The first weekend of November, I hosted an All Hallow’s Eve party and one of the fun activities during the party was a white elephant exchange. You know…when everyone brings a wrapped gift, picks a number and the gifts are opened/stolen in number order. Well, for this particular exchange I asked my guests to bring a ‘spooky book’ and a beverage to go with it, so basically a ‘book & booze’ exchange. So, I wrapped up one of my favorite books, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss and bought a bottle of gin to go with it. Since the book takes place in Victorian England, a bottle of Bombay gin (with the image of Queen Victoria on the label) seemed like a perfect pairing! Anyway, in the midst of our gift exchange we starting discussing reading and someone asked me how many books I had read this year. I casually replied that I’d read about 85 books so far this year (while that number blew away my guests, I am still so far behind Hannah’s number that I have NO CHANCE of winning The Book War 2021…such is life). Of course the obvious next question from my guests was…
Where do you find the time?
In my case, there are a few big things that allow me time to read as well as a number of small things that contribute to my ability to devote time to reading. The first big thing is my job. Since I am an adjunct professor, I am basically paid and expected to read in order to continue learning and to stay up-to-date on new ideas/philosophies within my areas of expertise and since I love reading theology, social justice, and history this is definitely a win-win situation for me! The second big thing is that I work from home which means that I can curl-up in my reading chair whenever I get my work done and no one is around to distract me from my book. 😉
There are also a number of little things that make it possible for me to read 100 books a year (hopefully)! George and I do not have children so we are not busy with the myriad of kid’s activities that many adults find themselves engaged in on a regular basis. We also tend towards being ‘homebodies’ on the weekends, especially since the pandemic, which has certainly freed up time for reading. Finally, as both Hannah and George will tell you, if I could throw the tv out the window and never have to watch/pay for crappy television ever again, I absolutely would! Now, that being said, there are many shows that I thoroughly enjoy and watch repeatedly but in general I have a hate-hate relationship with television. However, I should mention that I do love football and many hours get sucked away watching the Iowa State Cyclones and the Philadelphia Eagles…mostly lose. 🙁
Finding time to do the things we love is always a challenge. Life is full of distractions, both good and bad, and before we realize it another year has passed! Life can be crazy, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, and I can honestly say that reading has been an essential component in maintaining my own mental health and wellbeing over the past two years and most likely will continue to be in the years to come.
Read on my friends!