It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these random, rambling Saturday posts… There’s a reason behind this, and today I kind of want to talk about those reasons. I’ll be talking about reading slumps and the reasons why I fall into them, especially here lately.
I remember the days before going to college. The days of being stuck at my mom’s house with nothing to do and pretty much being miserable 24/7. I don’t really want to go into all those details, but my point is, I had infinite time and desire to read. One summer I read all of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Another year I read 90+ books.
Back then, books were not only my #1 source of enjoyment, but they were also the only way I could escape my life and myself. I didn’t like the life I was stuck in, and I hated myself even more because of it. Books allowed me to become anyone else, and that’s what kept me alive back then.
In college, I was able to physically escape, if only for a few months at a time, for 3 years. And I had the pure joy of studying the thing I loved most: literature. I didn’t have time to read my “fun” books because I had so many books to read for class, but even those were considered fun by me. College was probably the best years of my life.
Now I’m out of college, working an office job, living with my girlfriend and our dog, and things are pretty great. Unfortunately, things aren’t so great for my piles and piles of unread books… I keep finding myself in reading slumps, and I know exactly how and why this happens.
I didn’t grow up with smartphones, laptops, tablets, social media, or Netflix and Hulu. I grew up with nothing for a while, and when I was older, it was all dial-up, desktops, landlines, VHS, and cable TV. I didn’t get my first smartphone until I was in my last year of college (after my mom kicked me out). This was the beginning of my downfall.
Even now, as I try to type out this post, I’m getting distracted by my phone—mostly to take pictures of my dog lying on my girlfriend and being cute, but still. It’s the greatest distraction I’ve ever experienced. I could read after 8 hours of work, 1 hour of driving, 1.5 hours of making dinner, and 2 trips of taking my dog outside, or I could decompress, pull out my phone and check all my various apps: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Litsy, Goodreads, WordPress, Words with Friends, etc. To be fair, most of these apps I use to talk about books, but it’s still screen time taking time away from reading. And some days I sit down and actually realize the ridiculous amount of time I spend on my phone, laptop, or streaming services compared to other things, like reading.
And it’s not that I don’t enjoy reading anymore. I still like to escape from my life, even if it’s not bad anymore. And I will always like to escape from myself, because, ya know, self-hatred and all. But I am so easily distracted with all these other things around me. And it’s not only the screens that distract me—it’s everyday life, too. Like I said, there’s work and driving to work and making food for my family, and there’s trips to the gym or the movies or to see friends, or there’s lazy evenings spending time with my girlfriend and our dog. It’s a million things, and it’s hard to find time alone to read without distraction.
So, if you’ve been wondering why I don’t blog or read much anymore, this is why. I’m too busy with life most days. And I miss reading tremendously, so I’m hoping to get my life in order and try to balance things out a little better.
My question to you all is, do you find yourself more distracted in 2018 than you did back in 2008? And if so, how do you still manage to find time to read, or do whatever else you love?
Hope you all are having a wonderful Saturday, and happy June! I hope to be keeping up with my blog more. Love you all and happy reading!