How important is reading?
As I am sure everyone who reads/follows
any social media I am on my blog knows, I am in graduate school. And as I am sure most people are aware, graduate school is no joke. It kicks my ass. It is the reason why I announced earlier this month that I was cutting my blog posts down to two per week. It’s why I have been so bad at responding to comments. It’s why I put Calendar Girls on hiatus. Why I haven’t been around Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or Youtube.
It’s because graduate school is eating my life.
Now don’t get me wrong. I chose to do this. I am choosing to put in an excessive (or by their standards ‘limited’) amount of effort because I really love where I am at right now and the research and the people. It’s great! But please get me right when I say:
I miss my hobbies so gosh. darn. much!
It kills me to cut back my blogging, to barely finish reading one (300-page) book a week, to not watch any tv/movies Monday-Friday, to watch my piano and violin collect with dust, to forget words in foreign languages I was trying to learn, to not work out. Graduate school now requires 14 out of the 16 hours a day that I’m awake. That leaves all of 2 hours to take care of my dog, eat, clean my apartment, and do my hobbies. I am so far behind on stuff, I’m actually stressing out over my hobbies. It’s because of all of this that I have to ask myself (and of course all you lovely readers):
“How important is reading?”
I know! I know! I can hear the gasps and heart attacks from here. 😥 It kills me to have to ask this question, but when I have a limited amount of time to spend on things I enjoy (and none of these activities even count as ‘de-stressors’ so I have to make time for those too), I have to decide what I really want to and can spend time on. Naturally, reading comes up.
…because my bookshelf stares at me with the judgement of three dozen unread books.
…because almost every night of the week (and my Saturdays) goes to reading a book.
…because it’s the main topic of my blog and I do reviews each week.
…because I love it and
destroying critiquing novels brings me so much joy.
But as I said, this hobby takes up a ton of time. Most weeks, it’s the only hobby I actually have time for, which means I’m not practicing music or languages, not writing my novels or short stories, not watching tv/movies, etc, etc, etc. Because reading takes up so much time to do, it seems like the logical thing to cut if I want to enjoy more of my hobbies. And yet… I have done this before.
For most of my life, I didn’t read books. I didn’t like reading books. Even when I did start to like it, I didn’t make time for it. I chose other things over reading and it’s only with a ton of effort that I have finally gotten back into it. So can I really do that again? Can I really put myself through the struggle of not consuming stories?
After all, stories are more than just entertainment.
They take us on adventures and broaden our minds.
They are worth far more than a tv show or a movie or video game. You must use your mind. You must use your imagination. There is so much more to reading than just reading and it’s because of that single fact alone that I don’t think I could cut reading from my life no matter how much time it actually takes up. I might skip a review when things get absolutely hectic, but I don’t think I could ever just… quit.
But what do you think?
How important is reading to you?
Leave your thoughts below!
And check out my discussion from last week:
“‘Not Dead’ Cliche“