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The Importance of Reading and a Work/Life Balance

Around November of last year, I began to realize I really needed to have a hobby for myself. I do have hobbies, and two blogs dedicated to talking about them as well as everything I want to talk about. Yet, I still needed to do something else. I wanted to have a hobby I used to have when I was younger: Reading.

I used to read a lot as a kid, but I hated it back then because I didn’t like the books available for me to read. So, I didn’t actually become a bookworm until my mid teens. Then I had the freedom to read any book that I wanted to and was available to me. Over the years, I assembled a large book collection. I had plans to read them all, but I was always too busy with work or felt to exhausted to read for enjoyment.

In November, I started to buy myself books I wanted since the summertime. I also found new books I wanted to read and books in my book collection to read. With this many books, I could start reading whenever I wanted to. Unfortunately, I had problems getting back into the habit of reading.

I really didn’t know why I had such a struggle getting back into reading. I liked it so why don’t I want to take the time to sit down and read? It was odd to me, until I realized it is due to something that happened to women I knew when I was a child.

Back then, there were friends of the family who read a lot. Reading is not a bad thing, but for them it was bad. They were housewives and instead of trying to take care of the house, looking after their children, or doing something that needed to be done, they read. This caused a lot of problems in the family and caused many setbacks for their family. Since this was such a wide spread problem among many housewives, anyone who sat down to read was looked, and called out for being, a lazy person. Sometimes the name calling got worse than that.

When I decided to pick reading up again as a hobby, it was meant to be a relaxing time for me. Instead of watching TV shows and movies I didn’t like much but watched because it was something to do, I wanted to read. And that’s when it hit me. I didn’t even think of reading as being something someone wants to do to avoid work until then. When I realized this bothered me so much, I decided to take some time to figure out what is good reading time and what is not.

Reading is not a bad activity. It’s a great activity. Along with taking your to places you never been, people you will never meet, and providing knowledge that isn’t just important to know, but fun to learn about, books help sharpen a person’s vocabulary. It helps a person learn new ways of describing events. It can also give a person a way of practicing their reading ability and speed they read at. There are all kinds of benefits of reading both as a stress reducer and something to do to calm the mind and body down. It even makes us slow down and actually process information without the stress life forces on us.

Even though there are so many benefits to reading, I think the housewives I remembered from my childhood used it as an excuse to avoid their responsibilities. I don’t want to go into a lengthy description of their lives and family relationship (I feel that is too much information to provide in a post on my blog), but the fact they did so little around the house was enough to make many believe they were lazy and used reading as an excuse to avoid work.

This is not true for every housewife who loves to sit down and read. I friends who are housewives who get so tired from cleaning, cooking, and doing the laundry that they need to sit down and rest. (Like we all will do if we do all our chores in one day) Even though they are physically tired, they still have enough energy to do something. So they read.

And that’s why I loved to read when I was younger. After reading books for school, textbooks for college, and actually feeling physically tired from school and work, I wanted to read something enjoyable. And despite what people used to say to me so I wouldn’t turn into a “lazy housewife”, no, textbooks do not count as “fun reading”. (Just so you know, I think everyone who told me that probably never picked up the kind of text books I had to read in college. Or anyone of any major had to read in college. Or even went to college….) Reading young adult and adventure novels were my favorite. I also loved the classics from authors Jane Austen, Jules Vern, and Agatha Christie. It was a time when I could read whatever I wanted to and didn’t get graded on it.

Since the days when I was a bookworm, I cut off ties from anyone who criticized me for my love of books. (No, I did not cut ties because they hated my love of books. They did many other things that made me realize these people where not people I should be around or affiliated with.) Now, I live a blissful and well read existence where I am not lazy, I work hard at my job, I do my chores, and , if I still feel like I have enough energy, I read. I’m not embarrassed by my love of reading because it is a treat for me after the day is through. Or I’m in a lull of work because I finished everything I needed to do that day.

Reading should never be looked down on as a lazy person’s hobby. It is a hobby to sharpen the mind and gives you another option besides watching TV, movies, and playing video games. There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to a love of reading. The only time someone should question their love of reading is when they see it as more important than living their life and taking care of their responsibilities. Then it becomes a problem. Unless that happens, don’t stop reading!

Well, that’s all for now! Thank you for reading!

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