About a year ago, a sneaking suspicion crept up on me. I wasn’t reading as much as I used to.
At first, I put it off to my busier schedule. I was made full time at work. I was living with my partner, Kate. I was a captain for my neighborhood soccer team. And various other hobbies. As many possible explanations existed, still none of them felt like THE reason and I struggled to figure out why I wasn’t reading as much.
Don’t get me wrong. I was still reading and when I found a book I got into deeply, I tore through it like my life depended on how much I read each day. Otherwise, I’d read a chapter or story or two before bed every night.
When I moved back home in my early twenties, my mom had cable. The problem with cable is that there’s always something on. Always. It didn’t matter if I’d seen the movie a dozen times, I hadn’t watched it in years. Or my favorite TV show, played in four hour blocks. It became a huge life suck. I finally got a handle on it but it took much more effort than it should have.
When my partner and I moved in together, we decided not to get cable. But I still wasn’t reading as much I had or thought I should be.
Finally, it dawned on me.
We hadn’t gotten cable, but we decided to try out a then-new service, Hulu+. The experiment didn’t last long because they didn’t have the specific show we’d heard about and were hoping to watch. But soon after, we got Amazon Prime. Then, a friend of ours added us to his Netflix account. Another friend shared his Hulu+ information with us. That’s basically to say, if it’s On Demand, we got it.
There have been days that I’ve gotten out of bed, ready to show my To Do List who’s boss, but then decided I’d watch an episode of something while eating breakfast.
Four hours later, “It’s time for lunch. I’ll just watch one more episode.”
Five hours later…
Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with watching shows or movies. I love and appreciate Malcolm Reynolds in the same way that I love and appreciate Roland Deschain. But reading engages more and different regions of your brain. That’s what I miss.
So I think I’m going to go read a book now.