Booking Through Thursday: Time is of the Essence

It’s Thursday (already) so time for another BTT meme and this week Deb focuses on a topic close to every bibliophile’s heart – time! She asks:

1. Do you get to read as much as you WANT to read?

2. If you had (magically) more time to read–what would you read? Something educational? Classic? Comfort Reading? Escapism? Magazines?

1. I think it’s impossible for any bibliophile to claim that they get as much time to read as they want, but the underlying issue is more about finding the time to read. At my university graduation six short month’s ago we were all reminded that we all have have the same amount of time available to us; Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein and William Shakespeare etc. had the same amount of time available to them as we do, so the key is how you use that time. A stirring speech, and one, along with the prospect of facing an academic void, that caused me to make the resolution that day that I would dedicate as much time as I could to continue to build my knowledge through reading.

Since making that pledge I’ve been amazed at the amount of time I’ve been able to find for reading. The key is eliminating distraction, which is no easy task, especially with the Internet available at one’s fingertips, but it is possible especially when a love for reading is so great.

Ultimately though do I get enough time to read what I want to read? Things are certainly better but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully find all of the time I need.

2. The second question is very difficult to answer simply because there is so much out there that I want to read. I’d like to get to the position where I’ve read the entire works of every author I admire (Steinbeck, Hemingway, Dostoevsky, Hamsun, Murakami etc. etc.), every significant world-changing work that has ever been published, and not surprisingly given I’m a qualified historian, every contemporary work pertaining to every historical period, which of course is an absolute impossibility.

More realistically I’d also like to get to the position every year where I’m able to know and have read every work shortlisted for the major book awards i.e. Booker, Costa Book Awards, before the winner is announced. It frustrates me sooooo much each and every year when I can’t make a fully informed comment on the shortlist and eventual winner of these events :o)

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. You right, we have to make the times to read when given that moment to. I try to find the times to read between working, watching TV and doing chores. And when I do find it I appericate every moment of it 🙂

    Happy Thursday!

  2. Hee. We all want more time to read. I agree with you about looking for the time. I get up early in the mornings before week to read and do some blog stuff and I try to read a couple of hours each night. I have gotten rid of the tv as a distraction, but the internet is another story entirely.

  3. Hmmm, interesting response! I always feel like life is so much more rushed and busy than it must have been in the past; even people a generation or two older than me say that they felt like they had more time before. But it’s true, that we have the same number of hours in a day. I guess you just have to figure out how to use them wisely.

  4. No one has enough reading time, and we all could use more to read what we like. Happy BTT!

  5. I don’t think any of us is happy with the amount of reading time we have.

  6. I just wish to FIND more times. Is it too much to ask?!


    Here is my BTT post

  7. Such a good point about having the same time as DaVinci, etc. I think it’s critical to choose how to fill it wisely, but i also feel bogged by ‘appliances’ sometimes. I used to have one phone to check, and it didn’t even have an answering machine. Now I have one at home, one at my desk, and a cell phone. Same with email. I wonder how the Masters would have used their time if they were surrounded by what we have to cope with. Still, choosking wisely is the key!

  8. I agree – the important thing is to enjoy those hours/minutes you are lucky enough to get to spend reading.

  9. I almost said the same about no bibliophile having enough time to read.

  10. Yes proioritizing is important! People are amazed at the amount of books I read.

  11. I agree that it’s all about the time you find for yourself to read. Ever since I was a kid reading was a top priority for me, so much so that I would get in trouble for skipping chores around the house.

  12. I’ve never made it through all the works of Shakespeare. That’s definitely something I’d tackle had I more reading time.

  13. I just have to learn to put the distractions away and make focused reading a priority. I have more reading time than I actually let myself enjoy because I get caught up fiddling with the computer or watching TV shows I don’t enjoy nearly as much as I do a good book.

  14. I usually read two hours over breakfast every morning, taking my time and sitting at the sunniest spot at my neighborhood coffee shop. (It’s San Francisco…everyone has their coffee at the cafes). Then I’ll slip in some reading time when no students come for office hour. I’ll read a bit more at home in the evening since I don’t watch much TV. Throughout the day I squeeze into a bit reading time here and there at the office, especially when no students are in for office hour.

  15. Good post. If we budget our time wisely and fit in what is most important to us, we will get it done. Reading is important to me, so I make the time. And yes, I agree so many good books and so little time. It is impossible to read them all.

    Robin of mytwoblessings

  16. I enjoyed reading your post. Great answers. You have a wonderful blog going here. It’s interesting and easy to read.

  17. Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

    Thanks for all of your great comments guys. No need for me to respond to those in general agreement, other than to thank you for taking the time to stop by, but to those with specific points of interest:

    @Nicole – I’m definitely a ‘morning person’ and find myself most productive at the start of the day. Don’t you just love the peace and tranquility when everyone else is still asleep and the sense of achievement you carry with you for the whole day, knowing you’ve got through a ton of work/reading before most people even think about getting up? I know I do!

    @Bellezza – Interesting point on being ‘bogged by appliances’. It’s kind of ironic isn’t it, that the things that are meant to help us. often hinder us.

    @Alyce – I think adopting good reading practises from an early age is critical to our reading success when we reach adulthood. Although I almost ceaselessly encourage my kids to read every day I’ve not had the ‘pleasure’ yet of telling them off for skipping chores in favour of reading; It’s more skipping chores to play a video games, or surfing the Internet :o(

    @Jeane – You’re a better person than me. As hard as I’ve tried I’ve never been in the slightest bit enamoured with anything the Bard has written. I just can’t get into him at all.

    @Teresa – Wow that happens a lot to me too. I often face the day with a good block off reading time scheduled but I start tinkering around with this and that and before I know it that reading time has vanished. It’s darn annoying isn’t it? :o)

    @Matt – I love the sound of your reading schedule, especially the breakfast part of it.

    @Carol – It’s posts like yours that put a smile on my face and make all the work on this blog worthwhile. What a really nice thing to say. Thank you!