14 – Reading Express 2

On the now-lost original version of this website, I published a post in the middle of 2015 titled “Reading Express,” where I welcomed the end of the assigned-readings era of college and the beginning of an age where I was finally able to free-read again. With so much reading assigned by professors in each class it felt as if I had no time to do any reading of my own, and if by chance I did have some free time the last thing I wanted to do was read. This pained me, as I do love reading. Being able to freely free read felt liberating.

Imagine my disappointment, then, as I now pen this post to announce a return to my old ways. Where once I was assigned things to read in class, I now read for 8+ hours a day for a living. My entire existence revolves around reading and trying to understanding content that either goes way past my 8th-grade level biology knowledge, is kind of gross, or both. There are some days in the office where I don’t read much, but then there are others where I’m reading from sunrise to sunset. Every day I’m reading, so it should come as no surprise to you, reader, that when given free time these days I often shy away from free reading.

I’m as disappointed by this turn of events as you are. Here I am, a guy who would consider himself a lover of literature, whose eyes are so tired they cannot fathom opening a book and glancing at the text printed upon them. Heck, I’m even writing a novel that I hope someday people I’ve never met will take the time to read and digest. I’m not trying to be hypocritical, trust me. The desire to read is there, but the will just can’t keep up with the demand.

To give you an idea of how bad it’s been, here’s a quick example. I’ve had the same book, The Devil in the White City, in my backpack for months now. I’m probably just a little more than halfway through it. The book is probably around 300 pages long, and while the content is interesting, I never feel like just taking it out and reading it after dinner or on the weekend. I’ve delegated the role of the book to be my subway book, or something I’ll only read if I get a seat on the subway. I don’t think if I’m standing on a train that I can manage holding a book in one hand, a backpack in the other hand, and still keep my balance for the entire trip. And, if I do manage to get a seat on the subway halfway to my destination, I’ve figured it doesn’t make much sense to take out the book because before I know it, I’m going to have to put it away again. Those who’ve ridden the subway during rush hour know how hard it is to procure a seat, so I’ve basically guaranteed myself that I’ll never read that book again.

There will come a time when I will enjoy free reading once more. Even now, if I’m preparing for a long trip, I’ll pack a book for something to do in transit. There may come a day when I’m no longer a copy-editor and taking the time out of my day to read will be an escape, rather than a chore. To be honest, it’s been hard the past two weeks finding the time and the will to write all of these posts, as I end up reading and editing them a couple of times before they’re fit to print (though I’m certain I still make plenty of errors). Like I wrote in one post earlier this month, all I really want to do is kick back, relax, and play video games. Playing Zelda is the farthest thing from editing banner ads, so it’s become the most desirable thing I can do.

I’m sure I’ll rue the day I switch careers to become a game-tester for Nintendo and never want to play video games again. The grass is always greener…

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