‘You’re lucky. I don’t have time to read books.’

Yeah, and you’re lucky I don’t take your off-hand remark and turn it into a whole bitchy blog post. Oops, sorry, too late.

What is it with people thinking they are too busy for stuff, when they really aren’t? I am a single mother with two jobs, but being busy is not a badge of honour, so that’s irrelevant. We make time for what we want to do. Very few people have absolutely no time at all to themselves. There are always going to be new mothers who fit in exercise by taking their babies out in their buggies, and that woman who trained for a marathon by running up and down her driveway as she couldn’t get childcare, nor take three kids running. People who fit in distance learning by getting up at 5.30am to give themselves time to study.

Reading can be tricky, as often the people we live with want to watch TV, and they want us to watch it with them, and reading can seem anti-social. And sometimes reading last thing at night can amount to just a few pages before falling asleep. But if we wanted to read, enjoyed it, we’d find time. I pointed out to the woman who said this to me that she could use her lunch break, and also her daily public transport commute to read, and she said she couldn’t as that’s when she caught up with her phone, her texts and social media. Which is fair enough. But just don’t say there is isn’t time. If I was filled with a burning desire toΒ  knit tiny shawls for hedgehogs, I’m sure I could slot that into my schedule in somehow, because if anything the saying suggesting the opposite is true. If you want something doing, ask a busy person.

We know it’s choice. We choose how to spend our spare time.

Anyway, I got some new books yesterday. One actually is new, the second in the Knausgaard series, and the other three are from the Oxfam bookshop. Iris Murdoch’s ‘A Severed Head’, Graham Greene’s ‘Travels With My Aunt’ and Stella Gibbons’ ‘Cold Comfort Farm’.

to be read list