As many books as I read this past year, I’m not going to deny that there are things that definitely cut into my reading time, things that I ended up putting books aside for. Some were things that I’m very glad are now over. Most, however, we positive things, things that made me happy to do. So here are the top 4 positive things that kept me distracted from reading more in 2013.
The release of Pokemon X/Y – I’m not ashamed to admit it. I play Pokemon. I have since the early days of the games, back when they were only out on the original GameBoy. The games are startlingly addictive for a completionist, have gotten more complex and thought-provoking plots as the series has developed, and dangit, sometimes it’s just fun to beat up cartoon monsters for profit! So when the new generation of games was released, my books got put aside in the evenings in favour of playing some video games. I play it less now than I did at first, but I still play, and I still enjoy every minute of it.
And if anyone else reading this plays X or Y also (or just wants to inflate their 3DS Friends list), by Friend Code is 4914-3830-2347.
Twitter – Social networking is a must for spreading the word about books, reviews, giveaways, all things awesome associated with bookblogging. It’s also a tremendous timesink, especially when I get into good discussions with people.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – I’m starting to think there’s a slight trend of the stuff that keeps from reading is the same stuff that’s marketed to kids but actually enjoys a wider fanbase. I started watching the show earlier this year. Then I watched it again. Then I watched the movie that came at the end of season 3. Now I’m enjoying the new episodes of season 4. You may think that a half-hour show that airs once a week isn’t enough to keep a person from reading, but, well, when you’re catching up on that show by watching multiple hours at a stretch, yeah, that eats into time pretty significantly. The show is actually very well done, with fluid animation, surprisingly good dialogue and humour, and lessons that are actually more profound and better for kids to learn than a lot of stuff I see on TV. An episode talking about the jealousy one can feel at seeing their friends hang out with other people carried the secondary message of, “No matter how nice you are to them, some people are just going to keep being jerks, and sometimes bullies are going to be bullies no matter what you do to try to befriend them.” Which is a lot more realistic than, “Be nice to all bullies, because secretly they’re just lonely and afraid and want to be your friend but just don’t know it yet.” Seriously, it’s a good show, and if you haven’t watched it yet, you really ought to.
Returning to work – I left this one for last because it’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, it was great to be able to return to work, to not be so sick that I was incapable of working, and to start earning a paycheque again. It was great to not be broke all the time, to not be sick all the time, to be able to go out and get a mere 2 bags of groceries without it making me so tired I’d be worn out for the rest of that day, or needed to take a nap just to get by until bedtime. But I can’t deny that when I was off work, I didn’t have much to do a lot of the time except for reading, and returning to work cut out a lot of my free time in which I could get that reading done. But overall, I’d say it’s a positive thing, because being healthy and being able to pay my bills is a very good thing indeed, even if it came at the expense of some free time.