If you are a bookworm after my own heart, you will know that reading and consuming literature is a full-time grind. This is not a hobby for the weak. If you aren’t thinking about books 24/7, you can’t sit with us.
Just kidding, you can sit with us, but just know that we are going to ignore you and not make eye contact in favor of finishing our third book for the week.
One of the things that get in the way of being able to read every day and all the time is this weird adult trapping mechanism called a “job.” Most of us work at least 40 hours a week, precious time that could be dedicated to our novels. So what can we do to make sure that we still have time to read at work without jeopardizing your paycheck (that will ultimately be used to buy more books)? Here are a few of my creative ideas:
- Read at your desk, but cover yourself with a blanket so that nobody can see you.This tactic worked really well for me as a kid. My mom would come into my bedroom to check on me at 10:00pm and lo and behold, there I was with my flashlight on and my book open wide. I would get scolded for not sleeping and have my book taken away, breaking my youthful, innocent heart into a million tiny pieces. This was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I am still scarred by it today and thank you for your thoughts and prayers. But as I got older and wiser and crept up on the ripe old age of 10, I discovered that if you put your blanket over your head, shielding your book and Barbie flashlight beam from view, your parents would be fooled into thinking you were sleeping and carry on with whatever Moms even did back in the day. Take that, Ma, I got you so good!!!My confidence that this will work with your coworkers is at LEAST 40%. I will take that chance.
- Copy your books onto 8.5×11” paper with the company copy machine, print it out, grab a highlighter, and tell all your coworkers that you need to “finish these reports by the end of the day.”There are very few people in the business world who would deny that deadlines are stressful, especially when there is a big stack of papers sitting on the corner of your desk waiting to be completed and judging you harshly every time you open Amazon.com or google “baby otters” instead of getting them completed. Because everyone can relate to this stress beast, this particular scheme works incredibly well. Someone walks into your office and asks for a financial breakdown? Not now, Linda, gotta get this report done by the end of the day. Your boss needs you to go drop off a super important binder to a client? Not now, Deborah, these numbers aren’t going to crunch themselves, pal, sorry. The building is about to be attacked by a modern day Godzilla that will likely cause major destruction and upset to the entire organization? Sorry, gotta figure out who Kendra picks in this insane love triangle. Priorities.
- Convince your officemates to hold your book up for you so you can expertly multitask.It’s pretty obvious to other people when you a reading a book. It’s in your hands, your head is down, and you’re in a state of ignorant bliss. This is not conducive to sneaky reading and your boss will know right away that you are not being a productive citizen (the horror). That’s why you need to enlist a book-holding buddy so that THEY are the ones who get in trouble for holding the book, not you. Seems like a simple concept right? Not only that, but you can do so many other productive things while they hold your book like finishing stapling those documents together or eating a steaming, sloppy cup of noodles. The choices are limitless! You may be asking yourself “but what do THEY get out of this arrangement?” The answer: Killer biceps and forearms. Have you ever held a book up for 8 hours straight? They will thank you later when they look like Gaston.
- Listen to an audiobook and obnoxiously scream “I AM SORRY, I JUST CAN’T HEAR YOU” every time someone tries to talk to you.This tip is pretty straightforward. If you have any questions, please feel free to stop by my office and ask me, but I probably won’t be able to hear you.
- Hide under your desk and claim you are getting ready for disaster preparedness.Remember those tornado drills they made us do in elementary school where you were forced to sit under your desk with a book on your head for an hour while sirens screamed through the classroom (aka the good old days)? Now is your time to shine! Get under that desk, surround yourself with military-grade tornado shields, and hoard some snacks and books to keep you occupied for 8 hours. If anyone laughs at you for doing this, kindly let them know that you will be the one prepared for the impending tornado disasters, not them, and then who will be laughing? Probably me, Richard, probably me.
I hope these tips and tricks help inspire you to be the best reader you can be despite having to work 40 hours a week. Let me know if you try out any of these tips, and please send pictures.
Best of luck,