Friday, December 31, 2010

Book reading, and time spent.

Against a friend's advice, I counted how many books I read this year.  Jamie said counting them would make me compete with myself.  Well, I got curious, so I went through my journals for the past 2 years.  I was surprised and pleased to see that I had read 78 books this year. 

Then I counted last year's reading list.  89.  Considering this is the last day of the year, there is no way I can match last year's count.

So the excuses ensue. 

Last year I read 35 Trixie Belden books.  They are quick reads so they shouldn't count the same as one Jim Bishop Dresden Files book. 

I reread some favorite books last year.  Rereading is quicker than a first read.  (By the way, I have no idea whether this is true.)

Counting books doesn't account for the magazines I read this year, like the Smithsonian.  Of course, I don't enumerate magazines, so I have no idea how many magazines I read.  And, honestly, didn't I read magazines last year too?

So whatever my reasons, my book count this year is less than last year's.  Regardless, I have read a lot of books the past two years.  

And that answers a question that had been bothering me.  Why don't I accomplish more? 

I started a stained glass piece early this year that I still haven't finished.  Now, part of that is that I was making it to sell.  Since I have had so little luck selling the pieces I have already finished, the incentive to finish this one has diminished.  On the other hand, I have other pieces I want to make and can't start them until I finish this one and get it out of the way.

I have the beginnings of an idea for a novel.  I've even written a couple chapters.  But I can't seem to find the time to work on it.  Now I know part of the reason why.  I'm too busy enjoying the fruits of someone else's labors to labor myself.  I haven't been willing to devote the necessary time to finishing my own story.

I think another part of this obstruction is that both glass and writing take a lot of time.  Creating a glass piece is also a little painful.  I usually end up with a stiff neck from leaning over the glass and cuts on one or more fingers after a session with the glass.  But I do love seeing the sun shining through the finished piece.

If I can sell neither glass art nor books, is it worth the effort it takes to create them?  This is the quandary that has me taking refuge in the written works of others. 

I love to read.  I always have.  I always will.  But I think my resolution for 2011 is to spend less time reading and more time creating. 

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