Posted by: faultlessfinish | November 28, 2011

Reading For Fun

I’m easily distracted. Not when I’m working, mind you, but in my leisure time. And I don’t think it’s just me. A few weeks ago, I went to an editing workshop. One of the first things the presenter taught us is that people on average today like to read twenty-word sentences. We need everything broken down into small, manageable chunks of material or we’ll lose interest.

When I read articles online, I’m guilty of this as well. If I see long paragraphs and multiple pages, I’m much more likely to skip the article and find one that looks easier to read. This trend seems to encapsulate our society as a whole. We fly through activities at warp speed, always searching for something more interesting, more exciting, more profitable.

The other day I went to meet a friend for coffee in the late afternoon. As I walked, I couldn’t shake a feeling of irritability. By the time I met my friend, I realized what was wrong. I told her, “I think I’m on stimulation overload. I haven’t had a face-to-face conversation with anyone all day, just several text messages. My phone has been beeping and flashing non-stop. I also checked Facebook way too many times out of pure boredom. And I spent most of my day glued to my computer, reading articles that I thought would be useful for growing my business too fast to really comprehend.” She said she knew exactly how I felt.

So the next day, I found an article that looked really interesting but would serve no purpose in furthering my business. I read it slowly and took in all the information. I truly enjoyed it and took the time to craft a thoughtful response to the author. We need to take time to indulge our passions, to move more slowly. I’ve always loved reading, but I often feel guilty if I spend too much time reading something just for the pure pleasure of it.

Yesterday, I indulged in a gentle yoga class — an hour and a half of deep stretching, deep breathing, and slow movements. And again, at first I felt guilty. “I should be sweating more. This doesn’t count as a real yoga class in the 35-day challenge, does it?” But this morning I can feel the benefits of that class. There really is something to be said for slowing down and savouring the moment.

Right now, I’m reading I’m With the Band by Pamela Des Barres for fun (ah, rock ‘n’ roll memoir – my favourite!). Are you reading for fun right now? What are you reading? Or what passions do you want to indulge in again that you’ve forgotten about in the flurry of our fast-paced society?

Namaste 🙂

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Responses

  1. So true! I love to read fiction and over the past few months started realizing that I had been telling myself that I didn’t have time for fiction, that any reading I was doing really ought to be related to yoga, psychology, coaching, health or wellbeing, and that there just wasn’t any room for anything but non-fiction. As soon as I realized I was telling myself this I promptly got right back into fiction reading, and now both categories of books have found their place again on my bedside table! (ps have you got into the Game of Throne books?? so addictive….!)

    • So great to hear, Adrienne! And no, I haven’t. Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  2. Awe, it’s like you’re speaking about my life exactly – god knows i don’ EVER take the time to breathe.
    A lesson I definitely need to learn sooner than later.

  3. Thanks for reading Kristen! I hope you can find the time very soon 🙂 January, perhaps…?

  4. I have been having this issue too! I blame Good Reads (OK it’s not really their fault, but I like to pretend it is). I took on a book-a-week challenge for myself, and a few months ago I realized I was reading for quantity, not quality. It made me step back and start reading whatever I pleased (even if it wouldn’t count as a book [i.e. literary journals]). But, as I have been reading blog posts this morning, I’ve been guilty of skimming. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Thanks, Carrie! Glad to hear you have been reading for pleasure again 🙂 I’ve never heard of Good Reads – interesting idea!

  6. This makes so much sense, and I couldn’t agree more. Social networking promotes the bursts of information. My husband says he can always tell when I’ve been on Twitter a lot because I don’t finish my sentences — maybe I can’t talk in more than 140-character bursts (do you think that’s about a 20 word sentence? I wonder!). Right now I’m working on the second draft of a novel, and during my writing sessions, if I’m feeling tired or unproductive, I start to read: either a short story or the novel I’m currently reading. It almost always rejuvenates me! Such a great post!

  7. Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words, Julia. And what a great idea to read when feeling unproductive! Just get back to the basics.

  8. […] Reading For Fun […]


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