I’ll confess: I’m a fan of HGTV and watch it nearly every day at the gym. Today, the home “transformers” remodeled a home to include a reading nook. While running on the treadmill, I wondered about the last time I heard that term, or better yet the last time I thought about having a dedicated space for reading or writing.
These days, I’m finding “real reading and writing,” or the full cognitive enterprise of reading & reflection/writing and rewriting, elusive and challenging to sustain. Most often, I attempt to “read” and “write” at a cluttered desk, with my phone beeping about text messages and my computer chirping about new emails. The result: my reading and writing have become a frenetic enterprise.
However, I know that I read and write best in a quiet environment free from distractions. To allow discovery in reading and writing means that I must first leave this hectic environment and find a place suitable for critical and creative thinking.
While a dedicated “reading nook” might not be a common room in most homes, we can all find everyday places that nurture quiet environments for reading. Perhaps it’s a corner of a room and a comfy chair to sink into. Maybe turning off the overhead light and turning on a table lamp signals that you are switching into a different way of concentrating and working.
I’m trying to build small steps into a successful practice. I’ve started to put my phone on silent and out of arm’s reach, and am looking into tools that will mute the notifications on my computer. If I prepare to keep distractions at bay and carve out quality time, I believe that I can re-energize my thinking and rediscover the transformative quality of reading and writing.
Director of Writing Support