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Being Busy: a Reason For Not Reading, or an Excuse?

Just days after President Obama made us feel guilty over not reading enough, we learn Hillary Clinton hasn't read a book since becoming secretary of state. She hasn't even watched a movie! But that's not hard when, unlike Obama, she doesn't have a home theater.

I'm not judging either of them, but I do think it perfectly reflects their personalities. Obama — calm and cool, able to clear his mind and fall into a novel. Hillary? Tough, focused, determined — way too busy for fiction.

Some of the busiest people I know are also the most avid readers, so I do wonder if finding time to read is a choice instead of a luxury.


sidra5397 sidra5397 8 years
I read all the time but I know that in some of my friend's cases they just don't prioritize books when they have free time. It's just a matter of how people want to spend their leisure time. I mean for all we know Hillary might be taking up knitting or ultimate frisbee in her free time! Haha!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I need to start reading more and less internet for sure.
wasah wasah 8 years
i agree with danni2009. i have so much school books to read so i don't have time to read for pleasure anymore.. even on subways or when waiting in line or whatever it is, i'm still trying to catch up with the readings for my classes. i've been "reading" the amber spyglass for about a year now, and i'm still not halfway through yet! *counts down to summer vacation*
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I'm an avid reader and love books. However, I haven't picked up a novel or even a magazine in over 2 months. I have other priorities to attend to right now and I've given up reading for the sake of sleeping.
janneth janneth 8 years
I was happy to see so many readers!
Fitness Fitness 8 years
I read every night before I go to bed, but sitting down to read a novel uninterrupted for thirty minutes is a luxury right now. When I get a chance to do it, I am certainly happy.
cdelaney cdelaney 8 years
i was an english literature major in college so i was always reading, writing, reading, writing, reading, and oh, did i mention reading? i never had time for leisure reading with all the mandatory reading i was doing and working 30+ hrs/week, but took advantage of christmas, spring, and summer breaks to soak up some fun, leisurely reading. since i've graduated two years ago, i've made leisure reading a priority and am finally tackling my ever-growing reading list that includes current bestsellers, classics, poetry, biographies, and everything in between. i don't always have a lot of time on hand, but 30 minutes here and there really makes a difference and balances me. everyone is different so what works for me won't necessarily work for someone else. i love books and words and how they have the power to enrich and change my life.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I *just* started reading for leisure again a few months ago. Not reading books you want to read is a reason, not an excuse. In college, we READ all the time - got a lot of diversity in the books we read...philosophers, theologians, contemporary novelists, etc. So I would read, actually - but it wasn't what I personally would want to read. That's not an's just what you have to do.
greenapples1987 greenapples1987 8 years
ha, i have not read a book in so long!! i tried about a month ago, but i could just not get into it. i think over the summer break from college i'll head to the local library and try to read a few good books! i've been wanting to read EAT PRAY LOVE, i hope to get around to that this summer!
le-romantique le-romantique 8 years
its an excuse, but some people just don't like to read... so i can't hate on them for that. They might as well be honest though. I'm in an accelerated college, now getting my Masters (online) and I HAVE to read a TEXT BOOK A WEEK... yes. one book per week. And I read leisurely, as well. Mostly Augusten Burroughs or Steinbeck books. I just like to read though, so its ok.. i don't need their excuse.
simplystella simplystella 8 years
Anyone who says "you can always find time to read" has clearly never been *really* busy :) ! I'm out for work from 7am to 8pm and sometimes I barely have the time to take a bath. Reading a book is not a 5 minutes thing, like browsing the net or looking at a magazine. It takes a little more.. unless you just read 10 pages a day. But is that funny? When I read a novel I want to finish it within a couple days..
Mimita Mimita 8 years
I feel like it's a hobby. People have time to watch tv and go shopping so you could substitute a little of that time to read if you were the type of person who reads. I didn't always used to read but my friends got me into it. I have so much school work (especially now, finals :S) but I only read to relax myself like before I sleep. SO I guess it depends on your personality
tiaramh tiaramh 8 years
I understand that some people dont enjoy reading, but being busy is never an excuse. There are always opportune moments where you can read a page or two. Especially when your reading a really good one. I always keep my book with me so that when I have a minute to spare, Or find myself having to wait in a really long line, or on my lunch break, I can pull out my book and read.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
Who cares? I happen to go through phases where I read like crazy and phases where reading is not even on my list of things to do. Do I feel guilty? No. Do I feel less intelligent? Not a chance. I work and am a pretty busy person and sometimes I would rather sit and be alone with my own thoughts or just enjoy a quiet moment. I also enjoy watching tv or a good movie (oh the horror!) from time to time. I don't understand feeling guilt over a hobby. You do it when you feel the urge because you want to not because you feel guilty.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
You can always find time to read. I read in the bathtub, when I am waiting in the car to get my BF from work, when I am peeing, even when I am standing waiting for water to boil. I read when I wait for the delivery guy. I read when I can't fall back asleep at night. When I was in college I did the same damn thing, and I read my textbooks all day. Maybe some people just don't like to read. I can't hate on them for that. Is it an excuse that you are too busy? Possibly. But you also have to WANT to -- and that is something you cannot force people to do.
Calimie Calimie 8 years
I'm with shans99, if you are working too hard, maybe you just don't have time or the inclination to read: you might prefer to use your spare time in looking out of the window with a nice tea, for example. I wouldn't judge someone who is working so hard for that. Now, if they say "reading is pointless" or something like that.. yeah
Marseeah Marseeah 8 years
My year so far has been insane - work issues, new house issues, new puppy taking up all of my time, etc, but I still have read 26 books so far this year - I make a commitment to do it. And it's a great destresser when things (work, house, puppy, etc) get me down.
shans99 shans99 8 years
I read about 1500 pages a week for grad school, so no one's making me feel guilty for shoving "fun" reading till holidays! And I suspect Hillary is in the same boat, times a thousand: she's reading all day. Briefs, memos, intelligence analyses: frankly, in the world we live in, I don't mind that my SoS is a workaholic and doesn't squeeze in time for a novel!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Even when I was in school and reading all day long, I still read for pleasure every night before I went to bed.
heatherhas heatherhas 8 years
It just depends on how important reading is to you and whether or not you carve time out for it, just like how people have to carve out time to go to the gym. Reading is pretty high on the list for me, so I like to do it whenever I have a free moment during the day and at night.
lemamike lemamike 8 years
Definitely an excuse! I am a full time college student and I still find time to read for pleasure. Yes, the time is more concentrated during vacations but there is still time! 10 minutes before bed, on a train, waiting to go to the doctors office. If you really like a book it will make you think of it and want to read it. thats how i usually gage my interest.
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 8 years
Yes, when you read for a living, reading for pleasure is shoved to vacations. When I leisure I exercise because I'm tired of being on my butt all day.
ikimashokie ikimashokie 8 years
It's sad that saying you don't care to read for pleasure/leisure makes you an awful, uneducated person. Whenever someone asks if I care to read, or if I've read some book that everyone else read in high school, I feel like I have to apologize for something. My high school was unique, we didn't do novels/books, nor did we do standard high school fare past plays. I tend to not read for pleasure/leisure, I feel I had the pleasure/leisure aspect forcibly removed when I was younger. I enjoy reading, but it is far from the first thing I will do when I have free time.
danni2009 danni2009 8 years
I am doing a degree so I read all the time, however I haven't read for pleasure since last summer...I spend so much time reading I don't want to do MORE reading at the end of the day!
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