On Not Letting My Phone Steal My Reading Time

A little while ago, I got a proper phone. By that, I mean one that hadn’t been handed down to me. By that, I also mean a phone with which I can do all the you’re supposed to be able to do on a phone in 2019. (In case you’re interested in learning about my experience with getting a new phone, you can read about it here.)

One of my main issues with getting a new phone, capable of doing everything, was that I would lose lots of time to it. That I’d find myself flipping from one social media app to another, or Googling things that don’t need to be Googled (such as bear attacks in the past 100 years) when I would have, previously, been reading a book.

One of my main goals this year was to read 100 books, and I was well on my way to reaching that goal. Every moment I could spare, I’d grab my book and power through a few chapters. But then, my dastardly phone came along and suddenly, I wasn’t reading ten or eleven books a month, I was down to three or four.

As I added my meagre titles to my 100 Books In A Year List, I felt this deep sense of disappointment and shame. So much shame. (My phone can’t take 100% of the blame though…because I’ve started to make jewellery in recent months which has also eaten into my reading time, but my phone is responsible for probably 85% of my reduction in reading.)

For the first few weeks, I was good at keeping a safe distance from my phone, but recently, I’ve been giving into its siren call.

I’ve had enough of it now, though.

My 100 Books In A Year goal is really important to me. Really fucking important. I want to achieve it, perhaps even surpass it. I’m starting to leave my phone in other rooms when I don’t need it for something urgent, and, although I nearly always take a book with me wherever I go, I’ve been extra careful to make sure that this happens. Sometimes I’ll even stuff two in my bag for good measure.

As well as needing books because I’m a bookworm and not a human being, I need books because without them my mental health would deteriorate extremely quickly. They’re a huge and I mean HUGE part of my life. Leave me without books for a day or two and I’d wither and die. Think I’m being dramatic? I’m not.

I’ve noticed that, since I signed the contract for my phone, my concentration while reading has lapsed, something I’m unhappy and concerned about. The only way to remedy this though, is to go cold turkey with my unnecessary screen time and get close to my old paper friends again.

p.s. The book I’m holding in my hands – The Enchanted World : Night Creatures is extremely fucking precious to me. If you’re as old as I am (32) and wyrd, you’ve probably had your own experiences with The Enchanted World series, and I would be so damn thrilled to hear about what you think of them/which books are your favourites/where your tomes are now.

2 thoughts on “On Not Letting My Phone Steal My Reading Time”

  1. Hi Katie – thank you for sharing this post. I wish I could roll back the last 20 years of phone ownership and retrieve my attention span, but I feel the ship has sailed. Giving up your phone now and them is a great idea, and I hope you hit your target of 100 books this year.

    p.s. I really enjoy your Cave Mouth project, it’s inspiring me to attempt my own spoken word works.

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