“If a man wants to read good books, he must make a point of avoiding bad ones; for life is short, and time and energy limited.”
I gave up “blooks”, books based on blogs, for Lent, but I made an exception for Tolstoy and the Purple Chair , a memoir of reading a book a day for a year. I simply can’t resist the temptation of reading books about reading books. After losing her beloved sister to cancer, Nina Sankovitch filled her life with activities to escape her grief. After three years of incessant activity she finally stopped, sat down and read a book a day. She discovered that reading is the perfect therapy and that “great good comes from reading great books”. Her blog “ReadAllDay” is illustrated with cozy photos of the author reading mostly “en plein air” and occasionally in the eponymous purple chair or on a sofa.
The shots remind me of the Globe & Mail column “My books my place” which features artists and writers reading in their favourite spots from penthouse condos to canoe docks.
I wanted to know how Nina found the time to read. It turns out that besides having a supportive family (she lives with 4 boys and a husband who helped with the cooking and cleaning) she took a year off and read books that were no more than 300 pages long. Short of taking a sabbatical or playing hooky, here are some tips on how to eke out more reading time:
Stop watching those tedious reality shows. You’ll get back so much more than those empty pop culture calories watching the endless mock crises of the Kardashian family.
Read alongside your child while he/she does homework. Not only are you modeling a love of books but you provide a comforting presence. A school guidance counselor passed along this invaluable advice.
Always carry a slim volume of poems for those periods of time waiting in line at the grocery store or dentist’s office.
Get up early and read with your morning croissant and bowl of café au lait in the coffee shop before work – so European.
Listen to audio books in the car or on your iPod on the bus on the morning commute. Download them for free from OverDrive. If you are lucky enough to own an ereader you can download eBooks as well.
Look for inspiration from others who have taken the challenge to read daily:
The Reading Promise is the story of a girl and her father who made a promise to read aloud together for 100 consecutive nights. The ritual helped to form a powerful parent-child bond and continued until the author entered college. To start your own “reading streak”, read her blog readingpromise.com
Book Ends: A Year Between the Covers takes you on a delightful journey in which the author relates her reactions to 124 books read in a year.
So Many Books, So Little Time chronicles a readaholic’s year spent reading and the surprises it brought.
Which book will you choose to begin your year of reading and where will you read it?