Saturday, February 27, 2016

Trying a new reading routine

First of all, I am all for trying something new. In fact, I jump at the chance. I LOVE trying something new! New foods, new travel routes, new kinds of writing and new hobbies. (In fact, I am learning how to do a new thing right now, to see if I can pursue it as a hobby.) I also like checking out new TV shows, books and artwork. Another “new” thing I’ll try a hand at is a new system, routine, method or just a new way to do something.

Last week, I tried something a new reading routine. Usually, I read two books at a time: Fiction and nonfiction. I have quite the collection of books and several I have yet to read. (In fact, I have a whole box of novels in my room I hope to get around to reading through someday!) But last week, I decided to try reading three books at once. I got the idea to do this because of the fact that I’m working on three different projects throughout the day. (I talked about that on my writing blog, in this post.) I figured I would need something to distract myself with in between working on them.

So, I started this new “reading routine” last week, on Monday. I’d read in a book (sometimes just 1 or 2 chapters, depending on the book, but with one book I read through several chapters in a day) then I’d work on one of my projects: The short story for the week, the nonfiction book I’m writing, one of the novels I’m writing, a nonfiction book I am typing out from a notebook or two books I am revising. Or maybe there’d be poetry. But in between them all, I’d take a break and read in a book. For last week, the three books I read are a novel I am reviewing for Night Owl Reviews (which I finished reading today), a book about the Norman Conquest (that was me satisfying my inner history buff), and a book about fashion design (one of the things I am thinking of pursuing as a hobby – the other is landscaping).

And, surprisingly, I was able to pull it off. It went really well. I was able to read three books at once without getting confused over anything or being too distracted by one book to concentrate on another.

I am very pleased I was able to do this. And now, with my current reading done (as I also finished reading the Norman Conquest book today) and ready to take on new books to read, I started to wonder today: Am I willing to give it another go? Read three more books at the same time?

Actually, I don’t think I really need to.

It’s not that I didn’t like this arrangement. Heck, any time I have to read makes me happy!

The one thing that bugged me about it, though, is that it DID annoy me that I HAD to read in another book again instead of doing something else. I don’t like being tied down to anything.

And the time-consuming part of it was an irritant, too. I mean, I coulda been doing something else instead of reading AGAIN. As much as I love to read, I always see reading as one important thing to get done in my day and, when it’s done, it’s DONE and now it’s time to do other things. I am the same way with everything else. After I’ve done “the email thing” for the day, I’m DONE with emails. After I’ve spent time on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest, I’m DONE with them for the day (although I’ll make exceptions to Facebook to reply to comments that same night or answer messages if I have time because too many people grew irritated with my 24-hours-to-respond policy). After I’m done working on a project, I’m done with it for the day until next time. I just didn’t like taking time to read three times a day. Ugh.

But the main reason why I don’t think I’ll be doing this again next week is just that I really didn’t need to do that after all. I THOUGHT I would need to do that in order to make the transition between projects go more smoothly, but I really didn’t. I saw proof that I didn’t yesterday, when I easily went from working on one of my WIPs to another without any reading needed to be done to get into the mindset for it. I just easily jumped from one thing to another. I was able to focus on each one 100% and have no trouble as far as getting back into a story was concerned.

So, it turns out that I don’t really need to “distract myself” with other things in between transitioning from one project to another. I have no trouble doing this without the distractions. I think that is pretty cool and I’m glad that I was able to see for myself that I can handle multiple projects at once just fine.

Just not multiple books to read. From now on, I think I’ll just stick with two.

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