by Paul M. Carhart
Last time, we went over a few tips for getting quickly from the front cover to the back cover of your latest favorite book. Here are a few more ideas to help you cut through those paragraphs.
Reading and walking
Not everyone can accomplish this feat with the same level of finesse. However, I’ve been known, especially when reading something particularly gripping, to make the journey from the parking structure to my office desk with my nose in a book. In my youth, I lived close enough to work to walk and read the whole way in both directions. So I guess I’ve perfected the task. I can see how one might get a headache or even motion sickness, so attempt with caution. But if you can accomplish it, depending on the length of your trek, you can pull down a page or two in each direction.
Feeding on pages
By law, just about every working individual gets a lunch. If you’re not spending the entire time grabbing something to eat and sucking it down, clock in some quality time with your favorite book. Or if you brown-bag-it, you’ll save money and have more time to read. I’ve been known to lay a stapler across the pages so they won’t close on me while whipping my sandwich out of the plastic zipper bag. Or you can get the handy-dandy book holders available at www.bookmatestore.com to keep your reading hands-free.
It seems like everywhere we go, we have to stand in line. The grocery store. Restaurants, especially of the to-go variety. The movie theater, indeed at the ticket booth, theater entrance and concession stand. I’ve even been known to have a book on hand at Disneyland, where you’ll find lines to get onto the tram, lines at the security checkpoint, lines to get into the park, lines for attractions, lines for eateries, lines for stage shows and parades, lines for bathrooms and lines to leave the park when you’re done. If your book is your constant companion, you’ll be prepared to whittle away the time in line with something enriching. Of course, don’t be rude. If you’re with your family, talk to them. But if you’re alone in line like I am when I pick up dinner on the way home from work, you’ll spend less time thinking about what you’re waiting for and more time hacking through those book pages.
When you’re stalled
I must admit from the outset that I do not practice what I preach in this instance. However, if you’re one of those guys who take an entire newspaper or magazine to the bathroom with you, why not substitute whatever book you’re hacking through? Just don’t drop it into the bowl. The pages will never again be the same.
The waiting room
Your dentist has one. Your doctor has one. Your barbershop or hairstylist has one. Your auto mechanic has one. The room has one purpose, which can be found in its very name. It is the room in which one waits. Each of these rooms are equipped with several chairs and an array of shallow magazines, none of which you would ever subscribe to, much less read. And yet, when you visit, you inevitably pick one up and thumb through it. Why? Because you have nothing better to do! Ah, but if your book is your constant companion, not so! Delve in and enjoy.
Read only what interests you
Life is too short to read a book only because you started it. Don’t waste your minutes on this planet plodding through something that bores you to tears. Follow this simple rule: If you can put it down, you probably should. Then, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, read something enthralling. Something that captivates you. Something that you can connect to. Something that speaks to your heart. Something you cannot put down. That’s what reading should be about.
Paul Carhart’s book, Zooming Thru Life: Creative Tips To Bring Sanity To Your On-The-Go Lifestyle, will be available from your favorite online bookseller, August 2009. Stay up to date: paulcarhart.com.