Since I’ve been a little sick recently and spent a lot of time around the apartment, I decided to straighten up a little bit and throw out some stuff that I didn’t need cluttering up my spacious Manhattan apartment. Several books that didn’t make the cut are going to be dropped off on the windowsill in the lobby in case someone else would enjoy reading short stories and poems that I read in high school, The Soul of a Butterfly by Muhammed Ali, or The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy.
It was during this clean-up session that I noticed something that disturbed me. Next to my nightstand, on the floor, was a pile of about eight to ten books. This pile was of books that were on the short list to read, or worse, were already started and set aside for something else. Once I saw this pile, I realized that something drastic needed to be done.
My problem when it comes to reading books is that I don’t have a lot of time to do so. Most people I know read during their commute. Since I walk to and from work, that’s not really an option for me. In general, the only time I read is after I get into bed, right before I go to sleep. Since I generally go to bed when I’m dead tired and can’t stay awake anymore, I only get about two minutes of read time before nodding off. If I get two pages read before giving up, it’s a good reading session.
Yesterday, I decided to change that. I’m going to try a new attitude as it applies to going to bed and reading. First of all, I’m going to attempt to get at least 15 minutes, but more preferably 30 minute, of reading each night that it’s possible (i.e. if the room is spinning due to alcohol, then reading is not only not possible, it could be dangerous). This also means that I will need to head in to bed before I’m dead tired and nodding off in the living room.
Secondly, I will not start a new book until I have finished the current book. There will be exceptions to this rule, such as when a book needs to be read by a certain time, for example, for work, or when a particularly tough book hits a major section break.
I started my new plan last night, and I enjoyed over 20 pages of Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut before closing my eyes and dreaming of whatever it is that I dream about.