That Reading Feeling


Photo by Rachel Main, courtesy of Footscray Community Arts Centre

I struggle to read. I’ll admit it. I’m a teenager in year 12. I get dumped with work like I’m bored and have nothing else better to do with my time. But every new pile of work pushes the towering ‘to read’ pile a little further back until it is sitting in the corner looking lonely and dejected. So here is a list of ways to steal back time so that that pile of lovelies waiting patiently to be read can get all the attention that they deserve.

  1. Read at the dinner table. It’s a solid half hour each day, however unless you are an unusually neat eater or have the reflexes of an undercover ninja, avoid reading whilst eating tomato or beetroot soup. Splashback stains are most… unfortunate…
  2. While doing chores like vacuuming. It’s simple and easy. Just vacuum in a straight line until you hit a wall/person/dog, then turn and continue.
  3. Read in bed. Nothing is as good as being cosy, warm and propped up on a pillow with a book in one hand. DISCLAIMER: Horror fiction or any book that ends each chapter on a cliff hanger is NOT recommended. Although books are awesome, going to sleep before 4.38am is nice too.*
  4. Play audiobooks in the car. It’s like reading for lazy people.
  5. Read in lunch breaks. The best antisocial places are in libraries or the corners of rooms. Flat stretches of walls are to be avoided. Ignore anyone who says that lunch breaks are for socialising. Who needs friends anyway?**
  6. Use a time turner. Seriously, you can read, do maths questions and wash the dishes as the same time. Just don’t high five yourself: you may break the time space continuum. (Side note: the ‘may’ is because no one has been willing to try it so far… would you want to be the person who broke the universe?)
  7. Read on the bus/train/car/plane/tram/steamboat/tandem bicycle/kangaroo. Pack motion-sickness tablets, paper bag or an iron stomach.***
  8. Homework time. Who needs quadratic equations anyway?

*It has been said that the best reading happens by torchlight under a cave of blankets. They are not wrong. But read point three again. No-one will have sympathy the next day. No-one. Not even your own brain.

**Make a ‘reading gang’ to keep you company whilst acting out point five and to avoid looking like a total loner. Look for new members behind the ‘z’ shelves in the library and in the corner furthest from the door. They are likely to be skittish so luring them in with bait is ideal. Harry Potter works well.

***Note: tandem bicycle refers to the person sitting at the back only. Reading whilst steering is highly inadvisable although you may amuse the ER nurse.

Elena is an eighteen-year-old student who likes reading, hanging out at 100 Story Building and speaking about herself in the third person.