I know, a crazy question. With a seemingly obvious answer: READ!
But I also know that I’m not the only one whose To Be Read list (or current reads list) would take years to finish; or the only one who is surrounded by unread books on bedside tables, bookshelves, coffee tables, dining room tables, and really any appropriate surface in one’s place of residence. Sometimes, it’s best to just return that library book you’ve now renewed four times or accumulated enough overdue fees to have to stop buying coffee for a week. And sometimes you just need to accept one particular bookshelf as “the one which holds all unreads,” whether you meant it to or not.
All of this can be overwhelming, so much so that you find yourself in a pit of despair because you can’t seem to find the time to read throughout the day (or is this just me?). So to get out of this pit of despair, decrease the number of books on your TBR, increase the number of books filed away as read, and to stop incurring fees and guilt when you don’t return your library books on time, here are some steps and scenarios to get you prepared for deciding whether to read or not to read.
~ First, roll on the floor in agony when you start feeling overwhelmed by the sight of all the books you haven’t started to read, or when you begin seeing release dates for books being published next month while you stare at the unread, recently published titles [from two-six months ago].
~ A few more agony rolls will help. Go ahead.
~ Now get up and dust yourself off! Unless you prefer to read sprawled out on the floor. Then read!
~ Have a one hour lunch break? Read!
~ Comforting a friend going through a breakup? Don’t read. Unless being read to comforts them, then read away!
~ Received a reminder from the library that the three-hundred page novel you have yet to start is due in three days? Get off the internet/your phone and read!
~ Received a reminder from the library that the two three-hundred page novels you have yet to read are due in three days? Don’t read; return them and check them out when you actually have time to read.
~ Driving cross-country? Don’t read! That’s dangerous, and what audiobooks are for!
~ Riding in a car cross-country? Read! Unless you get severely car sick/motion sick like me, then that’s what audiobooks are for!
~ Have to go to work? Don’t read. Okay, maybe just for five minutes.
~ Need to clean your apartment? Read!
~ Forgot to pay your bills? Don’t read, pay your bills.
~ Finished paying bills? Read!
~ In a writing slump? Read!
~ In a life slump? Read!
~ Boiling water for the mac and cheese you’re about to eat for the third time this week? Read!
~ Haven’t yet decided which genre(s) you like, or want to explore something new? Read!
~ Feeling like your vocabulary is subpar? Read!
~ Noticing that ash is falling from the sky, your neighbors have been extra quiet lately, and for some reason your internet is not working? Read!