I’m about 10 pages into a new book, Beyond Talent. It’s been sitting patiently on my desk for months, and I finally accepted the fact that the only way I was going to read it was if I sneaked a few paragraphs or pages at a time whenever the opportunity presented itself. My preferred methodology is to spend an entire afternoon reading and finishing the book in one sitting, but this hasn’t been a viable option for a while now.
My boyfriend, who gave the book to me as a gift, has this wonderful habit of always being in the middle of some book or another. (He reads a lot because he loves to read, but let’s not overlook the fact that he spends hours riding the subway to school/work/rehearsal/everywhere.) He always throws a book into his backpack, so I decided to emulate him by taking Beyond Talent with me whenever I leave the house.
I’m not as far along in reading the book as I would like, but I’ve noticed some positive and unintended side effects to having the book with me. I leave the music building more often during the day to get fresh air and to take a walk. Most of these breaks start off with the intention of reading a bit, but sometimes I get distracted: I’ve reconnected with old friends over coffee and had heart-to-hearts with new friends. I’ve asked for help and exchanged ideas with my peers. I’ve been smiling more. I’m more calm (but maybe that’s just because my recital is over). The frequency and the number of minutes spent socializing have both gone way up, and I feel much less guilty about “hanging out” when I should be doing something “productive” such as practicing. I see that spending time with people is productive because I’m learning from them; I’m learning about music, and I’m learning equally important things about being a good friend, a good colleague, and a happier person.
I just really hope I get to read more pages because 10 pages in three days is agonizingly slow!