I used to enjoy reading books on a regular basis when I was younger, usually having a book on my bedside table or simply picking one up whenever during the day.
But that was before children, stressful jobs and a hectic lifestyle.
My favourite genre has always been personal development and business books but even when I found one that I really enjoyed it took me a few months to finish it.
I guess I blame it on the other stuff I have had to do each day especially when children were small. You literally have no quiet time to yourself during the day and you read more children’s books than your own anyway. By the time you get to bed for peace and quiet, you are too exhausted to enjoy reading.
Then my kids got older and I went back to work, full time, I still didn’t find time to read. I normally commuted to work by car so there was no way I could read during my commute. Lunch break was not the right time either, as I went out for a walk to get some fresh air, so I didn’t take a book with me to work.
I took a book or two on each annual holiday but often came back with them unread because I ‘didn’t get around to it’.
Over the years, book reading became a pastime that did not happen, and it was a hobby that had no priority in my hectic lifestyle. The only thing I regularly read then was a Sunday newspaper and even that was just a part of it. I scanned the paper’s headlines and read bits of articles, just to keep up with the general affairs. I don’t remember a time I was able to sit down on a Sunday just to read a paper in a relaxed manner.
More often than not, I bought a book while I was shopping in town or from a charity shop in an attempt to start reading again, only for them to gather dust on my bookshelf.
My love of books faded as it almost became a chore to pick one up to read because I thought I had so little time to devote to book reading. The gaps between my book reading became wider.
Years went by without my knowledge expanded, my intellect replenished, or my creativity enhanced by any one of millions of books available on the market.
I think an idea to have someone else read a book for me came to me when my children and I were listening to an audio tape of a popular children’s novel by a famous celebrity. I think it was when we were driving to Cornwall or something.
What a good idea, I thought. So instead of picking up and reading a book myself, I just need to listen to someone else read on my behalf. Around that time, there were not many choices in terms of audiobooks for self-help as the majority were novels. I rested the idea for a while then.
I cannot remember what prompted me to try Audible, but the first book I ‘read’ on Audible was You Are A Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. Listening to the book read by the author was great. It was like listening to a theatrical performance with plenty of humour. It might be that I resonated with the message of the book and it impacted me greatly when I listened to it.
That was how I resurrected my love of reading.
I think it still counts as ‘reading’ as the knowledge and the message still gets passed on, just in a different way. I can talk about the book as if I picked it up and read it myself.
It is a different experience to having a physical book in your hand, sure, just as it feels different to read the same book on Kindle, but I think it’s just another modern way to enjoy ‘reading’.
As my children are older and I have left my stressful job and hectic lifestyle behind, I have in a way more time to myself now, but I have incorporated my book reading hobby a slightly different way.
Not only that I have read more books in such a short time than ever in the last two years, I feel more educated, uplifted, connected, inspired and motivated than I did all those years I stayed away from books.
My book reading habits have moved on and got adopted to my current lifestyle. I listen to a book when I am driving when I am in bed when I am cooking when I am gardening or simply walking. It has become part of my routine.
The best part of it is that because someone else is reading it for me…
my hands are free.
I sometimes feel disappointed when a book I want to read is not available on audible.
The library of my book collection is expanding, and they are all stored on my mobile phone, which I have with me all day. Sometimes I want to go back to a certain chapter in a particular book and I can do that whenever I want. But the ease of access is not the most important part.
Literature has always been a valued resource in our learning. We encourage children to read as many books as possible. Books written in the 17th Century are still being widely studied and a part of the school curriculum in English literature. Books can transcend countries’ borders and their messages reaching people all over the world. Books existed for several thousand years and they will continue to be one of the most important methods of education, inspirations and story-telling.
Being able to read books is a true gift through developing language skills which we humans differentiated us from other species. Books are records of our work and a legacy available for future generations.
I am so glad that I have been able to get back to ‘reading’ and to be able to read more books than ever even with my eyes closed.