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It’s OK to Not Finish Your Peas

Reading Book Reviews

I used to think that my hobby was reading books. And it is… or used to be before I became a parent, but that’s not the whole story. What I’ve discovered is that more often than not, I read the book review, become interested in the subject or story, buy or borrow the book, and then never finish the book. It’s not for lack of interest or willingness to do the work of reading. It’s that my interests greatly exceed my time. So I’ve determined that my hobby has become reading book reviews.

BooksSelf Flagellation

This realization has taken me a while to acknowledge consciously. But as the unread books in my room keep piling up, I’ve had to face it. And my first reaction has been to beat myself up about it, mentally that is.

I tried behavior therapy such as not allowing myself to buy books anymore. Only library books for a while. But then I started modifying my rule, saying well if I buy a book from a yard sale, then that’s OK. But it’s not OK. The books keep piling up. And I keep feeling bad.

I tried disallowing book review reading. If I am not tempted by the luscious new books hitting the bookshelves, then I won’t buy any more books, right? But that didn’t work. I found myself doing drive-by’s of the bookstore like a lover mourning a break-up. And eventually I found myself inside the bookstore… on the way to the grocery store… just a quick stop I told myself.

Epiphany

So fast forward to today. I was trying to think of a story to write for the Not-So-Boring Challenge, and it hit me! It’s OK to not finish every book I buy or borrow. It’s OK to only skim a book. It’s OK if you rarely use that power tool you impulsively bought that’s collecting dust in the garage. It’s OK if it takes 2 years to finish the quilting project you were so excited about at the start.

Hobbies should be fun. We shouldn’t attach our crazy insane work ethic to our hobbies, because if we do, then they become work and then we avoid them altogether.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to read what I can, skim without guilt, and enjoy reading book reviews. Maybe I’ll even allow myself to fantasize about buying a new book now and then.

….And now over to Not-So-Boring-Life’s Rare Must Read Books to see if I can find something juicy to read….or not read! 🙂

 

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2 Responses to It’s OK to Not Finish Your Peas

  1. Nathan April 19, 2007 at 8:32 am #

    Wow. Loved this article. Having a hobby isn’t about doing it through completion, it’s about finding something you enjoy and relax doing it.

  2. agentsully April 19, 2007 at 9:59 am #

    Thanks Nathan! I’ve read your reviews on your site and it seems that you call it like you see it. So, coming from you this compliment has weight. Thanks again!

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