Saturday, February 16, 2013

Taking Time for Guilt Free Reading

Before I retired, I told myself that my first two weeks of retirement life would be low-key, guilt-free time just to get used to not getting up and going to a job every day. Those two weeks have passed very quickly and I've kept my commitment to myself.

The first two weeks have been a time to relax, something that I haven't done in many, many years. It's been nice to spend time listening to a couple audio books without thinking that I should be doing something else. After all, isn't retirement the gift to myself to read (or listen to) the many books I've been saving up? One thing that's nice about e-books - they don't take up the space that hard cover books do! So my obsession with accumulating books isn't so apparent to the outside world when hundreds of books in my e-collection are tucked away nicely on my Kindle and iPad.

I tend to prefer nonfiction to fiction, but I've discovered so many free e-books for the Kindle, that I never hesitate to download any free novel that sounds remotely interesting. One that I started several months ago was about Elvis - who isn't really dead but who is alive and working as a private detective. That one was pretty weird - maybe I should go back and finish reading it now.

I enjoyed reading the early Scarpetta mysteries by Patricia Cornwell. A few months ago, I started reading one of the more recent books in the series. Since I had missed a few of the books, I found that I couldn't proceed because there were references to different things that had happened to the recurring characters and their relationship with Kay Scarpetta, that I could no longer continue. One of my presents to myself last fall was to buy the entire series of Scarpetta novels for my Kindle. And I've started reading them from the beginning. It's nice to get reacquainted with the characters I first met well over 15 years ago. It's nice to have guilt-free time to read fiction.

Since I no longer have 45 minutes drive-time every day, I've had to create some time to listen to my audio books. I love biographies - especially when narrated by the author. I've just finished listening to the autobiography of singer-songwriter Carole King, which I enjoyed tremendously. I've now started A. E. Hotchner's biography of his life long friend, Paul Newman. I tell myself that I can now substitute walking on the treadmill for the 45 minute commuting time so that I can listen to my audio books. That worked one day so far - and only for 15 minutes. That's a commitment that I still need to work on. Combine something I love (books) with something I don't love (walking on the treadmill). It will be much better as Spring approaches and I can walk outdoors. Yes, I'm a fair weather walker.

Since my first two weeks have drawn to a close, now it's time to tackle some of those items on the "to do" list - the organizing, decluttering, shredding - all of the things I've procrastinated about as I was "saving them for retirement." Reality is now here. But I don't think I'll even try to do it all at once. After all, there's always tomorrow.

copyright 2013 Susan M Petersen


  1. OK, as a librarian (retired) and Patricia Cornwell fan I have to weigh in on her books. The last one was pretty good and up to the high standard set by her earlier novels. However, there were several looooong ones in between that were, quite frankly, stinkers. Be forewarned-it took me forever to finish them and I swore each time that that would be the lat one I read. Thank God I kept going!

    I find that I don't really have all that much more time to read because i'm always so busy. I have a Kindle, which I love, but there still is no greater satisfaction than sitting down with a good print book and settling in for a good read.

    Just my two cents!

    1. Rayma, I think your assessment is what nearly every reviewer agrees on - that the spark from the earlier novels was missing from several of the later ones. So, at least I know that going in to this reading marathon! So - I WILL keep going!

      Thanks for reading and commenting on the blog!

  2. How wonderful that you understand the meaning of retirement and are really enjoying it!
    Lori Lyn