Why can’t I read a book on a Wednesday?

Wednesday afternoon. It’s raining. Dogs are napping at my side. Must-do list is nearly must-done. Perfect time to pick up the excellent British detective novel I am reading.

But I can’t.

I cannot read on Wednesdays.

Or I mean, I can read; I know how to read, I love to read, I have always been a voracious reader.

Just not on weekdays.

Reading is for nights just before bed or during vacations.

That was the rule I lived by during my worker-bee years.

Reading just for pleasure was always saved for bedtime. A few pages, a chapter, before my husband would crab at me – “lights off!”.

(yes, the kindle paperlight has improved my marriage.)

The best time to read was always on vacation.

I would save up books for weeks in advance.

Just looking at the growing pile would increase my anticipation of the week off where I would get to read every day during daylight hours! Savoring at least 2, maybe, 3 or 4 books a week.

Did I mention I am also a fast reader?

With tastes ranging from detective novels to political history to spy fiction to women’s literature.

Nothing better than the prospect of a new book by a favorite author!

Yet, here I am – “working from home” – finding my way into 2nd stage life after years of lawyering – and have the time to read on a Wednesday afternoon – but I can’t.

It is not as if I come from a strong puritan background. All work and no pleasure, no, that wasn’t me, isn’t me.

Although I grew up in Connecticut, let’s just say my family was more Ellis Island than Plymouth Rock.

Yet the pleasure of reading was always something I saved up for after all the work was done.

The daytime work at the office, the evening work of raising a family and making sure food was on the table, the nighttime of making to-do lists for the next day.

And so it went for years.

Now my office is at home, the kids are now adults, my husband has learned to feed himself and my chores are no longer so numerous.

Since I’ve left lawyering, I have started a business, joined a board, signed up to volunteer, taken classes and thought a lot about exercising more often.

So here it is on Wednesday afternoon. Raining, dogs napping. Email up to date. Twittered, facebooked, blogged.

And yet, and yet, why I can’t dip back into that excellent British detective novel I started last night?

Because it is 100% enjoyment.

Weekdays are for work, my head still says.

No, don’t be ridiculous, you’ve earned it, my heart says, grab that book!

The battle has begun.


Filed under Books

16 responses to “Why can’t I read a book on a Wednesday?

  1. Trisha

    You perfectly captured a feeling I’ve had lately, made me laugh, and sent me to the book store.


  2. Vicary

    Nan- Are you sure you’re not a closet DAR type??!! Loving your post and so happy that you have kept your finely honed sense of humor throughout all of this. Keep the writing coming and enjoy the deliciousness of a weekday read. If I can, you can!! xo


  3. You’ve earned it; so grab that book! You need to see reading as part of the new “work” that you do….and you can always start ANOTHER book club!


  4. janieemaus

    I’m in the same place. Semi-retired. And wondering how I ever had time to work!


  5. Love your sense of humor. I have decided to focus on the fact that reading is considered personal development (even if it is fiction) and I try to read an hour a day. I would love to read more, but there isn’t time. My nest is Empty, but we are busier than ever!


    • Thanks. I agree with the concept of reading as personal development. Fiction is my friend, my escape to other places since childhood. I must make for time for it! Please do follow my blog.


  6. Stephanie

    Sounds very, very familiar; thanks for the post. Apparently my brain considers weekday or even early evening weeknight pleasure reading as the gateway to a life of sloth and indolence. Ditto for weekend days. I plan to make heavy use of book group; I’m not reading for me – I’m fulfilling my responsibility to the group! It’s on my to-do list! Something’s gotta change if I’m going to read anything longer than a Golden Book, given my ever-shrinking window of alert time “before bed”.


    • Stephanie, yes, reading on a weekday is likely the gateway to a life of sloth and indolence. Maybe we try it slowly. Read a novel for 10 minutes on a Sunday afternoon. Start there and see if it works. 🙂


  7. i thought I was alone in the no-reading during the day. Like you, I’m now working part-time from home but even when all the work and to-do stuff is checked off the list, I can’t sit down during the day and read for pleasure. What is it with that? I don’t think it’s a female thing. My husband struggles with the same issue [though he includes watching a daytime baseball game]. How long does it take to unwind and reprogram?


  8. Looks like we’re all of a same mind here. I work from home and during “work” I don’t have the tv on and I don’t stop, even when I’m in procrastination mode, to read from my stack of books! Isn’t it funny how arbitrary our quirks can be.


    • Walker, not only can I not take a break to read a novel on a weekday, but forget the pile of glossy magazines. Dipping into them would be real wickedness!! Thanks for your comment!


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