Never have I claimed to be a voracious reader. That would be my daughter! How could two lousy comprehension slow readers produce a kid who reads everything she can get her hands on? And if she can’t find it, she writes it! It simply astonishes me.
No, I am the plod along, always distracted (multi-task, moi?!) eventually I will slog through it, reader. My worst nightmare would be to belong to a book club where I have to be accountable and actually read an entire book in a prescribed amount of time! And y’all who continue to recommend books to me? Ha, you have no clue how long that list is!!!
Several years ago, in a move of supreme ingenuity, I stopped downloading books to my Kindle, which actually served as a holding space for someday I might actually read this. Now I simply save money & titles to my wish list, which is really a giant virtual post-it of stuff I want to remember but likely never will actually do that. The Kindle initially was a great invention for people like me. It ended the visual guilt trip of a stack of books purchased but not read. Out of sight and all that jazz!
A few years back I tried as one of my new year’s goals, to read for 30 mins a day. It started out great for about a week, then went the way of the weekly plank pose. I can have incredible self discipline in what I eat but don’t even think of trying to get me to read daily!
Wasn’t technology supposed to lessen the paperwork load? Whatever happened to that idea? No, I am drowning in stuff I need to read. At this very moment, there are catalogs from three exhibits I have work juried into. This is a good problem to have, and much easier to read as they are very visual; i.e. looking at pretty pictures which goes so much faster than a novel. There are three magazines, as in who subscribes to magazines anymore?! Apparently I do. I canceled my Mother Jones subscription, even though I love the articles, mainly because I just don’t have time to read them. Because for me, reading also means comprehending! If I am multi-tasking, which I most often am, the message gets lost.
I still get the digital morning version of the NY Times but often skip half of those articles. I tried to cancel my subscription which is next to impossible. One has to speak to a live person, who then tries to offer you the world to stay. I have failed that test twice. There are the endless things to read about plastic pollution, a cause dear to my heart. I have taken to bookmarking most of those for that time when I really want to read them, like never! And there is the barely started and then stalled Isabel Wilkerson’s Warmth of Other Suns. I knew it was a fluke that I breezed through Caste. I read that book last winter, in less than a month’s time, which is a new record for me. And I started this one with great gusto; then life and art intervened and what can I say…stalled again.
I guess that is really the answer to the ‘problem’ right there. I can either make art or I can read, but my brain cannot accommodate both, simultaneously. So I read enough to gather research for new work and then I move on. Someone sent me a volunteer manual to proof. Yeah, that isn’t happening. I tried until I realized it is not in my job description as a volunteer to proof documents! I just have too many other things I need to read. Get in line…
I do read the really important things, like prospectus (prospectii?) for exhibits and shipping instructions, etc. In fact I am doing that now, while also researching for new work. If it truly interests me, I manage to find the time and motivation!