I’ve often found when talking to non-bookworms about my love of reading, they’ll come out with the statement ‘I’d love to read too, but I just don’t have time’, or something similar. And perhaps I’m being too sensitive, but I actually find this statement kind of insulting, and I’d love to know what other readers feel.
We all have busy lives, but very few people have no free time at all, and what you choose to do with it is up to you. For example, on my lunch breaks at work, I choose to read my book, rather than chat to people in the staff room or go on my phone. Us bookworms don’t just somehow conjure up extra hours from somewhere, and that’s how we fit in reading: we give up other things in order to do it, because we enjoy it so much.
I’ve found that many of the people who say this, actually watch a lot of TV, and whilst I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that (I watch TV myself sometimes!), it means that actually they do have the time to read. They just choose to spend it doing something different, which is entirely up to them. Just don’t then imply that us readers somehow have all the time in the world just to lounge about reading books. We don’t: it takes work to fit it in, but we love it enough to do it!
I’ve found it’s the same when you tell anyone that you blog, or are writing a book. People will say that they’d love to do that too, but they don’t know ‘where you find the time.’ In my opinion most people can find the time, even if it’s just ten minutes a day, if they care deeply enough about doing something. It’s usually the case that the person often doesn’t care enough to actually do the thing, but are rationalising it to you and themselves as lacking the time, even though they’ll spend hours at a time scrolling Twitter.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with this, I just don’t like people belittling people who do actually want to do these things, and are actively working towards their goal. The whole ‘I don’t know where you find the time’ thing somehow implies to me that you’re lazy if you have the time available to do such things, when I actually think the opposite is true. Devoting your free time to work on something you love is a good thing as far as I’m concerned!
Now don’t get me wrong: all bookworms and writers go through spells where they read/write less (perhaps because of a slump, or feeling unmotivated, or a big life event) but what I’m talking about here is a general lifestyle choice. If you genuinely want to read so badly, then you’ll just do it in my opinion. Most people can fit in a few minutes every day to read a book (or write one!) if that’s genuinely what they want to do. And if not, that’s fine. But please, please don’t put it down to a lack of time, as if us bookworms somehow have more hours in the day than you! We don’t: we just love reading!
So, fellow bookworms, what do you think? Does this annoy you too, or am I being unfair? Do you think that most people could read if they really wanted to?