I read a lot. Anyone who’s spoken to me for more than five minutes or who’s been following this blog for a couple of weeks knows that. There are time I wonder how I get through so many books. Three books in a weekend is normal. I usually manage two during the work week, because I have to pay for my habit some how. But here’s how I do it.
1. I read all the time. After work, I grab some dinner and I read. On the weekend, I fit in chores around chapters. Sometimes I resent it when people ask me out or invite themselves over to my apartment because it cuts into my reading time.
2. I read on an iPad most of the time. I am entirely serious about this, but it turns out I was wasting precious seconds turning pages in print books.
3. I read what I want. I have broad tastes in reading and I don’t stick to a firm “this book, then that one” list. My to-read pile is not an actual list. It’s just a handy well to draw from.
4. I give myself permission to give up on books. I usually give a book fifty pages to hook me. If that doesn’t happen, I stop reading it. It may be that the book isn’t right for me at that time or I’m just not the right reader for it. Either way, there are too many other things for me to read to torture myself by slogging through a book I’m not enjoying. (That said, sometimes you do need to push yourself: “Well, that sucked.”)
There’s a great quote from George R. R. Martin about reading. Martin said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads only lives one.” Apart from being good news for Tyrion Lannister fans, this quote capture what life is like for a dedicated bibliophile. Don’t feel sorry for us. Don’t tell us that we’re missing out. We’re living whole lives, quietly to be sure, but we’re fulfilled.