November 18th 2016
Today I started reading ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. I’ve read it before, but a long time ago. I think it was probably year nine when I read it last. Ten years ago. Jesus.
I remember it being a really good book, but I think I was too young to understand it properly last time. Now, with a decade of knowledge, I understand the premise a bit more. I didn’t realise before that ‘The Fury’ in the book is ‘The Fuhrer’, or that ‘Out-With’ is ‘Auschwitz’. I never did history to any great level at school, but I probably should’ve figured that out before.
Back in year nine I read frequently. And that continued throughout school and most of college. Eventually I stopped reading as much, mainly because I ran out of free time.
The way I read is that I usually have to consume a book in one sitting. I don’t have a good enough memory to just read a couple of chapters every few days – my brain doesn’t work like that. Instead, I’d pick up a book and read it until I was done.
I can’t get away with that anymore. I have neither the time, nor energy.
You see, I really want to spend the next three hours finishing the entire book. But that’s just not realistic for me any more. It’s twenty past ten on a Friday night and I’m tired. I’m at the end of a 40-hour working week and I’m going to Southampton tomorrow.
I’d probably have time to read an entire book in an evening sitting if I started it at six thirty when I get home from work. But after dinner, washing up, tidying and dessert (today we made waffles) it’s 20:30. And I struggle to read if Alice is watching TV, so that means I can’t start reading until we get into bed. And that gives me what, an hour before I fall asleep? And half of that time is spent on this blog. So I get half an hour.
Reading when I was a kid was so much easier because it’s all I had on. I didn’t have plans or work or bills, I had all the time in the world. Conversely, I didn’t have the intelligence then to truly appreciate what I was reading.
I wish I had that time again, except I don’t. I know that I just need to make better use of the time that I do have, and accept that there are going to be days where sleep is fine.
Until tomorrow, today is one of those days, it seems.