Saturday, 30 July 2011

Bookish Bits & Bobs: Do Nothing But Read Day

I'm aware that this is my second Bookish Bits and Bobs column of the month, but please bear with me. I'm on volume 5 of In Search Of Lost Time and everything.

Last year, as you are probably well aware if you've been reading this blog for a while, I discovered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Although it was tough, it was creatively and personally liberating to be able to magic up a workable draft from nothing in 30 days. All-consuming? Yes. But worth it? Undoubtedly. 

This year, it appears I've stumbled across another equally tantalising concept: Do Nothing But Read Day, which was inaugurated in 2009 and whose 2011 event is taking place on August 6th.

At this point, I can imagine quite a few people who, unlike myself, aren't also addicted to the internet, television, cooking etc., looking down their noses at me and saying "But isn't every day Do Nothing But Read Day?"

Well, yes, maybe...if you are like certain colleagues of mine (who shall remain nameless) who deem checking their work email 'too stressful', live off yoghurt and have a country house to bog off to for the two-month summer holiday with no internet, TV or phones.

But for the rest of us, this can be taken as a positive opportunity, whether you're currently struggling through Proust (me) or...actually, I was looking for a suitable counterexample, but then I remembered I generally don't associate with people who don't read much. Not out of choice anyway. But you get my drift: this is open to ALL, and as the link above states, there are only two rules - 1) Read and 2) Have fun! It doesn't matter what you read - we all have to start somewhere, and if it gets you onto better things, so much the better.

My first reaction was "Wow! That sounds so cool! I'd love to do that." Then I started thinking about all of the reasons why I couldn't do it. It's a Saturday. I like to spend time with my husband on a Saturday. We like to go for walks in the park or visit museums on a Saturday. It will also be our last Saturday before my sister comes to stay for a week.

But then I remembered that it's this kind of attitude that has got in my way throughout my life. Walls are there to stop those who can't really be arsed. We all (myself especially) need to stop thinking of reasons why we can't and start thinking of reasons to say yes. There will always be more Saturdays (and besides, I don't expect the founder of Do Nothing But Read Day begrudges a person a break in the form of a walk in the park.)

So that's why next Saturday you'll find me holed up inside, or basking in sunshine outside (we can all hope...) as I continue my voyage through the world of Proust. That's why I just filled out the sign-up form. And that's why I reminded myself of my first reaction upon hearing about this event; we are not put on this earth, presumably, to loaf around watching episode after episode of Deal or No Deal (damn, I love that show). Will Do Nothing But Read Day be all-consuming? Yes. But worth it? Undoubtedly.

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