These days, it’s harder for me to spend long stretches of time reading, what with the lure of Bravo Housewives and the pressure of re-watching seasons 1-3 of House of Cards before March 4th. Some days I get home from work and reading is the absolute last thing I want to do after spending the day staring at a screen, reading and writing emails.
As an English major, I read multiple books a week for classes (or, at least, in theory I was doing that). Sometimes I secretly felt that being an English major actually made me less of a reader, because I didn’t like the pressure of having to read multiple books at once in just a few days; reading often felt like a chore. Once I graduated I felt free to read whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. But then came the realities of twenty-something-hood: general mental exhaustion from a bad day at work, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, actual excess money to go for drinks or plan vacations, Skyping and texting and traveling to see friends, binge watching Making a Murderer on Netflix, etc. There are so many distractions in the real world that it’s easy to go a week or two without picking up a book.
I hate the feeling that I’m not as much as a reader as I used to be. As I get further immersed in my job and my “adult” life, I realize that I don’t spend much time anymore doing the things that I love to do. So, with the new year, I set two reading goals for myself. One of my resolutions is to read one book a week in 2016 (so far going strong). I’m keeping track of what I read this year with a nifty spreadsheet – something that I always wish I had done. Then I can make cool graphs with my reading data. I also set a lifetime goal to read every Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction. This may be a tough one, because some of these books look boring as hell. But I guess I have my whole life to do it. If either of these goals ever feels like a chore, I’ll stop. The point isn’t to put pressure on myself to read in excess quantities, it’s just to remind myself to make time for the things that I love and enjoy.