"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." Stephen King.
When I read this quote, from my favourite childhood author, it gave me hope. I read everything I could get my hands on as a kid, in particular all of Stephen King's eerie books. As the writer of six books, I figure I've probably read about a thousand for each one written. I've moved 17 times, and every time it's been torture for me to figure out which books to toss, and which to keep. I love books.
So when I was invited to attend the launch of the first ever Kobo book, back in 2009, I was equal parts skeptical and excited. How could I give up the turn of the page, the weight of the book, for this weirdly glowing tablet? But I did. And I've seen this e-reader get better and better, leading up to their latest Kobo Glo .The best part? With an e-library, I get to keep my books, without spending a fortune in moving boxes.
I read, on average, five books a week. More if I'm on long plane rides. As someone who travels at least twice a month, I used to be the person who had the hardcover library book in my carry-on bag. With three more in my suitcase. I think that when an airline charges you baggage fees they should deduct money for each book which is taking up space. I had to switch to an e-reader to avoid strain on my muscle or venturing into the dreaded check bag territory.
Five books a week? For some of you, this is nothing spectacular. But many of my friends are shocked that I can get through so many. "I wish! I simply don't have the time," many of them say. The real trick is, to know when to switch from one screen to another, and to always have reading material with you.
If you've binge watched even one Netflix series, you've had time to read. If you've been on Facebook scrolling through posts from a month ago, you've had time to read. And if you've spent more than five minutes taking a selfie, and then another ten minutes adding filters and thinking up hashtags and captions, you've had time...well you know where I'm going with this.
Don't get me wrong; I'm on social media a lot. But I take reading breaks when I can, and with the size of my e-reader, I always have an entire library in my purse with me when I'm stuck waiting at a doctor's office, at a child's boring lesson, or for that really great but really always late friend we all have.
But where do you find the time if you don't want to give up anything you're doing right now? A recent New York Times article "The Busy Person's Lies', by Laura Vanderkam found that by simply tracking her time in half hour increments, she had spent more time sleeping, with her four children, or exercising than she had thought. Like many people, she overestimated her working, or "busy" hours. Generally, she surmised, we remember our busiest week and use that as a baseline.
Time track your reading for a week and see what you can fit it in. This challenge, of course, will only appeal to those of you who say you wish you had the time to read more. So you can write more.
Follow Kathy Buckworth on Twitter: www.twitter.com/KathyBuckworth