TSS: “I Don’t Have Time to Read”

It has always bothered me when I hear this phrase or its variations. When you are a reader, people often say this to you with an air of importance. Like you are living a life of leisure that allows for reading while they are busy with real life.

The reality is that we are all busy with real life and we all prioritize different things. People who say, “I don’t have time to read” are really saying, “I choose not to read with my free time.”

I have less time for reading now than I once did, but that’s because I chose to have kids and prioritize parenting over reading. It isn’t because “I don’t have time to read.” And I could still read plenty if I chose to. My kid goes to bed by 7:30 and I don’t go to bed until 10:30. That’s 21 hours each week that I could be reading. Just because I’d rather sit on the couch and watch Friends reruns with my husband at the end of the day doesn’t grant me the right to say “I don’t have time to read” to someone who doesn’t make that same choice as me.

Would I have more time to read if I were a stay at home mom? Probably not, unless I prioritized reading over other things like, say, showering or having clean dishes or preparing activities to do with my kid. Would I have more time to read if I didn’t have a toddler? Not exactly. I might have more opportunities to read, but I would still be sacrificing other activities in order to do so.

I often feel like I don’t have time to read. But I know plenty of working moms who read a ton. They just don’t watch Friends reruns all night. It’s that simple.

It’s okay if you are the person who is making time to read or if you are the person who isn’t. Neither person is better.

The simple fact is that we all have the exact same hours in the day. Saying “I don’t have time to read” to someone who makes the time to read is, at best, inaccurate, and, at worst, insulting.

The Sunday Salon.com

3 thoughts on “TSS: “I Don’t Have Time to Read”

  1. Twitter: bookaddictheath
    I love this! I don’t have a kid but the demands of my job and let’s face it, life stuff, make prioritizing time for the things I want to do difficult at times. I am so with you – just because I want to watch crappy TV at night instead of reading doesn’t mean I don’t HAVE the time to read. I just didn’t MAKE time that day. And yes, I am sure that I have more opportunities than a mother to make time for stuff I want to do (for example, in the mornings I only have to get myself ready and out the door, not a child or three in addition to myself), but there’s still a constant struggle between what I want to do with the free time I do have. This post is so great and so true. 🙂

    • Exactly. The way people say it, they say it like their time is too precious to spend it reading. All of our time is precious!

  2. Twitter: TriniCapini
    This morning I got up at 6:20 and read a chapter and a half in bed. I had to use my stupid book light, but I was pretty proud of myself. Except it probably would have been better if I worked out instead of read…but like you mentioned, it’s all about how we prioritize our time and the choices we make.

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