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Squeezing in reading time
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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 678


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:29 pm    Post subject: Squeezing in reading time  Reply with quote

Not being the possessor of a study, nor even being the master of my own house, I find I have little choice but to try to tune out the television while reading in the evenings. We have a small home, my wife and I, and she prefers the tube to reading in that period of, say 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. As a rule, I prefer the opposite, yet don't feel it quite right to deprive her of my company for those two-odd hours per night.
It takes a compelling TV show to get me to put down my book - depending somewhat also on the book, of course. There's a constant tension, and the TV usually loses. Unless of course my wife is out and I can watch hockey or football. Shocked

I need my reading time though and as good as I am getting at it, reading with the TV on takes something away from the experience. I used to have three lunch hours alone at home. That was very fine; just me, my sandwich and my book. Now we dine together every day, so I've lost precious reading time. Can't exactly say, 'Pardon me, dear, but I really must get back to my Dickens.' Wouldn't go over well at all.

What's a fellow to do? I know some of you read while commuting. Not possible in my case. I've already a reputation as an eccentric for walking to work (believe it or not); reading while I walk would ruin what respectability I have left, I fear.

However, I muddle through.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2974


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've made me feel guilty, Joe.  I have time to read but don't actually fit it in anyway much.  Magazines at mealtimes, a few pages of my book in bed at night.  I can shut off the television, but I am very fond of my computer really, and spend far too much time on it, mostly checking messageboards!

The time I get reading is when we are on holiday and travelling - I can read easily in the car, so that's useful.  (Even then I vary it with mindless puzzles, like Sudoku.)  And when we're away I don't bother much with internet access, unless we are away for quite a while.  Might check emails but don't generally bother and don't have a laptop (though my husband does) or a phone that does fancy things.  In fact my cell-phone doesn't do anything at the moment - doesn't have the right company for coverage where I am, and seems to have run out of money.  (The Sim card is still the one I had in Britain, so possibly the money doesn't last all that long. But since I don't really use it, it doesn't matter.)

Have got away from reading time.  Every now and again I resolve to read for an hour in the afternoon, or do a bit of reading study, but this doesn't seem to eventuate.  I think I should turn off the computer in the afternoons.

Cheers, Caro.


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Gino



Joined: 20 Dec 2008
Posts: 127


Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same trouble with mobile phones, I take a trip to Indianapolis each year and last year I took my normal phone so that I could contact my host when I arrived at the airport.
Of course it did not work on AT&T so I purchased a simple phone for $35.00 which I used for about 15 mins of calls.
This year I took this phone thinking all would be OK but was told it would cost $80.00 to fix it but as I was reluctent to to purchase another $35.00 machine I hunted around and eventualy got it fixed for $35.00 ! (of which I only paid $31.00 as the shopkeeper in America of all places did not want to take a credit card).



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Ann



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1112


Location: Worcestershire

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My other half likes television in the evenings too so I either go to bed and read up there or I use ear plugs. I agree there is no right answer and I do sometimes watch programmes I am not very interested in to keep him company. Luckily he his very relaxed about me taking myself away and sometimes watches the sort of programmes that he knows I don't like so we are both getting freedom of a sort.


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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3360


Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the death of my partner, Eric, in 2006 I live alone, which means I can more-or-less read when I feel like it. Usually after breakfast for an hour. Sometimes in the afternoon for a while - maybe in the park, weather permitting. About 4.00pm for a while, and always at bed-time.  I also manage to see a lot of films on DVD, use the computer, cook, do chores, pay bills etc. shop, go to the theatre and cinema, watch TV.  I get through a lot of books.  This house is happily large enough for me to change my reading locations.  In my library (actually the dining-room), living-room, upstairs bedroom with a distracting view of the street and passers-by, this room where I'm writing this which has a comfy - too comfy sofa, a CD player and a radio.  
Usually when I settle down to read the phone rings - if it's A. or D. that means a 45min putting down of my book.  If my sister rings - she lets the phone ring a special number of times then rings off so I know it's her and ring back.
When Eric was around we'd be reading in different rooms. I wish he were here....................well, he is in a way.........


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Evie
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It must be hard working these things out as a couple...I too live alone, so it is not a problem I have had to deal with!  But I feel for you, Joe - I can't read when the TV is on, and I do admire your willingness to share your company and allow your wife her pleasure at the expense of your own.  Losing those precious lunchtimes is hard too - I remember when I had a full time job, I used to love the lunchbreaks - as you say, you, a sandwich, a cup of coffee and a book - bliss.

It's hard to know how to help, though - you could encourage her to find a weekly club or outing of some kind, so that at least you'd get one evening a week to yourself!  Would she really not understand if you went and read in the bedroom for a while?


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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 678


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could swear off sporting events such as the the UEFA Euro 2012 which starts today and the Olympics later this summer and devote all that time to reading...................................hmmmmm.


I'll get back to you on that.


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county_lady



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 633


Location: N Worcs.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should swear off playing games on the pc also sudoku on my tablet and the Times book reviews and magazines and some of my forums (not this one) and actually read more.
I think those are why my attention span is getting shorter. Crying or Very sad


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gardens of Time on Facebook is my downfall...


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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not very good at reading "properly" if the TV is on, though I can read papers and magazines which take less attention. I and my other half do not have a lot of programmes which we both like. We will watch wildlife, selected history and some music programmes together, (enjoyable to have that to share) but he doesn't like drama and I don't like sport. I find the background noise at televised football matches very irritating, and hate it when the commentators shout hoarsely over the top - same with horse race commentators. I feel guilty about watching rubbish if he is there - though he watches some rubbish too, just a different type! But we've always been very good at doing things apart without minding, as we both like different things and need time to ourselves. I will often go to be early and read for ages. I'm not usually the sort who can only read for 5 minutes before my eyelids drop. When that has happened for a few nights I'm aware  what an unsatisfactory reading experience it is. We're also lucky enough to have space in our house, with only one TV,  and a separate dining room where lots of books are kept. I did manage to get a comfy chair squeezed in there. When our children moved out - more or less, anyway - we just spread into the space and I'm not sure how we would downsize. (My mother-in-law expected us to do this and can't imagine what we use the rooms for. But then she has no hobbies, nor are they the sort who ever had to do work-related paperwork at home.)

I can't read in cars or buses, but I can't imagine reading on a long car journey. That seems a bit impolite to me - not keeping the driver company or stopping them from getting bored or getting lost! Trains are OK.

I don't know the solution, either, but I do know that it can be uncomfortable when solitary time gets eroded, even if you didn't realise how much you counted on it before. My other guilty thing to do is stay in bed at weekends reading and not getting up for hours. My other half is an early riser. How productive I could have been if I did not spend so much time absorbed in a  book! But what I would have missed, too.



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