Adding something for Lent
For most people, Lent involves giving something up.
Two years ago I gave up soda. Last year I restricted my Internet use at home. The soda experiment was very successful, although it did lead to greater dependence on coffee. The Internet experiment was less successful, but it did result in more moderate use of social media and other websites.
This year, I’m approaching Lent differently. Rather than giving something up, I’m trying to add something to my daily routine: reading. I’ve always been a big reader, but in recent years, I’ve devoted less time to it. During Lent, I hope to read more — hopefully every day. This is actually more difficult than it sounds: I’m usually tired in the evenings, which is when I have time to read. And when I’m tired, it’s so much easier to surf the web or watch a movie.
But I’ve decided to fight back against my evening inertia. With a little discipline and focus, I think I can get back into the habit of reading for at least 30 minutes every night; if I’m successful, I might someday finish the book I’m reading, Roberto Bolano’s epic “2666.” And I have a huge stack of unread magazines on my table that I’d like to reduce.
With the time change, I’ve found this week especially exhausting. But I’ve managed to read more of “2666,” and several issues of The New Yorker. Maybe, by the end of Lent, I’ll be done with “2666,” and the pile of unread magazines will be a small hill compared to the giant mountain that it is right now.
One can dream, right? This year Lent is about restoring my love of reading. Based on my progress thus far, I don’t think it will be very hard to do.
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