Autumn Is

autumn reading 1

autumn is for sports.  harvest.  excursions.  arts.
here in japan, there’s a tradition of setting a theme for the pleasant season, a purpose towards which to funnel one’s renewed energy and focus. this year, mine is this: autumn is for reading.

i used to be an avid reader, but that all changed when i became a mother. my reading time steadily diminished, and combined with the hassle of ordering english books and the barrier that kanji presented in reading japanese books, i found that i had even lost the desire to read, for the most part.

and though it’s easy to declare that i’m going to read more, it’s not as if my free time has increased, and shaving what time i can from this and that amounts to very little. so i hit upon the idea of using ‘in between’ time by reading while standing, like browsing at a bookstore, except at home. i started setting a few books in different parts the house to pick up for a few minutes as i pass by. not the best way for deep, involved novels, but perfect for short stories and essays that i enjoy these days. the kitchen is especially great– that time waiting for the pasta water to boil, stewing veggies, grilling fish, all can be put to good use.  just gotta be careful though, not get too absorbed unless i want my meals really ‘well done.’

while i still need a dictionary on hand while reading in japanese, i’m now able to absorb the story from the general flow of the language even when there are lots of unfamiliar kanji.  reading is becoming fun and exciting again… just like those teenage years, when i’d stay up until the wee hours absorbed in novel after novel.

スポーツ。食欲。行楽。芸術。
秋には色々な楽しみがありますが、今年の私のそれは読書になっています。

子育てを始めてからどんどん減っていった読書の時間。英語の本を取り寄せる手間と「漢字」というバリアーも重なって、本を殆ど読まなくなっていました。

でも読書をしよう!と決めても時間は増えた訳ではありません。何かを減らすかと言っても少々けずるくらい。そこで、これとあれをする間の「隙間」の時間を活用しようと始めたのが自宅立ち読み。家の何カ所かに本を置いておいて、通りすがりに手に取ると言うことです。これが意外と効果的!とくに台所は最適で、パスタのお湯を沸かしたり、煮物・焼き魚の時間は結構使えます。うっかり話にのめり込み過ぎると大変なことになっちゃうので、注意が必要ですが(笑)

未だに英語の方が普通に読めて、日本語の本を読むには手元に辞書が欠かせないのですが、読めない字が多くても文章の流れの「雰囲気」で読んでいます。子供の頃夜更かしして本をむさぶるよう読んでいたあの時の気持ちを思い出しながら。

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This entry was published on October 2, 2016 at 8:44 am. It’s filed under Reading and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Autumn Is

  1. Your life must be very busy if you can’t find time to sit down and read from time to time. Good luck on your quest for more reading time. Reading takes me away. I love to read.

  2. Pingback: A fresh start  – Little Twig Designs

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