I sometimes feel guilty when I sit and read in the middle of the day.
It feels so unproductive, like I’m doing something solely for my pleasure and not benefiting anyone else. Like a waste.
It’s a bad mindset. I need to change it.
Granted, if there is something that needs to be done, I don’t need to forsake work just for my pleasure.
But if I’m caught up and nothing is pressing, it’s okay to take a little time for myself and read.
It’s often profitable.
- It teaches me.
- It changes me.
- It can connect me back to God.
These are valuable reasons.
But this is another valuable reason, too: Reading is simply enjoyable to me.
I recently finished the new book, Books Promiscuously Read: Reading as a Way of Life by Heather Cass White. It’s about the pleasure and power of reading.
While I didn’t enjoy all of the book (it felt very disjointed; I give it 3 stars out of 5), I did enjoy enough of it to grab hold of White’s message:
“We should move a step beyond our preoccupation with dissipation and luxury where reading is concerned. The price is too high—it makes us read less. Even the pleasant aura of nocturnal dalliance we get for carving our life into daytime duty and nighttime reading, however attractively naughty it makes reading seem, is a distraction from the challenge of bringing our reading into the daylight. In the daylight we can affirm it, even and perhaps especially if only to ourselves, as a mode of living. We also serve who sit and read.”
I hear her say to bring our books into the daylight.
Reading doesn’t have to be relegated to the last thing we do if we happen to have time left over. (I fall asleep if I wait that late.)
So if you have a spare moment today and you’re off the clock with no child crying for dinner or no emergency calling your name, pick up a book.
“Reading is a morning’s work.”
When is your favorite time to read? Do you ever feel guilty about it? Share in the comments.
MORE ON READING
My thanks to NetGalley + Farrar, Straus
and Giroux for the review copy of this book
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