Ah, an entire month on vacation in Santa Fe! I envisioned long, lazy, quiet days with one of the 15 thick tomes I brought along. They’d been piled up on one of my bedroom bookcases for a very long time and I couldn’t wait to dig into them.
I’ve always been an avid reader. Lost in my books, I never heard my mother calling me to set the table or eat dinner. I could read one in a day, sometimes even two. Books were my love and my escape, and they stayed that way for a long time. A very long time.
But then, the internet came along and tempted me away from my love affair with books. Oh, there was so much to do with my new love, the internet. Social media ensured a constant stream of real-life diversion, sometimes mindless. Not always, but a lot of the time. Not to mention my smartphone and the girlfriend who got me addicted to DOTS. Did I say Solitaire? And we got a DVR! No need to search for a show On Demand, I could just tape it and binge watch TV shows. And I did.
I abandoned reading, for the most part. My pile of books grew and grew, silently nagging at me to abandon the shallow stranger and get back to my first love. I would do it in Santa Fe, I thought. Carefully unpacking and stacking my stash of books on the rental home’s shelf, I was anxious to crack them open and escape into the waiting words.
I didn’t. Not a single one. Instead, I hung out with friends. I wrote. I watched the DVR. I walked Riley. I cooked. I even ordered more books. Yes, I did.
I did everything but read and the books came home with me, pristine, unopened, dead weight in the car.
Basta! (That means “enough!” in Italian.) I miss my true love, books! So I decided to designate one full day a week as Reading Day. A Thursday was my first Reading Day, but it might be any day of the week. It just depends on my schedule. I’ve established rules for Reading Day, too:
The hours of 8am to 5pm on Reading Day are to be devoted to reading. Nothing else.
I don’t schedule lunch with a friend that day. I don’t see Hot Trainer. Or look at the DVR before dinner. No blogging. No hanging out on Facebook. No freelance writing that day. I don’t prepare a meal or grocery shop or run errands. No. I read. And read.
It’s on the calendar each week so it has the weight of any other scheduled event.
Like any relationship, this one has to be nurtured, I realized, or it won’t survive. The path of least resistance, the passive path, is to sit in front of the computer all day.
I’m back to reading.
I love books. I love reading. I love it so much I’m devoting one full day to it every single week. And if it works out well, I may add another day, you never know.
I’d love your thoughts.