Last week I stumbled across this: 10 Excuses You’ve Probably Used to Skip a Workout. I exercise regularly, not only because it’s good for my overall health, but also because it seems to help control my movement disorder. Some of the excuses seemed a little far-fetched at first – seriously, people really get away with these excuses. But after thinking about it, I realized that we’re all great at coming up with creative excuses for not doing things that are good for us.
Take reading books, for instance. How often do you read? I’m not talking about reading the newspaper, the gossip magazine headlines at the supermarket, or even a self-improvement non-fiction book. How often do you give yourself the gift of escaping into the pages of a great novel? Check out my list of 10 excuses you’ve probably used at one time or another for not reading:
- My dog (cat, hamster, hedgehog, goldfish, etc.) has been sick
- It’s too big of a commitment. I don’t do long-term commitments.
- I lost my reading glasses.
- Books are too heavy to carry on the train commute (Um…ever heard of a Kindle?)
- What if I start the book and it sucks?
- Every time I pick up a book, I fall asleep
- I don’t read fiction. I’m a realist. (Please!)
- My crazy life doesn’t leave room for reading books
- My show is on at bedtime, so I watch TV (How about a book before bed time?)
- I use my iPhone 5S on my commute. Siri tells me stories. (Are you commuting to kindergarten?)
So, it’s confession time. Have you used any of these excuses, or versions of them, to avoid enhancing your intelligence through reading a fascinating fiction book?
No More Excuses – Reading Is a Privilege
To stop slacking on reading, you first need to make a commitment to change. Any type of change comes with its challenges and stumbling blocks. Make the decision to read one fiction book. The universe will undoubtedly try to thwart you by throwing up all manner of opportunities to blow off your book time. But with a firm resolve and by taking baby steps, you can do it.
Set aside time each day to read your book — even if it’s just 10 minutes every day before heading to work, or 15 minutes at lunch time.
Ferociously guard your reading time – don’t let anyone or anything encroach upon your time to read. Announce to all potential interlopers that this is your “me time”. Assure them that you’ll focus on them afterward (i.e. kids, spouse, needy friends, Siri)
Keep an open mind – if you haven’t voluntarily read a fiction book since college or shortly thereafter, you’re out of practice. It may take you a bit longer to become immersed in the fictional world of the story than it does your friends who consume books like candy.
Hidden bonus: you won’t get left out of conversations at the water cooler when everyone is buzzing about the latest best selling crime thriller or that vampire series all the women at the office incessantly discuss.
Learn more about developing a reading habit in my post on How to Read More and Why.
Now that you’ve decided to take the reading challenge and read at least one fiction book to the end, how do you choose a book? After all, one of the excuses people use is their fear of choosing a boring book with a flat plot line.
I’m going to surprise you by suggesting you start with a crime thriller. Granted, as an author of the genre, I’m partial. But crime novels have fast-paced, suspenseful plots with plenty of twists and turns throughout. A good one will keep you on the edge of your seat and draw you fully into the world of its fascinating characters.
And, it just happens that my latest crime thriller, Chasing the Dead, is available for preorder on Amazon now. Get your copy and start your thrill ride today. I’d love to hear your thoughts as you progress through the story – especially if you’re just getting back into reading fiction.
Chasing the Dead is the second book in my Alex Stone Thriller Series. You don’t have to read them in order, but once you read one, you won’t want to stop there. So, go ahead and grab a copy of Stone Cold, the first book, while you’re at it.
Share the excuses you’ve used to skip reading time. Then go read!
Photos: #noexcuses – Creative Commons, man reading – spring [dot] org [dot] uk