Growing up I always loved to read.
I would get a new book and stay up all night turning the pages until I made it through from cover to cover.
This love is one of the reasons I decided to go into journalism, but as I navigated my way through university the required reading and piles of essays dulled the shine of recreational reads.
Over the past couple of years I have been trying to get back into the hobby I once loved without much luck. I have managed to read some books, but they took anywhere from a month to a year to get through.
With my excess of time at home I have decided to pick back up a Young Adult novel series I never finished in the hopes the easy read would help me get back into the rhythm.
Admittedly, it is working.
Sitting out in the backyard, first with a blanket and then sunscreen, I have been able to power my way through the first two books.
As I read my way through the familiar, but largely forgotten, story I remember why I loved to read. The feeling of getting swept up in a world outside of our own and experiencing them with nothing but the imagination is a truly special feeling.
But, I can’t take all the credit for my return to my lost, but beloved hobby.
My friends have also found their way back to recreational reading and we use the group chat to spread words of encouragement when one of us opts to read instead of binging whatever new trashy reality show Netflix has to offer.
Virtual cheers and congratulations are exchanged and my friend Melissa has even shared an encouraging “reading is cool again” during our latest discussion about our abnormal book club.
Even though we haven’t been able to completely step away from endless hours of cringe-worthy shows or taken the time to master a new skill, we’re still proud of ourselves.
There has been pressure online saying that we should all be using the time at home productively, whether that’s learning a new language, starting a side hustle or mastering the art of home workouts.
I have done none of those things, and honestly, I have no intention to, but I do feel kind of guilty about it.
“I should really find a way to use my time better” I think to myself on the weekends as I log into Animal Crossing for the third time that day, but then I never do.
Everyone has different levels of free time even in this crazy situation, and each of us are taking in this situation differently.
If I want to use the time to build a stellar park on my virtual island and re-read a novel series, I will. If someone else wants to use the time to build puzzles and bake banana bread, they should.
A productive way to spend our time should really just be whatever it takes to keep us happy, whatever that may be.