On My Way to Work
I just can’t find the time in my schedule to sit down and read my book. Luckily, I can multitask! My commute is 90 minutes round trip. That gives me plenty of time to squeeze onto the train, rustle my way onto a vacant seat, feel guilty about whether I was truly the most deserving person to claim that seat, take off my backpack, pull out my book, notice that I’m about to get to my transfer stop, and put my book away again.
On My Phone
Okay, so maybe it’s impractical to lug a hardcover around in this day and age. That’s why I’m so thankful for the Kindle app on my phone. Now, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I can immerse myself in an epic novel — 45 words at a time. Some people prefer the texture of flipping a physical page, but for me, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a few swipes through Don Quixote while I’m bored at the dentist’s office.
Before Going to Bed
Yes, this is one of my favorite times to nerd out and get my eyeballs on the page: right when my body is conditioned to shut down and lose the ability to focus. There’s something so snug about dimming the lights, crawling under the covers, grabbing my book from the side table, feeling my arms get sore from holding the book up too long, flipping over, turning the lights back on because I can’t see as well from this position, getting up, brushing my teeth, checking my phone (as it’s now been a full 3 minutes since I last did so), seeing a post from a friend asking for book recommendations, and spending the rest of my evening forwarding them links to what I’ve heard is good.
On the Beach
Once I’m on vacation, away from all the stresses and obligations of daily life, I will finally have some free time to cozy up with a margarita in one hand and my book in the other. Just as soon as I find an angle where the sun is neither in my eyes nor reflecting blindingly off the page, this book is getting read as hell — and I forgot sunscreen, so in solidarity, I’m also getting red as hell.
Over the Course of Several 15-Minute Breaks I’ve Scheduled Between Today’s Meetings
I’m no workaholic! I set clear and defined boundaries, and that includes making sure I’m taking healthy 15-minute breaks between the half-a-dozen meetings and phone calls I’ve committed to throughout the day. And what better way to make healthy use of that time than to force myself to squeeze a few paragraphs of my book into those precious moments of respite? As long as I don’t take lunch, I should be able to pull it off. Gotta feed my brain, if nothing else!
In a Quiet Moment When I Suddenly Remember Everything I’ve Failed to Accomplish
It’s a Saturday afternoon; I’m all caught up with work; the apartment is clean; my friends are out of town; it’s time for me and my book to get some quality time. I just need to pull the book off the shelf before I suddenly remember every last missed opportunity that I’ve squandered throughout my life. Would things be different now if I hadn’t been so awkward in my Stanford interview? What if I had kept pursuing mural painting instead of settling for an easy graphic design job? These are the thoughts that hopefully won’t consume me before I get the chance to stick my nose in my book for like 15 minutes before falling asleep on the couch and napping the day away.
On the Uber Ride to the Hospital On the Eve of Our Beautiful Baby’s Birth
It doesn’t come around that often, but on the rare occasion that I am sitting in the back of an Uber coaching my pregnant wife through her contractions as we zoom toward the maternity ward — as the fleeting final minutes of this chapter of our lives rapidly slip away from us, giving way to the unknowable yet profoundly exhilarating new adventure we call “parenthood” — I find it’s the perfect time to crack open the ol’ paperback and knock out like half a chapter while my hands aren’t full. I’m about to have a kid! If not now, when?
At a Library
Just kidding, I know that’s preposterous.