People Say the Darnedest Things

Jan 9, 2020 | Writing

Winter morning in Texas

I must admit, I’ve never viewed reading a book as a “huge investment of my time.” Having written more than one book, I know how much work goes into writing one, but I can truly say I’ve never given much thought as to how much time it takes to read one.

As a youngster, for a brief two weeks, I found reading a chore. Then I discovered the wonders between the covers—the stories and the knowledge—all for such a reasonable price. So years later, I was quite bewildered to be part of a conversation about how much time it takes to read a book. 

While I was attending the symphony at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, a gathering of my acquaintances began discussing how wonderful it was for the Bass to sponsor a young adults’ art show, held in conjunction with that Sunday’s symphony. 

One woman conjectured that maybe this would set a pattern. She went on to say, “Wouldn’t it be great if the Bass sponsored a book signing for a local author?” The comment certainly caught my attention. What a nice venue for a book signing, I thought. 

But another woman quickly dismissed the idea. “Book signing? Seriously? Do people still read books? I mean, with my busy schedule, actually sitting down and reading an entire book would be such a huge investment of my time.”

I said, “But you love to view art and listen to music, don’t you?”

“Of course, but there’s little investment of time in either one. You view art or you listen to music. You don’t have to sit down and spend hours giving a book your undivided attention by reading it.”

“Perhaps you’d prefer to listen to an audiobook rather than read a book” was all I could say to this.

She hesitated, as though giving the idea some thought. “I guess.”

What does the photo have to do with reading? Nothing. The shot appealed to me.


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  1. Kathryn Bullon

    I pray that I never get to the point where reading a book seems like a waste of my time. 🙁

  2. Pat Krapf

    I’m still scratching my head after this conversation. 😵

  3. Nancy Hilgert

    Astounding! I’m wondering what she’s devoting her time to that’s better invested than reading occasionally?! Do people read books anymore? Go into any bookstore and view the crowds! Even grocery stores sell books, hard bound and paperback, Walmart, too. People still love real books, in my opinion.

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