Redefining My Relationship with Books

For the past three years, I’ve kept track of how many books I read each year. The first year I did that (2020) happened to be the pandemic shutdown year. I read 82 books that year, not surprisingly since there wasn’t much else to do.

In 2021, I outdid myself by reading 91 books. Then in 2022, I read 92 books. This was a shock to me, as I went into 2022 knowing that my schedule was going to be much busier than it had been during the pandemic years. I only read 30 books in the first six months of the year when I was at my busiest, directing a demanding musical while also seeing a lot of clients. But I made up for it in the second half of year, reading twice as many.

Part of the pressure keeping me focused on reading is that I read mainly e-books from the library. Knowing that each book has a due date — and that I may have already waited weeks or months for it to become available — drives me to finish each book and move on to the next one as soon as possible.

I’ve given some thought as to what modifications I’d like to make my reading habits in 2023. I do much of my reading while riding public transportation or while lying in bed trying to fall asleep, and those are two great places to be reading. But I’ve also been known to kick back with a compelling book for an hour or two in the evening. In lieu of automatically reaching for a book during my free time, I’d like to take a tally of unfinished (or unstarted!) projects in my home and get more of those done. Relaxing with a book can be my reward for moving those projects along.

What activities are you using to put off things you know you should be doing?