Off Balance

I read 10 books in November. I knew I had been reading a lot, but the number surprised me when I added them all up. Reading books is good, right? I've usually thought so and I've spent most of my life proudly identifying myself as a reader. However, a few years ago I was talking with a therapist and he asked me what hobbies I had. "I read," I responded. "What else?" he asked. I was surprised--isn't reading good? Isn't it virtuous? Aren't I better person because I read a lot? Well, as he gently pointed out, even reading can be a problem if it is being used as an escape from life or when it crowds out other more important things. Sometimes reading is best, but sometimes it's just good and there might be something better.

I realized that this was what happened last month. Many of those books were finished in the wee hours of the night when I should have been sleeping. Or during other times when I should have been doing other things. I set a goal last month to get to bed at a reasonable hour in order to get sufficient sleep, and I didn't meet that goal any night in a month. That's a problem; insufficient sleep wreaks havoc with the rest of my life. As much as I love reading, I also am realizing that I need to make room for other things like being well-rested, being patient with my kids, exercising, completing my school things on time, and so on.

So I think one of my New Year's resolutions will be to read fewer books. Weird, I know. But this will take more willpower than many other things I could do. I want to try more things and to diversify my life more. We'll see how it goes.


Jenny said…
Amen. This is my goal also.
rantipoler said…
Everything is moderation, I suppose. Although there are MANY vices that are way worse than excessive reading. :)
Dovie said…
I read blogs including yours when I need to escape. Moderation is a good thing but sometimes so is escape. ;)

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