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Time Spent Reading a Book May Help You Get a Better Grasp of Mindfulness

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Oct. 22 2018, Published 7:43 p.m. ET

While browsing the web maybe six or so years ago, I kept coming across this video in which Skittles illustrated the time people have and how the average person spends it. Of course, the point is that, in hindsight, so much of our time appears to have been wasted.

With this, we are told to be more mindful. But what does that mean? To plan ahead and spend our time more efficiently. But how? I’m not sure we should designate time as wasted. The hours upon hours we spend on our electronic devices, are hours we felt at the moment were best spent in that way; hours that only after the fact could be deemed “wasted.”

Yet, I think we have lost sight of the most productive way to “waste time.” Reading physical copies of books. Incidentally, I have an ever growing stack of books on my desk that are either half-read or untouched. I tell myself I’ll dive into one when I have the time. Of course, that seldom happens. However, for some reason, I found myself in a book store in Penn Station last weekend. I suddenly felt as though it was the right time (midterm exams week) to read a book cover to cover and give it my undivided attention.

This book was hard to put down and I found myself less inclined to browse my phone or stream shows. Granted, I did opt for reading for leisure over working on my school work sometimes. But, it felt okay because I was learning so much about myself, our world, the past, these characters, the people I encounter etc. Books have an inexplicable and ironic way of making readers pay more attention in life, a different kind of productivity than were used to. They make you more aware of life’s gaps; its simultaneous simplicity and complexity.

So I urge you to feel a little more comfortable with your “wasted time” and possibly consider going to the nearest book store with no expectations. It may be worth your while.

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