I’m reading a lot more now

One slight disadvantage of working from home is that I am no longer spending on average one and a half hours each day commuting to the office in Nth London. While this sounds like an advantage, it also means that I am no longer sitting down each day for that period of time (and yes, I did usually get a seat!) and reading.

I have a subscription to The Economist, which is one of the few publications that I can honestly say I read from cover to cover. Not even New Scientist got that accolade.

The problem is that it takes about 5 hours to read in full, and I just don’t have the same daily routine anymore to read it for an hour a day, every day. I am increasingly finding myself getting to Thursday and I can still have only reached the Asia section of the world news, so I end up missing the business news at the end of the publication. This is not too disastrous, as my primary motivation in reading the publication is to catch up on world news – and I spend almost all day reading and writing business news anyway.

Nonetheless, it is a bit of a disappointment – especially if the Royal Mail deliver the copy late, as they are increasingly tending to do again, which further delays my reading. I had got into the habit of reading for a while if I go out for lunch, and in bed before sleep.

However, over the past few weeks, I have found myself finishing work earlier and having an hour or so in the evening to sit down on the sofa and read before bed. This has been an absolute joy to me.

It seems more “correct” oddly to read on the sofa as opposed to in bed – especially as the light in the bedroom is not good for reading, and I don’t want to put a bright light in there as it would make it harder to get to sleep afterwards.

The other advantage is that I aim to finish The Economist earlier and broaden my reading range. The Economist is very good at conveying global events and business news in an almost sterile manner – here are the facts, and just the facts – which I quite like. However, I think I need a more exposure to the more literary style of writing that comes from good columnists. I have occasionally, when time permits been reading The Spectator, and while it is a tad too conservative for my tastes politically – I do enjoy the prose style of their writers. I hope that wider exposure to that style of writing will improve my own prose style, which is still very clinical.

I also enjoy other more technical publications, and the temptation to revert back to science and news driven publications will be strong – but I will try to pull in more opinion based magazines over the next few months. It was an odd benefit of being stuck in hospital a few years ago with nothing to do that I would manage to read at least 2 magazines per day and sometimes struggled towards the end of the week to find anything of interest in the local newsagents. I missed that slightly – and maybe I can get back to reading more by setting aside a mandatory period of time each evening in future.

I won’t be reading Heat magazine though – there are limits.

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