Netflix is winning, or at least it seems that way sometimes. As of this morning, I am 3 books behind schedule in my Goodreads reading challenge. I’ve only set a goal of 65 this year, as my work schedule and other time demands make attempting to read any more uncomfortable, if not impossible. But now I have discovered a new obstacle.
I have kids, and when you have kids, you have screened devices. Screened devices with access to the internet. In theory, it means access to an e-reader too, but here’s the thing. I’m tired. I don’t care how good the book is, reading requires some energy. Energy that Netflix does not demand. Energy that, with young children demanding all my time and attention while awake and still often waking up in the night, I simply do not have. And with so many shows at your fingertips, commercial free, it becomes really, really hard to resist.
Part of the problem is the sleeping arrangements with my youngest. She is still in a bassinet in our room. The bulk of my free at-home reading time was made up of the 20 or so minutes I could sneak in before bed. But now she’s in there and the lights are out and if I turn them on, she’ll wake up. So that reading window is gone.
It’s summer, too, so my other kids are around, and it’s lighter later, so they want to do things outside: play basketball, jump on the trampoline, go “snake hunting.”
Also, for the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m in kind of a reading slump.
I could make excuses all day, but the real answer is that Netflix is winning, and I am letting it win. Because there are moments, free moments, 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, while holding the baby or while my wife is on a phone call. I could pick up a book. But I could also just click on a screen and press play and binge watch episode after delicious episode of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Underworld, Inc., etc. At first, my initial impulse was to reach for the book. But it’s becoming harder and harder.
I’ve been a smart phone holdout for a long time. This is part of it. Mostly it’s how dumb people are with their phones, dumb and addicted. #incapableoflivinginthemoment. I fear for our future. I fear that we as a society are steadily unlearning how to genuinely interact with one another. But I digress. Another post for another time.
I love books to my soul, and I think this is just a lull. A lull and tough circumstances. I’ll get back on track. I’m within striking distance of finishing several books, and hopefully that will put me back where I need/want to be, Goodreads-wise and motivation-wise. I hate that I’m weak. I hate that I’m addicted. Books will always be better. But Netflix makes it too easy.