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No one takes reading seriously

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Image by Alexandre Dulaunoy/flickr

This week I asked my boss if I could start working four days instead of five, to give me a day for writing, and he very kindly said yes. It seemed a sensible thing to do: I like writing, after all, and consider myself a writer. That’s worth taking a 20% cut to the family budget, right? I do think it is, but considering I never expect to actually make a career of or any money from writing novels, it is kind of a weird thing to do. How come it’s OK to take a day a week off to write, but so much less so to take a day a week off to read? I love reading. I’m heaps better at reading than I am at writing. I have about exactly as much chance of ever making money from it as I do from writing. But it would seem pretty outrageous¬†to tell my husband ‘hey I’ve cut back my work hours so I can spend a day a week re-reading Gilead and Perdido St Station and maybe a couple of those new novels everyone keeps talking about’. Tempting though. Maybe I’ll go down to three days a week…

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10 thoughts on “No one takes reading seriously

  1. I work at my day job four days a week, with the fifth for ostensibly for writing. I’ll never go back to full time but it is SO easy for that fifth day to get eaten up. By my day job, by chores and errands, by the other things I enjoy doing that aren’t writing, and yes by reading! As it is the kids’ school day seems all too short. Good on you for taking the leap though. You won’t regret it.

  2. Love this Jane … and love the question you pose. When I retired (and I must say I worked 4 days most of my career – first for children, and then for parents/and parent-law) I thought I would read more, but I don’t. And that’s really because I feel a little guilty. So, instead of reading more, or doing serious stuff like, oh, housework, I just fritter my time away. Not totally, I do do other things, BUT I know that I could be more efficient about the reading if I didn’t feel so darned guilty. Why is that?

  3. Fantastic move, Jane (with the IF condition that you actually productively use the time). If it’s a way of productively using your days (even if not “profitably”) then go for it. Not practical for me at the moment for financial reasons, but you’re living the dream, Rawson, living the dream…

  4. You’re so right. I never read during “work hours” as I see it as too indulgent and I’m a stay at home mother and work all hours. To “fit” reading in around my other “duties”, I get up at 5.30am and read until 7 am. I also read after 8.30 pm. I feel guilty otherwise – which as you point out is rather sad and ridiculous.

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