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December Reflections Day 3
I have fallen out of the habit of reading books.
It does make me sad to say this, I love reading and used to be the most dedicated book worm. Alas, this prompt made me realize that I only finished three books this year: all of them British cozy murder mysteries from the 19th century. Don’t get me wrong, I love Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series, it’s well written and just suspenseful enough without making me over-anxious or creeped out. The perfect read on my phone at night, which is basically when most of my novel reading happens these days.
So what happened? Why have I abandonded a much loved habit?
I think there are three reasons:
1. Limited attention span
We talk a lot about the impact the internet is having on our mental health, including our attention spans. I definitely have a harder time focusing on quiet things like reading a novel. Which is perhaps why I’ve been turning more to non-fiction and self-development. Even though I rarely finish those books either, I can at least jump in and out of chapters and still find crumbs of wisdom and helpful insights.
2. Increased screen time
Needless to say, I spend a lot of time looking at screens! Between my computer, phone and the TV it’s a wonder my head isn’t square! I used to read books in the evenings but now I spend that time scrolling through social media, working on posts, doodling in Procreate, or doing Wordle and Spelling Bee. And maybe that’s ok? The evening is when I get to hang out with my husband, we usually watch a show or two that we both enjoy and then he keeps on watching more of his stuff while I grab my phone or iPad. It’s cozy companionship and I treasure this time together. Of course I could just as easily read a book and you know what? I think I’ll start doing that!
3. Bad eye sight
This was actually a major contributor. My eyes had gotten pretty bad over the years, to the point where I was so nearsighted that I needed to hold my phone or a book really close. Which hurt my arm and shoulder and over time I developed chronic tendonitis. It was hard to focus on reading with the constant pain, and this is also why I stopped doing my digital art (some of you may remember my doodles!). This year I finally had eye surgery and I could chose the power for my vision and went with -2.25. It’s the perfect distance for me to read and write without glasses and at a comfortable arm length. Game changer!! My tendonitis is gone and thanks to my improved vision I am journaling more again and yes, reading a bit more, too.
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Well, this turned more into a post about reading than a favorite book! But that’s ok, it’s all connected, right? Next year I definitely want to read more novels and if you do, too, I can highly recommend following Mel at Bookstacks and Sidetracks, she’s not only an engaging, thoughtful and funny writer, she also recommends great books all the time.
This post is my contribution to Susannah Conway’s December Reflections.