I love books. Adore them. Love the way they look, the way they smell, the way they stack in a pile. Unfortunately, I seldom read them.
For YEARS I’ve collected books — apparently out of habit as much as anything. I USED to love to read. I used to have time to read. But for the last dozen years — while I was building a business, building a house, raising kids and homeschooling — I did most of my reading online.
I still devoured information like crazy — but not in the form of a book. Not good fiction. Not biographies. Not the classics.
It made me feel guilty.
As much as literature has formed a basis for my life, as much as writing is my passion, as much as I encourage my children to devour books (and two of the three do so at an amazing clip!), it seemed wrong that I was not reading constantly. I told myself I didn’t have time for such luxuries.
Then, recently, two things happened to change all that.
I was relaxing with my significant other when he looked over and said… “Don’t you think it’s odd that YOU are playing a game on the iPad, while I am the one reading a book? Aren’t YOU supposed to be the writer?!?” It gave me pause for thought.
A couple days after that, I was discussing the economy’s impact on my business (and my bottom line) with my father and a new concept — free time — that I now enjoyed occasionally, since making the decision to let my daughter go to public school this year instead of homeschooling. He shrugged and said, “If your workload is finally lighter and you don’t have to do lesson planning every day, then spend the extra time in some way you enjoy — I can’t believe you aren’t taking advantage of this time to read and write for yourself.”
I’d also recently decided to *GULP* clean out my bookshelves all of which gave me this sense of “now or never” on the books I was going to toss. So many of them were things I really wanted to read, but had never managed to find the time to begin. So I began.
As I started my first book, I noticed that I became quickly frustrated with it. I didn’t understand why I didn’t enjoy reading anymore. I knew this had happened several times over the past months — I’d get started, read about 50-100 pages and toss it aside, annoyed.
But, I was determined not to donate one particular book until I’d managed to struggle through it. I noticed that the print was difficult. I cursed the font style, the SIZE of the font, the general layout of the book — and how far away I had to hold it to read it at all. (By the time it was far enough away for the words to be clear, they words were too small to read without squinting.) It was a horrible book. I hated the publisher. It contained a great story, but reading it was torture.
Finally, I broke down and found the old reading glasses that I used a few years ago for computer work (when my eyes were really tired — but the client’s project was not yet complete.) PRESTO! I could read again! The glasses I had were old and scratched and not quite strong enough, but I didn’t get as frustrated, my eyes didn’t strain as much. It was like the whole world of reading opened back up again.
I bought a pair of reading glasses at the local store. But, I have started reading so much that I hate taking the glasses on and off — they are great for reading; not so great for walking down steps to get another cup of coffee.
So I went online and Googled for a pair that would offer me clear “on top” and reading “bi-focal” options below. I found a place that offers regular reading glasses, bifocal reading glasses and no-line bifocal reading glasses (the also offer reading sunglasses!)
I ordered from them and just got mine in last week. LOVE my new geeky-specs! Great quality and priced from affordable to designer. I got a budget-priced pair, but they are wonderful!
I feel kind of silly that my aging eyesight was what had (unknowingly) changed the way I spent my free-time. But, since that day (in the second week of September), I’ve read over a dozen books!!! I’m keeping a list of the books I’ve recently read and the one(s) I’m currently reading here on LivingSmall to share with you. 🙂
Granted, I’m reading a great deal of “fluff” and fun stuff, but I’m also reading a few volumes that have been on my “I-really-should-have-read-that-one-by-now” list.
Who knew that a good pair of reading glasses would make so much difference?