Saturday, May 27, 2006

A query for the avid readers:

I have a confession to make.

There was NO TV in the house when I was growing up. In fact, my parents only have one in their house now because I took an extra one over there about 10 years ago. They get movies from the library and use the TV to watch the movies, mainly. The DVD player was a Christmas gift 5 years ago from my sisters and myself. My dad has been thinking about getting a computer for 2 years - this is a huge technological advancement for the household.

I used to think the No TV thing was the reason I was a voracious reader. But methinks that you all were not TV deprived, yet you read as youngsters. And you all seem to be able to read now. Babelbabe must read while she cooks, eats and does laundry. Or maybe she reads instead of sleeps. Same for Badger. And you other literary folk; SL and Lazy Cow - how do you read so much? I feel like an abject reading failure - this was my passion until I became a parent. We might watch a movie from Netflix after the children are in bed 2-3 times a week. But we're usually too tired for even that much stimulation.

Same with music - I used to listen to NPR and stations low on the FM dial - World Music with attitude, while I futzed around the house or garden. Now, I only listen to music in the car. In.The.Car. How pathetic is that? And only when I am alone, as I use the time to play a Seek & Find card game called Rubberneckers in the car with the children. Yipes!

I tried to read this morning while allowing the boys to watch network cartoons. At first, they were thrilled to watch TV. Then they started jumping around. Leaping over me on the sofa, giggling and yelping "Just Missed Ya!" as they sailed over me. Then they laid on me and tried to pick out words! After 20 minutes of this, I gave up.

And for those of you who are clucking and saying "HA! You spend time on the computer while you could be reading!" True. But I spend 5 minutes here and there, jumping around, posting later, leaving the computer on line all day. I can't read like that!

If we lived in Kansas, I could read and drive like the rest of the idiots on the freeways.

So, how do you guys get in any reading?


Joke said...

I walk home from the office and back during my extended lunches, or from my house to the gym (2-2.5 mi. each way) and I can walk and read.


daysgoby said...

My kids go to bed early 7:30-8pm so I get some 'not mommy' time - you know, shower, shave, do girly stuff, read. That and crossword puzzles.

And oh, Vickee, you must listen to NPR. I miss it so much living here.

Lazy cow said...

If I don't read every day I go a little crazy.
So, I read over breakfast with the kids, on the loo (TMI I know), in bed every night. I keep a book in the car for long traffic lights, traffic jams, if the Boy falls asleep I can sit in the car and read. You get the idea...

Sarah Louise said...

Well, I read less than Babs but I have no excuse.

And no advice that would help...

but I didn't live in the US for all of grammar school, which meant we had 2-3 channels in other languages. I learned Spanish by watching the telenovelas. I'm surprised, thinking back--did my mother not think I was watching soap operas? Albeit, at least in the early 80s, they were tamer than what you got in the US in the late 80s. And telenovelas ended at some point. I was so sad when Maria Celeste was over...I think actually that was the end of my telenovela days. My sister's doll is called Juanita Santos after a character in a telenovela. I guess the cold isn't affecting my writing after all...

I listen to audio books. Something tells me that wouldn't work for you, either. Good luck fighting the good fight. And on-line time for me is sacred, so you'll get no flak from me.

Badger said...

I read in bed every night before falling asleep. During the school year, I read in the car while waiting to pick up the kids in the afternoon. I bring a book along to the kids' doctor/therapy appointments and whatnot and read there. Also, my kids have learned to leave me alone while I read at home, and they're old enough to get their own snacks and drinks and whatnot. So that helps.

My float said...

i budget my reading time. i allow myself 10 minutes here and there, generally just before i start work, or in the bathroom, or just before i go to bed. but sometimes the desire to read is so overwhelming that i stay up until all hours of the night. in this way i managed to finish reading The Notebook in one sitting. Ditto, the Boy in Striped Pyjamas. But generally, I'm too tired and sneak in a chapter here and there. I'd go crazy otherwise!

julia said...

I read during baseball games and since there's one on just about every night from April until October, I get a lot of reading done. I read while the baby plays in the bath. I read before I go to sleep at night. I read if I get up before the kids (not that that happens too often these days). If I wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back to sleep, I'll read then.

If I could figure out how to read and drive, I'd do it. But I already take my life in my hands just driving around Massachusetts. I think trying to read might be hubris.

Poppy Buxom said...

I "read" audiobooks when I work out, cook, clean up the kitchen, make beds, pick up the house, dust, fold laundry, iron (not that I do much of that) and drive (which I do quite a bit.)

Since December, I've audiobooked:
Six Harry Potters
All the Narnia books
Four Dorothy L. Sayers Lord Peter mysteries
The Bartimaeous Trilogy
Tristram Shandy
Hard Eight (Janet Evanovich)
Be Cool (Elmore Leonard)
Three Men in a Boat (Jerome K. Jerome)

I read regular books while I eat lunch, while my kids are watching their evening video, before I go to sleep, in the bathtub, on the exercycle. I also bring a book with me whenever I go out, because you never know.

I rarely just sit around and read; it makes too obvious a target.

Poppy Buxom said...

Oh whoops, I forgot--there was a bunch of P. G. Wodehouse in there, too.

Carolyn said...

I tried to post yesterday, but blogger was acting odd!

I read when I'm laying next to my little guy getting him down for a nap.

MsCellania said...

It's too hilly to walk and read here, but here's what I've come up with to get me reading more.

And THANKS for all the suggestions, by the way. I've taken a couple of days and tried out the various suggestions. Some worked for me; some didn't.

Jess, I AM listening to NPR more on the radio. And appreciating it. I can't imagine not having NPR!

I've been reading at the table while the boys are eating. And saying "You may get up and get that for yourself." What a concept!

I've put 2 books in the car to bridge the waiting gaps while at various weekly appointments. Trouble is, I have one child with me while the other is at the lesson or therapy, but I get a few pages in.

I've put magazines back in the loos and by my bathtubs. I've got about 15 Economists to catch up with *sigh*

And I will check out audiobooks. I never thought about reading by listening.

Thank you all so much. I've already polished off half a delicious read in just a few days.