Friday 13 March 2015

Reading vs Crafting

Do you spend your spare time in the evenings reading? Or crafting? Or doing a bit of both?

I'd love to do both but I usually find that I'm so absorbed in a craft project that I sit happily stitching away (while watching a DVD box set or something good on the telly with my family) until it's time for bed (or way past my bedtime if it's a particularly exciting project!) and the books on my reading pile get a bit neglected.

Above: some of the current projects I've got in progress - embroidery, cross stitch and knitting.

I resolved to try and read more a couple of summers ago and I have definitely been finding more time to read since then - though my plan to blog about what I was reading kinda fizzled out! Oops.

But while I've been reading a bit on my Nice Days Out (train journeys are sooo much more interesting with a good book) at home I keep falling back into old habits and neglecting the interesting things I'm reading in favour of MAKING ALL THE THINGS or just doing a nice bit of colouring in to relax down after a busy day's work.

Above: testing felt tip pens ready to do some colouring-in.

There is nothing wrong with this, of course! Making stuff is awesome! Colouring in is super relaxing! But it does make me sad not to be reading as much as I'd like.

On my reading pile at the moment:

...The Knocker on Death's Door (a nice little whodunnit to read on the train)
... QED: The Strange Theory of Light & Matter (something science-y recommended by my dad)
... The Hare with Amber Eyes (the hare was part of the excellent Magnificent Obsessions exhibition I visited recently so now of course I wanna read the book)
... A Short History of Nearly Everything (I was reading this on trains last summer and really enjoying it, then I got a smaller bag that it didn't fit inside!)
... The Wealth & Poverty of Nations (an old fave that I started to reread to see if I wanted to get rid of it but am now continuing to read because it's great)
... Work/Life 2 (lots of great illustrators, very inspiring)
 ... Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity (this is all about Etsy and blogging and women giving up their jobs to grow organic veg and homeschool their kids and it is soooo interesting)
... Studio Life: Rituals, Collections, Tools & Observations on the Artistic Process (I reviewed this recently, it's great and I want to read the rest of it!)
.. A History of the World in 100 Objects (I tried listening to the podcast version of this but my mind kept wandering, so I'm trying the book version instead and am looking forward to tracking down all 100 objects in the British Museum when I've finished)
... and an issue of UPPERCASE magazine (I treated myself to a whole stack of copies of this beautiful magazine last year, I just need to find the time to actually read them)

I want to read / finish reading all these things! And lots more!! 

So, this post is me resolving, again (re-resolving??) to try and carve out more time in my day for reading.

I'll let you know how it goes :)


Ariadne said...

I mainly read books in summer, lots of them. So this winter I joined a facebook local group who read books at home all year long as a challenge. No questions asked just we have to finish 24 books in a year that fall in certain categories. I have already read 8 books and I am happy I am managing. I just read a little every night before I sleep!AriadnefromGreece!

mondoagogo said...

I read in the bath -- it's very relaxing and there are no other distractions!

Unknown said...

I struggle with this dilemma too - to knit or to read? Most of the time knitting and a good TV series wins, but most of the time I try to squeeze in some reading time before bed anyway :)

Amara said...

I always wonder why all of you crafter people don't do audiobooks. As a busy mom I would never get to all of my good books in any other way. Nowadays almost everything is on Audible and can be downloaded to a little mp3 player or your phone even. Good luck! (sorry --what a know it all way to come out of lurkdom!) Just had to say something. Audiobooks have changed my life.

Rebekah said...

I like audiobooks to some degree, but it's hard to pay attention to them sometimes if the narrator's voice bugs you.

I think I'll add the Homeward Bound book to my reading pile as well. That sounds really interesting and completely relevant to the times.

Do you find yourself drawn to more non-fiction than fiction? I'm more a fiction person because I often want to dwell in something other than reality ;)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Ariadne - joining a group sounds like a great idea! Challenges like that can be a great way to motivate yourself :)

Mondoagogo - ah, I am a shower girl... which doesn't work quite so well with reading!! :D

Bekah - it is tricky, isn't it? Especially when you're in the middle of a crafty project you're excited about!

Amara - thanks for your comment! :)

I know lots of crafters who enjoy audiobooks but I often find that I often lose my place when crafting + listening to audiobooks at the same time, as I focus on the crafting for a bit and realise I've stopped listening to the narration (that's what happened when I tried listening to the podcasts of A History of the World in 100 Objects recently, which is why I've switched to the book!).

I used to listen to them much more when I made things in batches and when I sold craft supplies & had to spend hours doing simple repetetive tasks like cutting out shapes or making up bundles of felt. When I do want something to listen to while I work I've got a whole stack of Agatha Christie books on tape and also love the radio dramas on the BBC and the library of free classics available at LibriVox.

Rebekah - Homeward Bound is great! Let me know what you think when you've read it :)

I go through phases with books, but at the moment I am mostly loving non-fiction and filling my brain with lots of interesting facts!