Date Tags life

I haven't been reading as much this year as in past years.

I don't have the numbers on it, but I definitely feel like I'm reading less. I'm becoming the stereotypical middle-aged male that Le Guin wrote about in Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons?—not reading fiction because I'm too busy with serious matters.

Of course, it's not quite that. Reading is a serious matter, but there have been some changes which mean I get less of an opportunity.

Probably the biggest is that I'm rising earlier and going to bed earlier, and so I don't lie in bed reading for hours as I used to. I like this change. The mornings are quiet, and a rare time for me to be alone. Using that time to read scripture & pray has been the best thing I've done in an age.

Getting up earlier also enables me to get some regular exercise in, which keeps my energy and mood on keel, which makes life a lot easier. But it's hard to read a novel while you're deadlifting.

The only other reading time left is on the tube, but there I've been doing the crossword rather than dipping into a book.

And then, I'm doing a job that I find pretty challenging. I'm doing a lot of reading up on management and processes and companies and organizing engineers, and a lot of that literature is just badly written, which makes working through it a slog. Even when it's well written, it's hard to push myself to read work stuff at the end of the day.

The result is I have about ten books in progress, which sucks. Back when I had a physical Kindle (hah), I used to practice a kind of kanban with my books. The software version makes it kind of tricky to do the same thing.

And partly, I don't have many fiction books I want to read. In June, I reread Master and Commander because I wanted something joyful and substantial, and I'd read all of Lois McMaster Bujold's works too recently to reread them. Most of my favourite authors are between books right now, and no one I trust is warmly recommending a good read to me.

I'm sure this is temporary: reading has been a constant in my life, and a joy I've returned to again and again. But precisely because it has been so constant, I feel less like myself for its absence.