When Did Reading Become a Luxury?

As I type this post, I’m watching curling on the television and toggling between this screen and Wikipedia in attempt to have 2018 finally be the year I fully comprehend the sport. The kids are asleep upstairs, Lucy is next to me on the couch, and I’m awaiting text confirmation that my betrothed has safely arrived at his intended location. I could be using this alone time to strengthen my mind and actually read but instead, I am writing about books that I want to read. Life can be funny that way. We’re heading out of town for the Presidents’ Day holiday – while winter has been a bust snow-wise in the Washington DC area this year, we’re still escaping the cold for warmer temperatures. And my goal is to actually read a book (or maybe two!) during our little break.

In 2016, The Washington Post explored the long and steady decline of literary reading. The article mentioned how studies have shown that  literary fiction boosts the quality of empathy in the people who read it. So one could theorize that the decline in literary reading has resulted in a decline of empathy. I want to read more for many reasons, including this one. The Harvard Business Review listed 8 ways to read a lot more books this year. One such way is making a public commitment, which guess what? I am totally doing right now. At this phase in my life, reading feels a bit like a luxury. There is always something I could be doing instead of reading – cleaning, cooking, interacting with my kids, working, etc…

I love to read. But I am an all-consuming reader. When I read a book, it takes over my existence. I’m not able to simply put it down and go about my life. I sneak pages when I can and skirt real-life responsibility for printed words. For this reason, I struggle to incorporate reading into my daily life and it is usually saved for moments when I remove myself from everyday existence. I wasn’t always this way but the introduction of children, social media, and multiple streaming options into my life have all seemed to contribute to my issue. I want this to change. So I’d like to read the following books over the next handful of months…



Yes, I have never read a Harry Potter book but I look forward to embarking on the adventure with my children by reading it out loud each night with them. And despite Judy Blume books being extremely influential throughout my childhood, I have yet to read her 2015 novel. I’m extremely interested in Chris Kresser’s Unconventional Medicine – I’ve been wanting to make some dietary changes for quite some time and I am hope that The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and You are a Badass will give me the kick in the pants that I need to accomplish some pipe dreams I have. Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN is written by the same people who as Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, which I absolutely loved. Emily Giffin is my guilty pleasure so I am anxiously awaiting the release of her new book and I’ve been wanting to read The Nightingale for some time, based on the recommendation of many friends. And of course, who can resist Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven? Everyone else is reading it so I might as well too.

What have you read lately? Does reading feel like a luxury to you?

4 thoughts on “When Did Reading Become a Luxury?

  1. Reading definitely feels like a luxury to me, too, although it is getting better now that my youngest is a little more independent and sleeping well. I used to balk at the idea of audio books, but I started using them a lot during our last move and have been keeping at it (I still read real books, too :)). They have definitely helped me squeeze a lot more books since I can listen while cleaning and driving.

    Right now I am listening to Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker. It is fascinating and makes me feel like the answer to all problems in life is to sleep more. It also freaks me out a bit hearing of all of the short and long-term negative effects of getting little sleep, and thinking of how sleep-deprived hubby has been throughout his career…

    Enjoy Harry Potter with the kids!! And let us know how The Nightengale is, I’ve been eyeing that one, too.


  2. I’m definitely like that with reading too–I either never read or read an entire book all in one sitting! Which is hard to find time to do with a kiddo. I just finished The Great Alone also by Kristen Hannah and it was amazing. I hope you enjoy The Nightingale (it’s one of my favorites from her) and the other books on your list!


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