Why You SHOULD Take a Reading Break (Sometimes)
When I closed my laptop this past Friday night, I didn't open it again all weekend. This, for a writer, is harder than you might think. But Sunday was mine and my boyfriend's two year anniversary, so we wanted to celebrate with an epic staycation.
We got up early on Saturday and saw baby lions, twirling otters, and angry goats head-butting their container's glass at the zoo. We also happened upon some exhibitionist Bonobos who reminded us how we should be marking the occasion.
We followed that with canoeing. Even as I ba(s)ked in the sun, trying desperately not to flip the boat, no book spine was cracked.
On Sunday we had brunch at a place that serves boozy cereal. Think Cheerios with amaretto, scotch, honey, and milk. Next we picked up supplies for the vegetable garden we'd be planting in the afternoon. Admittedly, I did step away for three hours to attend a meeting of a writers group I'm in and when I got back, we treated ourselves to a nice dinner at a quirky specialty grilled cheese restaurant.
Despite the fact that we're both avid readers and book lovers extraordinaire, I don't think either of us read more then 20 pages the whole weekend. This is surprising when you consider how much of our free time together is spent cozied up reading. After all, our appreciation of each others' love of reading is one of the reasons we're so compatible.
We didn't formally announce a "no reading" weekend and I don't think either of us would have minded if we had wanted to take a reading break. But it just didn't happen, and that's okay.
Our weekend staycation was a mini vacation, and when you're on vacation you do things differently than you do in your everyday life, even if you're not actually on a faraway excursion.
When reading is so ingrained as a part of your daily life, sometimes it becomes one of the things you give up while you're on vacation. Sure, some people do read on vacation and I imagine the people who are most excited about reading on their vacations are the ones who don't have time to read as much as they'd like in their everyday lives.
The thing about vacations is that you're supposed to do things you don't normally do. Well, for me and Jon, that means not reading. We normally read every day, so even though it's something we love we don't mind taking breaks every now and then.
If you find yourself powering through books in your everyday life, give yourself time to step away on your vacation. The book gods won't smite you. Your book's feelings won't be hurt. If anything, you'll be more excited to pick up where you left off when things are back to normal.
Or if you find you're always wanting to read more and feel like you never have the time, try taking a reading-cation, where you read all day and vow not to let responsibility guilt you.
I enjoyed my mini vacation. Even though it was only two days I feel like I've been gone a week. I'm energized, refreshed, and ready to answer my book's call. If anything, I'm more curious than ever to see what happens next in the story.