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What is the context you have to be in to allow for reading?

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  • What is the context you have to be in to allow for reading?

    I struggle with reading. I have a long list of books I want to read. Some of them to improve my work skills but not really required to read (time management, sales management etc). Some of them are self-help to improve my internal stability. And of course there are 3 magazines I would like to read that I get monthly. I tried different approaches: scheduled time for reading and put NAs on my action lists. The result is my books are not read.

    The problem was when even scheduled time came I was not prepared to read. I mean there is some context you need to have to allow for reading. For me, one of the criteria is I have to be alone. Another criteria is I need at least 30 minutes of time to get some reading satisfaction. All the said shows I can't read at my office because we have an open space.

    At home I have two children It means I need to read to them not for myself.

    What is your criteria to allow for reading of magazines and books you want to read?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
    What is your criteria to allow for reading of magazines and books you want to read?
    I have a space on my desk for the magazines, paper books and my kindle. When the area fills up I know I need to really make some more time to read.

    One key for me is that I have a monthly checklist where I ask myself what have I read this month? I also keep a log of all the books and short stories I read as a note in DevonThink. Just tracking it means I make more time to read.

    I also found that by taking my kindle with me nearly everywhere I can read in the snippets of time available while I am waiting or in a line or similar places. I also grab magazines and read them in pieces too.

    You said you need 30 uninterrupted minutes to read, why not make a project to train yourself to be able to read in smaller segments of time? Or to train yourself in faster reading with comprehension?

    By being able to do reading in small bits I've managed to read 13 new books or short stories in January and 21 in February. I don't track magazines but I get about 10 a month between the personal fun ones and the professional ones and all are current.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here are some ideas. You can use any that you like, and ignore the rest.

      I agree with Oogie that it's a good idea for you to learn to read in short
      bits of time. It may not feel as satisfying, at least at first, but you may
      still benefit from what you learn from the books. You might even learn
      more, because you can take time to think about the bit you just read.
      Soon enough, your children will be older and more independent and
      you'll have more opportunities to read for longer uninterrupted periods of time.

      I often read while waiting for a bus or riding the bus. I like to read
      while eating. I often read too long when I need to be going to sleep.

      For a while, my children each wanted a different book read to them, and
      at one point I said OK, I'll spend 10 minutes reading the book each of you
      wants and then 10 minutes reading my own book to myself silently.

      You could sometimes read children's books to your children, and sometimes
      insist on reading aloud to them for a few minutes from your self-help
      books, mainly for your own benefit. You could use tone of voice to
      make them as interesting as possible, and stop to explain things a bit
      as you go along. Or, you could read them in a boring tone of voice,
      while the children only half pay attention; they might still find the
      sound of your voice comforting and might occasionally learn something useful.
      Explaining the information to the children might help you learn and remember
      it more.

      You could teach your children to read, and then sit close to them while
      they read their books and you read your books. I think it's still beneficial
      to read aloud to children for years after they've learned to read, but
      it may also be fine to spend some time reading different things together:
      it's good for them to practice reading themselves and increase their
      level of reading competence so that they can enjoy reading by themselves
      as much as, or almost as much as, or even more than they enjoy
      having you read to them. I have a section about teaching children
      to read on my parenting web page: http://web.ncf.ca/an588/par_home.html
      I highly recommend the books "Teach Your Child to
      Read in 60 Days" by Sidney Ledson, and
      "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons"
      by Siegfried Engelman.

      I used to do things like pay bills while standing in the kitchen. Children
      are much less likely to interrupt a parent standing in the kitchen doing
      something than a parent who sits down even for a minute. You could
      try reading standing in the kitchen ... but it may only work if you read
      for relatively short periods of time, perhaps fitting it in in the middle
      of meal preparation or cleanup.

      Sometimes I used to read while watching over my children playing
      in the playground. However, I got interrupted a lot.

      You could take your children to the library once a week. The library
      we used to go to had toys the children could play with. You could sit
      and read for half an hour each time (perhaps a book you brought with you)
      while your children play with the toys or choose books for themselves,
      then read to them for a while or play with the toys with them
      before going home.

      You could read at lunchtime at work. You could bring your lunch
      outside and find a quiet bench or a park or a corner of a building or something
      outside your workplace, and read while eating -- even if you have
      to do it in a standing position: it's good for your back to take a
      break from sitting, anyway!

      You could read in your office, and put on ear covers to block out
      sounds and arrange things around you so you don't see anyone
      going past, so you feel like you're alone.

      You could look around your building at work to see if there's a
      quiet corner or small room somewhere where you can be alone,
      even if that place is only quiet at certain times of day.

      You could stay at your workplace for half an hour after everybody
      else leaves and read then, or come in early in the mornings.

      You could get audio-tape versions of the books you want to read,
      and listen to them while cooking and cleaning, while exercising, etc.

      You could get in the habit of going for a walk in the late evening and
      stopping at a park bench to read for a while.

      You could reduce the amount of stuff you plan to read, choosing only
      the most important, so that you can spend more time with your
      children and other important parts of your life. You might read
      just the most interesting parts of some of the books, for example.

      I think I learned to read a lot faster by using the Internet -- for example
      glancing at emails to rapidly judge whether there's anything worth
      reading in them. I can now read at a variety of speeds for different purposes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Here's what I do...to each his/her own. I simply throw anything I need or want to read in an _read list. anytime I am idle...waiting for bus, airport, home alone, caught up at the office, on the toilet...anytime....I pull out an article, magazine, web page, book and start reading until I have to stop. Could be 10, 15, 30, 60, 120 minutes. It all depends but it keeps me moving through the list. During my nightly or weekly reviews I can delete items that have become less or not important and add things I want to read. The trick is to have a current list and go to it anytime you have more than 10 minutes. I found I am reading more things this way than ever before

        Comment


        • #5
          What is your criteria to allow for reading of magazines and books you want to read?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
            What is your criteria to allow for reading of magazines and books you want to read?
            I don't understand. By definition if it's something I want to read then I have to make time for it. Maybe turn off the TV, make a quicker dinner so I have some time to read afterwards, skip spinning or knitting in favor of reading for a while instead, take a shorter lunch and read a while then, put a magazine I want to read in the bathroom and read a bit when I'm in there. It's a matter of setting your priorities. Either reading is important or it isn't and if it is important you find ways to do it by deciding what else not to do or by becoming more efficient at it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
              The problem was when even scheduled time came I was not prepared to read. I mean there is some context you need to have to allow for reading. For me, one of the criteria is I have to be alone. Another criteria is I need at least 30 minutes of time to get some reading satisfaction. All the said shows I can't read at my office because we have an open space.

              At home I have two children It means I need to read to them not for myself.
              I understand what you mean. I like to be alone too, and not feel like people are looking at what I'm doing, but working in an open plan office I rarely get time like this. I decided to read at home instead. At home is difficult because I'm either busy with the family or housework or activities. However there are two key times I really like to just sit - when I'm tired and need a break, or when it's sunny and I want to sit and relax outside in the sun. So I thought of making these times my reading times. For the inside I've setup a nice comfy chair so I can put my feet up, sit with a hot drink, and read in comfort. For the outside I have setup an outdoor chair and table in the backyard, and a shade umbrella for those days when the sun is too bright.
              If you have kids you need to organise them to be involved in some independent play. eg outside have them play in a sandpit or play equipment, so they can have fun while giving you a bit of time to read. It's not alone like you wanted, but with kids you can't have everything.

              Comment


              • #8
                thank you

                I really have to thank you for this thread. I haven't taken the time to read much in the past year or so, and you all got me thinking.

                I mentioned to my husband that I used to read a lot in bed before sleeping, and he wanted to know why I didn't anymore. I said that I didn't really remember why exactly, but I guess I just couldn't concentrate anymore, that my head was still trying to spin down from the day. "Tonight," he said, "if you really enjoy it, I think you should read in bed." "OK!"

                So we head to bed. And I start to read. And about three sentences in he asks me about something he's looking at on his iPad. I answer, then go back to reading. A few more sentences, and another question. And so on. Finally, I just start laughing, "THIS is why I don't read in bed!" And he turns and looks at me and says, so sweetly, "I guess I just don't have enough time with you."

                Needless to say, there was no more reading that night, but there was a lot of laughing and giggling. I think the ultimate solution is to simply find pockets of time during the day. I love to read, but I want that time with my guy, too. Good compromise, I think.

                So, thanks for making me think more in depth about reading, and what it means to me, and how I can incorporate it into my life again.

                Dena

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
                  At home I have two children . It means I need to read to them not for myself.
                  Make sure you enjoy this time. It can be very annoying when you have lots to do and children want your attention but it passes quickly. Far too quickly

                  I bought my first Palm Pilot so I could read in bed with my oldest son after I had stopped reading to him and he was supposed to be going to sleep. The Kindle app on the iPhone is my usually bedtime reading device now. I've got a Kindle as well but the iPhone is easier to hold.

                  Michael

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