On Reading and Hammocks

 "How do you find the time to read?"

That is one of the questions that I hear the most. As it turns out, I do have some tricks on this very topic!  Here they are in top ten order:

(Note that these tips also work for work or study, if you or your children, teens, dogs, cats, etc. are struggling with that.)

(My husband  decided he would fix this up for me for R & R).
1. Turn off the TV.

2. Turn off the IPad, Ipod and phone, unless you are just listening to music.

3. Take a deep breath, trust me, it will be ok.

4. Find a comfy spot to read.

5. Take time to relax, with no stimulation other than a good book and maybe some soft music. If you find it hard to be without background noise, music is lovely while reading.  It is NOT against the law to have some down time or quiet time, and it is very good for you.

 (Isn't he so sweet?) 

6. Pick a good book. If you take the time to pick a good book, you will find time to come back to it. You will even find that you take it with you, and when you have time that you are waiting, you will read the book. This is easier to do than it used to be with all the Ereaders and reader Apps out there. You can actually read, yet you look like you are just being "cool" and surfing or chatting with your very bestie.

7. Another way to find time to read is by listening to a book while doing things that are "solo" chores. Unless someone is following me around happy to help and feeling chummy, I listen to a book at chore time, or while working out.

(My friend Tim says Gary should build me THIS Hammock.  Picture hanging on it while listening to Game of Thrones!  Can't you just hear it:  "Winter is coming! Winter is coming!")
ANYWAY,  I read much these days by audio. I started doing that several years ago because I had read a book about ways to keep your mind in good working order. That is important to me because as a lawyer, my mind is one of my top assets. (I bet it is your top asset, too!) I wanted to relearn how to be a good listener, and since I'm always busy working when not at work, it is a great way to "whistle while you work."


Try "reading" classics by audio -- they are much more understandable. We have all gotten used to "white" space, so when you pick up a book and one entire page is a paragraph, your brain wants to just turn off. Make it easy on yourself and make it a goal to experience a classic this year by audio. Any of those on any list will do -- once you get to the end you will see what makes a classic.  The library has great classics for electronic download, see my earlier post in September (Lunch with the Librarian).

8. And while you are at it, listen to a book while driving. It's amazing how much time we all spend in a car.

(Tim also said that Gary should add these tea lights!)
9. But when you are not in the car, or doing work, or working out and listening to a book, turn off the TV. Put away the Ipad and Ipod, and put that phone in another room or somewhere that you can't hear it buzzing you.

I know I already said it, but trust me, I struggle with this, too.  I don't think these things are bad for you, in fact I think they are probably good for a little creativity flow.  But you need to bend the other way, too.  Exercise your deep thinking brain, too, or you will lose it.  It also makes you more empathetic, because you have experienced something out of your life sphere.  Did you know that studies show that the brain adopts something you have read AS IF you experienced it?  

10. Make sure you love the book you are reading. Want to read 50 Shades of Grey? I say go for it, so long as you know what you are getting. You will probably love it, and you will then need help finding another book that you love. Trust me, they are out there. If you don't love the book you are reading, you won't be inspired to keep reading it, so investigate, ask around, and shop for a really good book for you.

(Hammock Time When Reading 50 Shades of Grey, but better have privacy!)
(Yes, Tim found that hammock, too, as a suggestion for Gary to build for me.)

Ehem, ANYWAY. . .  Turn off the TV or other gadget (unless you are reading on it, and I hear that it is pretty cool to read 50 Shades on an Ereader because no one can see the cover!!).  Ehem again, and anyway, trust me, it will still be there when you go back. And when you go back, your brain will have been happy for the sustenance that you gave it.
Oh yeah, want to know what my hammock looks like?  Isn't it nice!  

(For the curious, we've had it awhile,and it was a gift to hubby, and I'm about the only one that uses it, and hubby likes to tease me about stuff, as does friend Tim, and that little blue guy by the tree is a cool Native American frog statute, and, I wish I had the cowboy, too!) 

Enjoy your weekend, friends! I hope you get some down time!

Shawn Chandler and I wore our Texas Ranger shirts for Team Spirit for Charity Friday at work today, fun times!

Bye now!


I have been dreaming of that arch canopy covered hammock....and reading 50 Shades in it:)
Sydney Young said…
Lol! If Rhett builds it for you, I'll get you the book and babysit your children! And toast more fun to you!
Unknown said…
I hear 50 Shades of Grey makes an excellent gift to give to family members!
Sydney Young said…
Especially your dad, right Kris? How did that work for him (or did Pat steal it)? Lol!
Unknown said…
Fun post! Thought about you today because it's Banned Books Week! Have a happy one!
Sydney Young said…
Thanks Robyn! I keep meaning to order a banned books coffee mug, now after seeing your post I wish I had! I may have to post a follow up, because the gang has continued to provide me with a lovely bunch of even more sumptuous hammock pics. So silly.
Unknown said…
Not as silly as all the 50 Shades quips. Now there's a trilogy bound for the Banned Books Top 10... Looking forward to the follow-up. Makes me want a hammock on my tiny balcony/patio instead of my outdoor furniture. :-)

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