I’ve mentioned before that I’m working two jobs. Ironically, when I quit my last second job shortly before I got married, I SWORE I’d never have a second job again. But the perfect situation came up and who am I to turn down work? And not only am I working two jobs, but I recently got a promotion at work that keeps me going so hard that I’m usually there past 5pm (not much, but 15-30 minutes most days).
Before I was pregnant, I took the bus for almost 2 years. I found that I gained a buttload of reading time and I enjoyed not having to worry about driving to and from work, which more than made up for the inconvenience of not having a car at my disposal during the day. But then when I got pregnant, with many more doctor appointments and then the promotion (which came weeks after I found out I was pregnant), I figured it’d be easiest to start driving again.
I lost the reading time that I’d gained by taking the bus.
Now I’m working so much that a typical day looks something like this: 6am Get out of bed and dawdle around the house and check email and then get ready for work. I’m not a morning person so it takes me a while to get moving. Anywhere from 7:30am to 8:00am I’ll leave the house for work. I work from 8am to 5pm, though I usually leave the office closer to 5:15 or 5:30pm. I’ll arrive home between 5:30 and 5:45pm and start making dinner. We eat dinner around 6:30pm or 7pm. Once we’ve eaten, I sit down at my computer to work on TLC. I work on TLC stuff until 10pm or later, at which time I go to bed. That’s my schedule Monday through Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays I get up around 9am and work all day until it’s time to go to bed at 10pm. Of course, I stop for lunch and I shower at some point and some weekends I have to do errands. Otherwise, that’s my schedule.
So to say I don’t have much reading time is an understatement. I try to read at work during lunch, but that happens at best 2 times a week. I insist on reading when I get in bed, but with the kind of schedule I’m keeping, I can only get through a few pages before I zonk out.
I used to think that if you said you didn’t have time to read that that was just bullshit. Now I think it’s possible not to have time to read no matter how much you really want to do it.
But instead of not reading, instead of giving up books for TV or just…nothing, I’ve decided that I need to change my reading habits while I’m in this situation. So the books I’ve decided I’ll read until I’m able to quite my day job (HELLO MARCH 26TH!) have to be exciting, compelling, and unputdownable. So far, those have been mysteries, though the book I’m reading right now, The Bright Forever, actually matches my criteria. Unfortunately, this leaves out books that take some time to develop, books that require a little more effort.
When I first made this choice, I was totally bummed out. My books of choice are literary fiction, and I have no problem with a book that requires more effort and starts off slow. Those books often have the best payout. But with the little snippets of time that I’ve got, with the little amount of energy I have left when I go to bed in the evening, I had to do something. I had to do something that would make it possible for me to continue reading.
So I’ve had to set aside a couple of books that were good but that became burdensome because I could only read a few pages at a time. The good part of this is that I picked up a book I’ve been meaning to read for years and just never got around to.
I’m wondering if you’ve ever experienced a lack of reading time and how you dealt with it. I’d also love your suggestions for books that are, for lack of a better word, compulsively readable. I need books that I don’t want to put down from page one and that make me want to stay up late into the night, no matter how tired I am. Help a girl out?