouldn’t.

There are two major contributing factors to my lifestyle. I’m an introvert and I’m a survivor with hermit tendencies. Translated that means I have major trust issues. Home is safe so I stay home. A lot. I venture out several times a month, maybe. It’s covid, where would I go anyway? lol To be honest, life looks about the same for me now as it did pre-covid. Really, there’s nothing new to see here.

So, we’ve established, I have no life and it’s just me. My life can be ordered however I like and if I choose reading over housework no one complains.

On the realistic side though, I do still have a job and I’m grateful. It adds purpose to my life and gives me contact with the outside world, limited though it may be. I work remotely and spend all of my working time online.

Aside from my job and must-do things to keep myself alive and comfortable, I can do pretty much whatever I want.

So, how do I read so many books?

First of all, no TV. I didn’t watch it anyway and let the subscription go.

I read every second I’m not compelled to be doing something else. I’m addicted, what can I say.

On average I read a book a day. Some don’t really take all that long. For others I’ve developed some habits and learned some tricks.

I try to keep moving. It’s easy to drop back to a stroll when it should be a quick-step. If a book turns out to be the one where every word needs to be read, I give it the respect it deserves and slow down to savor the experience. Not many books are like that though.

Then there are the choices of speed reading or skimming.

Speed reading, I try but don’t use it much as it’s not often that I need to remember everything I’ve just read.

Skimming, I let my eyes quickly run down the middle of the page and at the bottom ask myself “Did I miss anything important?” If no then I keep going like that until a page shows up that deserves a closer look. Practice makes this an effective tool.

There are some things I flat out do not read.

Detailed descriptions of all kinds. What people are wearing. Surroundings. Some scenes between characters. Now and then a description sets the stage for future actions but mostly they do not. It takes more effort than I care to give for me to visualize whatever it is.

I avoid thought patterns and conversations. Sometimes the story is fixated on internal struggles and the same narrative happens over and over. Not worth my time to read it over and over.

Hop, skipping, jumping.

If the story moves slowly, I’ll skip paragraphs, pages and finally chapters. I’ll hop ahead a chapter, or two or three, at a time, stopping long enough to see what’s happening. Not much? Move on. Something? Stay awhile. If things are really bad I’ll jump to the last chapter or two where there is generally a story summary.

I love to read slowly and savor a book, if it deserves that kind of treatment. Honestly, most often they do not. There’s nothing wrong with giving it time if that’s what you want and at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with hurrying on through.

To read a book a day, I have to remind myself I don’t have time to sit and chat, I have to keep moving.

In a way this has become like a job to me. If I want to have something to say on this blog everyday I have to put in the time. If I download books and want to know about authors I’ve not read I have to find ways to keep up.

To summarize, if you want to read like I do: have no life and do not read every word.

It’s not perfect by any means but I love my life.

So, that’s how I do it!

And that picture? Totally me, sitting at my table for hours on end šŸ™‚

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