I could read a book in half a day, but I won’t. Here’s why.
I am supposed to be attending a webinar about how to read books in half the time. Instead, I am trying to rationalise why I didn’t end up clicking on the Zoom link that landed in my inbox.
That is beside the fact that in the lead-up to the webinar, I have already received two emails and a LinkedIn message telling me to sign up for a “free” trial to the host’s online community to qualify for an entry to the event (the Zoom link for which I received eventually anyway).
In truth, I had reservations about learning another “productivity hack”.
As a typical multi-hyphenate millennial and mother to a pre-schooler, I’ve been “hacking” my way through my daily life to squeeze more hours in my day. Examples of my productivity hack include:
- using ChatGPT as my pseudo-assistant
- grocery shopping list app
- Calendar reminders
The tools keep me sane and relieve my mental load of home and professional life, thus freeing my brain for creativity and out-of-box thinking.
Reading speed, however, is something that I have yet to crack. Perhaps I am simply reluctant to do so. When I read, I am transported to a different world. I leave behind my to-do list, my existential anxiety about bots replacing humans and my dread about my ageing parents living overseas.
Reading evokes fond memories of school holidays reading the latest Harry Potter books by the pool and Sunday afternoons in bed when my then-baby was taking an afternoon nap.
Reading is an indulgence and luxury for me. It is something to savour, as I ponder over the writer’s considered words and his or her choice of punctuation. Through each serif and sans serif typeface printed on the bound book, I feel the emotions and a human experience.
Do I really want to tie it up and present it to the altar of productivity in exchange for a sliver more time spent rushing through life?
When I saw a notification: “You have missed the webinar…” I knew my answer. I want to preserve the joy of reading, instead of making it another task I have to get through.