I had a somewhat startling realization today – reading has become Type II Fun for me.
I used to thoroughly enjoy reading. It was intensely pleasurable, in and of itself. I could spend hours and hours lost in books.
Now, I read voraciously – but I’ve realized I don’t actually enjoy it. At least, not directly. It’s more of a workout than a leisure cruise. And “a workout” is a great analogy, because I also don’t like working out while I’m doing it, but love it as soon as I’m done.
I want the information in my head, in the same way I want the muscles on my body.
As soon as I realized that, a tectonic shift happened in my brain. Trying to work out and getting frustrated because you don’t enjoy it is the wrong way to view things. If you love lifting weights, more power to you – but even if you don’t love it, exercise is important. You have to learn to love the result and just be neutral on the input. Lots of things are like that.
Lately, I’d been frustrated because I wasn’t “falling into” books the way I used to when I was a teenager. But pretty much nothing in my life is as it was then, so that’s a silly thing to be frustrated about. Instead, I just need to acknowledge that it’s a healthy chore and set the time that way, instead of waiting for my desire to read to catch up to my desire to have read.