Time to read!

Hey cHEwY gum gums

I don’t make any new year resolutions. But I want to read more books this year.

I still love books and have been a bookworm since I was 7 years old, but I’m finding it harder to find time to read.

The awesome Annie McCain from Read3r’s Re-Vu, a reading group on Facebook, has organised it’s first D.E.A.R (drop everything and read) Hour of 2019, where you read a book for um…an hour.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read for an hour. Sure, I can play some games for 3 hours straight but reading a book? My maximum time is maybe 15-20 minutes before I get distracted and do something else.

Back in primary school, I was reading over 100 novels. When I was starting out as a writer, I would read 120 books plus each year. Last year, looking back at my own reflection journals, I only finished 20 books. My reading shame pile is still waist-high.

So what happened?

I think it’s because I see reading as a ‘snack-size’ activity. I usually read in between gaps of time, when I’m waiting for someone to pick me up, board a plane or during that awkward period where you can’t use electronics at the start and end of a flight haha.

I’ve always used books like this. As a kid, you’d find me with a book in hand, reading when I’m waiting for the bus, standing in the canteen line or when my mum would spend ages doing her shopping.

Nowadays, I use that ‘snack’ time to scroll through my phone OR I break out my Nintendo 3DS or Switch. Yes I’m one of those guys who never rests his eyes and never stands still. Besides, I can use my Switch now during take off and landing on domestic flights. So where will I find the time to read?

Reading and gaming have played tug of war with my free time, ever since my parents bought me a Game Boy Pocket. So I totally understand when kids/teens reach for their gaming devices instead of a book. Not cos books are boring, but as a passionate gamer, I find games much more engaging to me. Yeah I know, I write books for a living haha.

So I need to carve out time to read. I’ll start small, reading for 10-15 mins before bedtime instead of playing games (it’ll probably help me sleep better too). At the moment, I’m halfway through Sarah Wilson’s ‘First, we make the beast beautiful’ and I started a new kids book during the long weekend, The Misfits by Kate Darnton (who I met at NEEV’s literature festival in India last year). But I’m also 55 hours into an epic adventure game, Octopath Traveller. It’s also got an involving narrative. Technically it’s reading. If you think my reading shame pile is huge, just wait until you see all my unplayed games haha.

Honestly, I think reading will help my writing too. I keep saying to kids that reading helps you get more ideas. So I have to get back into it and who knows…my next cHEwY creation could sprout from what I read. Don’t worry, you won’t seeing NevereverMore from me haha.

I’m going to try to get through Sarah and Kate’s books during the D.E.A.R hour this week and keep going. Surely, I can read more than 20 books this year. Find out at the end of 2019 haha.

Anyone else struggle to find time to read books?

O.W

About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree