Thursday, April 26, 2007

Reading Debate etc.

My lovely friends Molly Malone and Darla D. are engaged in a debate regarding the argument, "I don't have time to read." So I thought I'd weigh in on the issue.

I tend to favor Darla D's side (who is a librarian) - as a mother and full-time working person, she points to finding or making time to read, citing examples like reading at lunchtime, while waiting for the dryer to finish, on the bus. Its about one's priorities. If you can find time to watch American Idol, why can't you find time to read? This point is really driven home today, as it is National Turn off Your TV week. In my case, I take reading assignments with me on the bus from where I live on the Medical campus to Main campus where I study. I use to finish at least one book a weekend when I was traveling- reading on the plane back and forth from London, maximizing my time.

However Molly does bring up some salient views as well. She speaks on distractions that make reading hard, even if you are not doing anything else, like background noise, conversations etc. Also the attention span required to read is perhaps, more than someone can muster after a long day at work and than dealing with kids. Finally there could just be a segement of the population that doesn't like to read...which beckons the question, 'why use the no time excuse than?'

To me, reading has always been a part of my life, I love it! On one of my many weekend trips to London, I spent a Friday night at one of most central locations in town, Piccadilly Circus, holed up in the Waterstones bookstore - it was fabulous! But than to me reading has come easy. I suppose to those who have difficulty reading, this would not be pleasure; but that makes me sad, because there is a whole gigantic world out there you're missing from not reading. Besides they say the way to improve your reading is to practice i.e. read more (I use the same advice for standarized tests, they say if you want to improve your SAT, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, GRE's Verbal scores, read more!).

I hate when people use the excuse, "I don't have time" for any facet in life, not just reading. Not having time means either the thing you are being asked to do is not a priority to you (and why don't you just say that instead of feigning interest) or it means you suck at time management and you should admit that, it makes you more human than trying to pretend your so busy. I firmly believe if something is super important to a person, they'll make the time.

Sidenote - congradulations to the Danish Royal Family. HRH Crown Princess Mary and HRH Crown Prince Frederik had their second child, a girl, this past Saturday, April 21st. No name yet, but I have my fingers crossed for Alexandra, since they named their firstborn the name I wanted, Christian. Besides Alexandra is a family name (for example one Alexandra Danish princess married England's Edward the 7th, to become Queen of England back in the early 1900's).


Blogger Darla D said...

You know, Sonnjea and Molly make a really good point over at Molly's blog - it just isn't socially sanctioned to say you don't like to read. So it's probably a bit smug of me to pooh-pooh those who say they don't have time to read, when what they may mean is that they don't really like to read as much as they like to watch tv (or stare into space!), but they don't want people to look down on them for saying they don't like to read.

But still, I can't help but feel that if only they picked up the RIGHT book for them, they'd be hooked, too. I guess I'm like a drug addict wanting everyone else to share my high!

4:31 PM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

i don't think we're arguing. i think we're in agreement. my point was just to give a perspective on an admittedly weak excuse. i agree with you: "i don't have time for _____" is pretty much weak for anything. i use it for exercise. of course i have time to exercise. but i prefer blogging or sleeping. mmm. sleeping. i LOVE sleeping. slobber, slobber. i've also heard and read parents complaint: "we don't have time for sex." dude, if i'm ever one of those people, shoot me. if you value it, you make time for it.
we are a time deficient society though. like when people "don't have time to eat." that's both pitiful and genuinely common. i wish we could teach ourselves to slow down. eating is one of my favorite things.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

btw, Darla D: "here kid. first one's free. go tell your friends."

"what you like that? you like that one? just remember where it came from kiddo."

7:21 PM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

I used to go through books - but now it seems I only have time for the newspaper daily. I get a stack of magazines each month, but the book on my nightstand hasn't been opened in weeks.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

This is an interesting topic. People make time for the things that matter to them. Some may not like to read and don't want to admit it. Think of it this way... Reading is exercise for your brain. It may ward off Alheizmers's...forgive my spelling its starting already!

6:44 PM  
Blogger Pax Romano said...

Reading for pleasure is something that a lot of people can not seem to do these days (though it begs the question: who is buying all of the books at Borders???).

Like every thing else, time must be made to engage in reading...but once it is found, it is a rare and beautiful pleasure.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Darla - I liken the girl who got me addicted to romance novels to a drug addict, funny enough : ) It is interesting point about looking down your nose though...I hope I'm not like that.

Molly - ha ha - first one's free!! LOL. I agree we are a time deficit society but I'm hoping that will change as we see our breathen in Europe enjoying life and not killing themselves at work.

Joe - I think any reading is good and the newspaper is sometimes all I can read, especially when I'm in school...I can't wait for the summer when I can start to read properly again!

Zelda - hello and thanks for the comment! I agree reading is definitely an exercise for the brain and perhaps society does really look down on those who don't like to read....but now I'm torn, is that a bad thing??

Pax - It is indeed a rare and beautiful pleasure - I adore it! And yes, who is buying all those books at Borders (me, as a poor students its all about the library, free books!).

12:49 AM  

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