Knitstant Gratification

The crafting adventures of a knitter, music lover, and hockey fan.

Competing Pastimes

Posted by Andi on May 2, 2010

I used to be a voracious reader. I always had my nose in a book or magazine. Once I moved into my own place I joined a book club. Not the read-a-book-and-meet-to-talk-about-it book clubs, but the kind where you can get books for cheap. I acquired so many books that I wanted to read, and then didn’t read. I had to do so much required reading for school that I didn’t really want to spend my free time reading as well. The only time I read for pleasure is when I was in the gym. I would sit on an exercise bike or work on an elliptical and read. When I was at home and needed to relax I would knit. That really seemed to work out well. I always had so much schoolwork to do, especially when working on my dissertation, that I felt guilty if I read or knit when there was work to be done. But if I read while exercising, in my mind, that was okay. And I could justify watching a movie or a sporting event on television if I was knitting at the same time, particularly if I was making a gift for someone. I was still being productive.

Then my gym membership wore out, I started a new job, and because of the gym’s hours I didn’t renew it. There went my reading-for-pleasure time. I fell out of the habit of reading. If I had free time at home I still knit.

We moved two weeks ago. In the process of packing a got rid of many of the books I bought and never read. My tastes in books have changed since I bought some of those books, and I no longer had interest in them, so I donated them. I looked at every book to determine if I wanted to keep it or not. I kept more books than I got rid of, including books I forgot I had.

Right now a lot of those books are in piles and boxes in my dining room. Tim is organizing them. Some are going on the bookshelf we have, but we have many books and will have to buy more shelves. We will have to determine how many books are left over before we buy the shelves, so for now the books are in our dining room. I keep walking past the pile thinking, “I can tread to read Martin Chuzzlewit,” or “I can’t wait to read that WWII book I bought.”

But, when am I supposed to read if I want to get all of this knitting done?

I’m struggling with dividing my time between reading and knitting. Tim suggested I listen to audio books, but I don’t want to for two reasons. First, I have a ton of podcasts I want to catch up on, so I really don’t want to add audio books to that mix. Second, I don’t want to listen to books, I want to read them.

So I’m trying to come up with rules for dividing my time. Perhaps I will stick to knitting while watching television. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are going on, and I will be watching as many games as possible, so that should allow for a ton of knitting time. But if there is nothing in particular that I want to watch, perhaps I should use that free time to read. I have a ton of music to catch up on as well, so I can kill two birds with one stone.

It occurs to me that I feel like I’m not being productive if I’m not multitasking. That probably isn’t too healthy.


One Response to “Competing Pastimes”

  1. I know what you mean! I love to read but I love to knit. And I don’t love books on tape all that much but I do listen to podcasts while I knit. I’ve just had to give up some of my knitting time to start reading again. Good luck finding your balance.

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