There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read.
-- G.K. Chesterton
If there was ever a weekend to settle in and read a good book, this should be it.
Christmas has drained my social budget.
I can think of few useful outside activities.
And the college football season has come to a close.
Years ago, there would be no question. On a weekend such as this, I would stretch out -- I always liked to read lying down -- on a couch and begin a mystery or a history. Maybe something on sports. Maybe popular fiction.
I was also a devoted devourer of biographies, searching the lives of famous men for hidden keys to their success.
But things have changed.
I've noticed I almost never read books anymore.
The ones I start, I seldom finish.
They collect in dusty stacks beside the night stand. Some have spent years on a corner shelf, unopened, unread, unremembered.
What happened? I'm not sure.
I always loved to read, and truthfully probably read more than ever.
I go through several newspapers each day via their Web sites. In fact, the Internet has become an addiction for my curiosity.
I will come across something interesting. Click on it and read until something else raises a question. Go find the answer to that, end up reading something else, and on and on -- locked in a rapid, unending game of word or topic association, until my wife or son suggests someone else wants to use the computer, too.
I also confess that much of the literature I've absorbed in recent years has been from books-on-tape (or CDs). It just seems more efficient to drive down the road while someone else reads me the story through the car stereo.
But listening to someone read me a book doesn't seem the same as tackling it myself. I feel like I am cheating the author of a required effort.
These days, I'm not sure why books and I had a falling out.
I could say it's a time crunch, but you and I both know we always make time for the things we really want to do.
For some reason, I don't care to read a book, and in that lack of concern I know my life is somewhat diminished.
Maybe things will change down the road and I'll recapture a lost spark to feed that deeper narrative curiosity a book always provides.
Maybe I'm just going through one of life's chapters that requires less contemplation and more hands-on maintenance.
Maybe things will pick up or change and I might get back to older, better habits.
I sort of hope that happens.
There's an unmatched sense of fulfilment when you turn that last page on a successful ending.
I miss that.
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or email@example.com.