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Yep, I've also found that ritualizing a monthly visit to the favorite winter pub for a few beers and pages is a nice way to carve out some time.

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ha yep that sounds like my idea of a great time tbh

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I seem to have fallen off the book reading wagon more recently, my prime time was just before sleep and I got through around a chapter a night - it seems to switch my brain off and make it easy to drop off. Unfortunately since moving in with my partner this has become tricky since she likes to go to bed early and is a light sleeper. I still haven't managed to carve out part of the rest of my day but definitely too much time on my phone, and carrying a book around is an obvious but very helpful tip. Thanks for the nudge.

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Sounds like you need a reading spot - also very important. Was at a friend’s recently who had the perfect chair and reading light combo and get very jealous

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Oh so many thoughts (I know, you're SHOCKED).

I was so dismissive of e-readers - until I got older and my eyes got worse. I love my physical books but I also love my Kindle. Per that relatively famous meme: why not both?

My answer to where do I find the time? (I have 4 kids and a full-time job and several time consuming hobbies.) I simply don't sleep. Simple. I kind of kid. But I'm running on about 4 hours of sleep rn because I had to finish the first Will Trent book last night. I'll sleep... later. Eventually. Right after I request the next Trent from the library.

But I also have a book with me AT ALL TIMES. I don't leave my house without a book no matter where I'm going. But I will also read books on my phone if absolutely necessary 🤷

I loved this post, I love that photo, and now I'm off to go read a bit before I have to start work (the last Mure book from Jenny Colgan). Yeah, last point: read whatever you like. Who cares if it's fluff? That's the true secret. Even if I routinely have an existential crisis about the fact that I'll die well before I get through everything I want to read.

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Right on Val!

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I once heard someone say "It's not a case of not having the time, it's a case of not prioritising it". Once I heard that, it kinda changed the way I look at the things I do. I think "Is this really how I want to spend this moment, right now" more often. Sometimes you won't have a choice, but like you say right at the top, when you're scrolling through your phone looking for the next app to mindlessly open, you definitely do have time to do something better.

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Preach brother 🙏

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Hi Matt

I read novels a good deal until the habit started to taper off in middle age. The habit in the last decade almost disappeared completely except for holidays. The internet is not the only enemy of reading . The daily grind and working life must take much of the blame too.

I have come back to reading fiction voraciously only fairly recently . The feeling of warmth within my being is beyond any activity I can conceive of.

Other aids to reading are.

*Regular visits to bookshops

*Book clubs

*Reading alone in cafes

*Reading reviews

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People HATE when you read alone. I will head to my neighborhood place, order food, sit at the bar, and TRY TO READ - and everyone wants to chat. It's like it pains them to see me reading alone in a bar. IT KILLS ME. Leave me be, I want to read my book in peace!

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Reading alone on cafes 😍

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founding

I’m guessing you’ve been to Beerwolf in Falmouth @matt? Best bar/bookshop/gig venue I’ve been in.

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Nope and I was there last month 🙈

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founding

FFS 🤯 worth going back just for that place!

https://forreadingaddicts.co.uk/bookshop-reviews/beerwolf-books-freehouse-falmouth/

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founding

In fact I think I’m gonna plan a trip ASAP 😂

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I joined the library. The knowledge that I need to either read or return because someone else wants it has helped me no end. I also record it all on good reads. Every time I see a book I think I might want to read online I add it to my reserved list at the library and it’s rather random in what order they reach the top. I’ve only returned one unread this year (a truly bad choice - a dull biography that was mega out of date).

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Love this

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Thank fuck that lot didn't read this to the end.

So much of this resonates with me, I'm always impressed with the quality of books I read as a teenager and now live in an unloved box somewhere.

My unkindled rekinding of reading happened during 2020 as the world tore its self a new arsehole.

Somehow with two young kids I went from 0 to 10 books in 12 months and kept up the pace. Not much really but they helped make sense of the world or took me to places I couldn't visit.

I soon found too much Chomsky makes Kev a sad boy so now I plan to balance my emotions with more novels and biographies.

I fully agree with number one on the list and have been riding a Tech Tide of delete and reinstall for a year now.

Right now some bloke on Substack is keeping me from beanbag reading time so time to switch off.

Keep up the good work man!

Kev

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Ha ha. Thanks Kev. Yeah never overdo the Chomsky!

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Such a great read! I'm an English Major and have always loved reading. I can't believe how much I drop down the rabbit hole of my phone these days. I'm trying to be more aware and have been building a list of great books to read. Reading this made me nostalgic for the old days of chatting all hours about what we were all reading and how it made us feel and the pure magic of that. :)

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Thanks Riley! At least we can do that digitally now tho. Let me know if you have any recommendations!

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Matt I so love this post. I love reading as well and I have been inspired by your voraciousness. Thanks for sharing how you make time for reading.

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🙏

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Mar 14, 2023Liked by Matthew Barr

As a dyslexic reading was my nemesis for as long as. Basically I couldn’t read, to the point where when my daughter was 6, I couldn’t help her with her homework! I certainly struggled to read to her. However I was curious and embraced it, now it’s part of my practice, sort of. Started off easy, with books I kind of knew I’d get, then got the bug! It’s a fucking slog for sure, but so worthwhile, I’d prefer to be stuck on a page than on me phone, and there be magic in those pages.

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The phone has eaten my soul and my reading time, and it happened to my parents too - never thought it would get my Dad, who is as much of an obsessive reader as I am (I have an MA in comparative literature). Now we are both obsessive readers of the internet.

Still get through a number of books each year, but it takes willpower. Or systems, like you said. Got through Robert Bolaño’s 2666 a couple of pages at a time each night before lights out when the kids were small. Dropped Ulysses half way through in a rare case of abandonment (got tired of the misogyny). War and Peace is an entertaining read, by the way, just crack on through the war sections!

I bring books everywhere too, and yes, for holidays - more than one, especially after the time I travelled with only Madame Bovary. I finished it, but angrily.

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Thanks Anja! It’s distressing isn’t it?

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Mar 14, 2023Liked by Matthew Barr

Having more than once had someone on the 42 bus to Fallowfield say “what you reading for?” with a menacing look in their eye, I can relate. People are very weird about readers, like we think we are smarter than them, but actually it is, for me, a way of escaping much like watching a film. But always better than the film obviously.

Also, life is too short for mammoth slogs you are enjoying. Sack it off and either come back to it or throw it away.

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Absolutely LOVED this blog. I never liked bookworm as a descriptor so I have been a somewhat secretive book lover for almost my whole life (in 1978 I was voraciously reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar) BIbliophile doesn't cut it either as I like what is in books more than the books themselves, even though I really like books as an object. I'm choosing book fiend from now on. I'm an addict for books and thats ok. Thanks Matt for helping me find my true identity after 44 years.

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Thanks Ollie! This has really made my day.

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I've read a few on your January pile. I'm definitely an "I will finish that book at all costs, even if I hate it and especially if a good friend recommended it" type of reader. Luckenbooth is half read on my bedside table after being recommended by two ready friends. It's been there for over a year. And I'd never considered the self image aspect of my reading habit but now I am. Putting time aside especially in the mornings works best for me - and if you do have to manage reading around small children choose books with short chapters. I have a paper book and an audio book on the go in tandem with each other at all times. depending on my mood or time constraints will dictate which one I pick up at any given time. Great blog as ever Matt

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Thanks Kath! The self-image thing is definitely real in my case. Off to order Luckenbooth! Ha ha

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founding

I needed to hear this again.

Phone has been stealing my attention again slowly lately

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It’s easily done!

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founding

They are well trained for that

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