What do you do when you don’t feel like reading?

And by this, I mean reading a book, not reading the back of the cereal box. Because sometimes I just feel too tired to concentrate on a book. That’s when I like magazines – they’re very flickable-through and easy to finish. The trick is not to get depressed by the skinny beautiful models who have neither cellulite nor wrinkles. Nor the skirt you like until you see it costs R3000.

Then there’s always the newspapers. I get the Cape Times delivered, as well as the Times, which I get for free because I subscribe to the Sunday Times. I like the Times and the main reason I do is because it’s tabloid size and easy to hold. The articles are short, sometimes smuttily gossipy and there’s a good balance of serious and lightweight content. The Cape Times is fine – I go straight to the cartoon page at the back and read Calvin and Hobbes. What would my life be without Calvin and Hobbes to cheer me up? And Madam and Eve. But the trick to newspapers is not to get depressed reading all the depressing news. Which is hard sometimes.

When getting pathologically lazy, I just manage to stretch my arm off the sofa and reach for the TV Times, which can prove to be very interesting if you’re in that sort of numb mind state. A three-term-old school magazine is also good fodder for that mood, as well as those glossy coffee table books that no-one ever really looks at. The paper insert in a box of pills can prove to be fascinating reading, especially all the side effects. No wonder I’m feeling tired nowadays.

And then, my guilty secret. Sometimes I just sit and watch TV. Even junk reading seems like too hard work. Today I feel as though I’ve had a legitimate excuse; I’ve been watching the Chilean miners emerge from their subterranean capsule, one by one, like grubby angels from below. It is a miracle to watch and I have nearly cried a few times. But sometimes I sit and watch junk. It’s amazing how much more TV I watch now that I’m divorced. The series I watch are: House, Monk, Grey’s Anatomy, Tudors, Brothers and Sisters and – when they’re on – The Mentalist and Desperate Housewives. And then the Dog Whisperer now and then. And sport if I’m watching with Richard (that’s also legitimate TV watching – bonding, you know).

But, in the end, I always go back to a book.


Author: Nella

Constant reader, sometime writer, school resource manager. I can't imagine a life without books, nor my children, my cats, my dog, my family, my friends. I belong to two book clubs, and I don't mind whether I read a paper book or an electronic one - as long as I read.

3 thoughts on “What do you do when you don’t feel like reading?”

  1. When i’m really bored, i read the captions under those society photographs that you get in some magazines, and try to see whether peoples’ names match their faces (conclusion: strangely, mostly yes). I also like to read all the touching hand-written notes people put in my mailbox, like “Malawian looking for job, good at wood sanding and vanishing. Experience available.”
    And then of course what i really love to read is the “So you need a good book to read?” blog by nella freund.

  2. I also love reading the hand-written notes in the mailbox; also the ones from the African herbalist doctors who are able to cure everything from nervous tension to drooping penis. I’ve even been known to read the Butler’s Pizza menu countless times (yet can never remember the phone number).

    And thank you for your kind comment about my blog. I have just finished another book so a new post is due, but I am busy writing very interesting articles for the City of Cape Town about their new bicycle unit and the World Firefighters’ Games. Can you believe they have them? And one of the events is the Firefighters’ Cook-out (which CT won).

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