Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Final Binge, Hopefully

I have had this blog for about five months now, and I've never done so much reading in my life! I've always loved to read, but have always had time constraints: babies and toddlers, daycare, kids' sports with the occasional run as team mom, stressful and busy church responsibilities, a venture into the world of Girl Scouts as a leader, and all the other usual things moms choose to do. Most of the time, I would read a little bit of a book each day, and when there was a quiet week or two, I would go out on an all time reading BINGE, not knowing when there would be time again.

Well, lately, I have had much more free time. My youngest is in kindergarten, I only have kids to watch a couple of times a week, no one is in sports right now, and even though I have a traditionally busy responsibility at church, the youth are involved in a big dance festival, which means not too much time planning--I just have to show up at activities, teach a lesson a couple of times a month, and make sure the girls I work with feel connected and loved (I guess you can't put a measurement of time on that last one, though!)
So basically, each day I find I have about 3-4 hours of time each day that I can pretty much choose what I want to do! I don't know how long this will last, so in my mind I'm feasting even though there is no famine!
Reading and talking about books brings me so much happiness, but I do have other areas of interest that are getting pushed aside, and I'm sure many things that I
need to be doing. I don't think I've been ignoring my family (although maybe I should ask!), and miraculously most areas of my house stay clean most of the time these days, but I know I could be doing more to be a part of that outside world that I'm always inside reading about!
This sounds like some sort of farewell speech, but it's not. I'm not that disciplined. My plan is to get through the reading challenges I've currently signed up for (I may add one more--the non-fiction challenge I've read about), and finish the 100+ Challenge, and then I'm going to give myself a reading limit. Maybe I can only read an hour a day, or something like that. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it I guess.
Can anyone relate to this? Have you felt like you need to set limits on your reading time, or can you enjoy it guilt-free? Reading is a very worthy pursuit, but how much is too much? Like many other avid readers, I often feel like there is not enough time to read all of the books I want to read, and I have to remind myself that my life can still be rich and meaningful even if I never get to Bleak House or Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell. It's hard for me to accept, but I know it's true.

Note: I severely overuse the exclamation point, don't I?


  1. I always struggle finding a balance with this too. I don't have kids, but I have other responsibilities (around the house, full time job, etc) that require my attention. At the same time, when I don't have time to read a little each day I find myself going crazy. It's one of those things that I need to function like a human being.

    Good luck figuring out your time limit...If you find the magical cure for doing everyting you want and need to do let me know!

  2. Reading levels my head. My toddler pulls me into the outside world enough, without her I'd probably have my nose stuck in a book as often as possible!

  3. I totally know what you mean. My life is crazy with 3 little kids, church callings, my house, etc. My blog gives me the intellectual challenge the rest of my life lacks, though, so I love to do it. But, I agree, it can take over your life, can't it?

  4. There is no such thing as overusing the exclamation point. I do it all the time! :-) My email recipients tell me it brings out my personality. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if that's a good thing. . . LOL!

    I can see why you'd feel that way about reading. I don't ever have that problem. I usually feel exactly the opposite, that I don't get enough reading time. But I don't have kids either. Though Peter may tell you I read too much. ;-)

    I see you're reading Tom Sawyer. I just finished that this morning! Isn't it just too much fun?


  5. I have been blogging for about three months and I have similar feelings! I know that I feel I must read with every spare moment that I have. I also feel like I have to blog every day which I know is crazy. I agree with Susan that my blog is my intellectual stimulation! (notice the exclamation point)

  6. I think that you should do what makes you feel happy. If everything is done and you have free time...spend it however you want to. If it makes you feel guilty to read then don't because that takes the pleasure out of it. I understand what you are going through. I have two little ones. Somedays I read a bunch and others are devoted to playing on the floor with my kids. I read when I can and if I can't well then oh well :) Good luck!

  7. I've found myself reading blogs too much lately and not even reading the books that I want to read! It sounds like you're doing pretty well though with balance if your house is staying pretty clean and your getting other things done too. I'm not one to give any advice because I'm very unbalanced. (In more ways then one. Ha Ha!)

  8. I go through phases where it is the only thing I do and I can never get enough. Some of them have included reading, quilting, home improvement, and now scrapbooking. I think that these are VERY HEALTHY activities that help me keep my sanity. I also think that women pay their dues over and over throughout the phases of their children's lives and later as empty nesters. My on and know I am envious and not judgemental. By the way ---THANK YOU SO MUCH and same to your DH.

  9. I've got this same issue. I may do a post about it sometime soon. One of my favorite book bloggers was grumpyoldbookman from the U.K. but he retired from blogging since it was taking up so much of his time.

    I have been reading much more as a result of blogging, but I'm not complaining yet. It helps that we don't have cable in our house so we only watch netflix and we keep our subscription down to three during the school year.