My bedside table is an interesting case study in failure. I say this because there are several books sitting on it that I started, but ultimately failed to finish. The latest is my copy of ‘Washington – A Life’ which, no surprise, is a biography of the life of George Washington.
I actually did better on this volume than most of the others in the pile, making it through nearly 500 pages, and the whole of the American Revolutionary War, before finally succumbing to the reality that at the rate I was going it would take me through most of the summer months before I could conquer this nearly 1000 page behemoth. I started it back in January and in my defense the words were extremely small. The thought that I had already spent 4 months on it started to cause a mental block to finishing it for me, as I started longing to begin many of the other books waiting for me to read.
My pace has been slow on this, and other books, mainly because mostly I only read books in bed before turning out the lights. Recently I have only been able to read a few pages before I am out cold, sometimes not even one. The problem is that by that time of night, I am pretty wiped out from a long day at work and a full list of chores to do at home. Honestly, being a full time working parent seems to leave little time for me to read anymore.
Or so I thought as I stared at my bedside table a couple of nights ago for something else to read. Something I could finish in much less than a half a year. As glanced at all the titles I had given up on: Wolf Hall, Moby Dick, and Worlds End among them, I was also thinking how sad it was that I had so much trouble finishing any books these days.
Then, nearby I spied another title. One that I actually had finished recently and it instantly changed my perspective. It was called Green Eggs and Ham.
In fact I realized that I had finished quite a few books recently. Even several a day, some days. The fact is that I like to read for pleasure, and for a way to relax and destress from a long day at the office. And reading to my son certainly gives me that opportunity. I’ll gladly continue to exchange time I could be reading to myself, for the time I take to read to him.
That’s because soon enough, he’ll be reading on his own and won’t need me to read him stories nearly as often. I’m pretty sure I’ll miss that reading time we share.
Or perhaps not. Maybe then I can convince him to read to me. Maybe he could even read me the last half of Moby Dick.