Put down the Phone and Pick up a Book!

Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on May 2, 2017.

Too many books, not enough time. That is my current dilemma. For the past few months I always seem to be rushing from one thing to the next. I never seem to have a minute to sit down, relax and read. As a person who loves reading, I find this is bizarre. How can a […]

Too many books, not enough time. That is my current dilemma. For the past few months I always seem to be rushing from one thing to the next. I never seem to have a minute to sit down, relax and read. As a person who loves reading, I find this is bizarre. How can a person not have enough time in their day to do the one thing they love doing. How does that even happen, it’s not like I have no books in my house, it’s the opposite. I have mentioned before that I’m a member of a book club and along with this I work in a library. So I’m never short of a book to read.

If I do have the time, it’s while I’m slurping down my soup on my lunch break (risky business when you’re reading a library book….even staff can get fined for damaging the books.) If it’s not then, it’s for a few precious minutes before bed. You would assume I have a high stress career or a large family to look after the way I’m talking, but you would be wrong. I do have a husband and two dogs though and they take a lot of looking after. Though I’m not sure which one needs more care, the husband or the dogs. But they don’t take up all of my time either. Apart from them, I go to the gym four times a week and have decided to start cycling to work on certain days. Even with all these activities I’m still at a loss where my reading time is disappearing to.

And then it hit me. What’s the one thing I and the majority of the human population do every day and the reason we don’t notice the time whizzing by? Scrolling through social media apps, that’s what. They are the time munching monsters. They’re the culprits.

I think in the grand scheme of things I don’t have a major addiction to social networks but for the time I do spend on them, I am losing my time for reading. As reading is my favourite thing to do I should be devoting more time to it, not mindlessly scrolling through the newsfeed of the interesting day to day thoughts and activities of my online friends and followers. I don’t really gain anything from doing this, apart from the odd titbit of news or cute picture of an animal. But that’s it really. There is nothing riveting in looking at a friend’s jaunty picture of their lunch. If you want riveting then pick up a good book.

So what is the point of writing this blog? Call me crazy but I have made the decision to quit social media for a while. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat will be no more a feature of my day. I’ve removed the apps from my phone so I’ll have no easy access. I’m going to do it for the month of May as a trial.

My main aim for this challenge is to make more time for reading. I want to get through the ridiculous tower of books by my bedside. But I also want to do it for my mental health as well. It’s very easy to become bogged down comparing my life to others. I don’t want to be that person chasing this imaginary lifestyle I’ve seen from other people’s online posts. Now I’m not becoming a hermit or anything drastic, I’ve wanted to try this for a few months now so I figured why not now just pull off the band aid and get it done. I’m hoping it won’t be too painful.

I’ll post a weekly blog on each week’s hurdles and triumphs. I’ll try and keep it all upbeat and positive and maybe I’ll inspire others to follow suit. Hopefully letting you all know by week four how the tower of books by my bedside locker has disappeared and that I’ve become more mindful of the goings on around me.  So wish me luck, I think I may need it.

By Claire Fay, Garristown Library

Editor Note: Good Luck to Claire as she gives up Social Media for the month of May – we look forward to hearing about all the books that she is reading instead.  What a great personal challenge!