I Just Don’t Have Time to Read…

"Study drawing shows the allegorical figu...

“Study drawing shows the allegorical figure of Romance nude. She bends her head to read a book on her lap. Romance was one figure in a painting, The arts, in the north end lunette of the Southwest Gallery in the Library of Congress’ Jefferson Building.” Graphite drawing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know ’em. They’re the people who look at you like you’ve just suggested resorting to cannibalism when all you did was recommend a good book. And they always have the same come-back: “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO READ.”

Unless you’re dead, you have time to read. That’s right, all you business men and women, mother’s of young children, military service members, cops, doctors, lawyers, professional thieves, hookers…even the really hardworking ones—the whole lot of you—if you’re not reading, claiming that you simply haven’t the time, what you’re really saying is that you don’t want to read, or that you’d rather do other things with your time. And that’s fine. You don’t have to read. But what I find interesting is that when propositioned with reading, most people seem to feel guilty for not reading, and feel the only possible response that might save them face is to say that they’re too busy.

Hey…if you’re not a reader, you’re not a reader. Just say it. But there’s not a man, woman, or child in America who doesn’t have 10–20 minutes a day they could dedicate to reading. We all poop, don’t we?

What I resent most is the implication that because I do read, I must not work as hard, or I must have far more free time on my hands. Readers can’t possibly comprehend the time constraints non-readers are under, and how such frivolous hobbies (like reading a book) simply don’t fit into their oh so important agendas.

Truth is: I don’t have time to read during the day, either. No…wait…I’m lying. I could probably squeeze in a few minutes here or there, but I prefer to focus on what I’m reading, and when you home-school two children, take care of a home, and are editing your own novel, time is limited. But I do read every single night. I shower, lay in bed, my husband and I turn on our bed-side lamps, and we read. I might only get through 2 pages before the ol’ eyelids close the curtain on another long day, but I read.

Next time you recommend a book to someone, wait for that crazed look to dance across their face, and then ask what they do on weekends, during the day, and in the evenings. Chances are they won’t say they’ve just been recruited to do a mandatory 24 hour, 7 day-a-week staring contest. And for all you non-readers out there: readers don’t have more time on their hands. We simply choose to pass on the latest episode of Honey Boo Boo, or watching celebrities flop off a high dive. We leave buffoonery like that to you.

© 2013 Sloane Kady

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