How Reading Taught Me Patience
Saying that I am not the most patient person in the world would be a grave understatement. Actually, if someone told my husband that they thought I was patient, I am pretty sure he would just die laughing at the absurdity of such a claim. I am someone who will refuse to watch a show until all the episodes of a season is available, so I can binge without waiting for the next episode and I take it as a personal affrontement if my friends are late to brunch dates. Some of this is because I am just a jerk who doesn’t like waiting, but part of it is my own personal anxiety that if something or someone is late or I have to wait, it is the end of the world. My lack of patience is not something I am proud of, but it is something I (as well as my husband, sorry honey) have to live with. Now you might be asking what does reading have to do with patience? Well to put it lightly… EVERYTHING!
The first book that comes to mind in teaching me patience is Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin. Even though it has been 8 years since the last Game of Thrones book, A Dance of Dragons, we are still waiting on the highly anticipated release of the 6th book Winds of Winter… which doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon. However, with the patience it takes waiting for this book comes the sweet anticipation. I know that when it is released, it will be an incredible novel because George R. R. Martin never disappoints so I know that all this waiting will pay off when I finally get the satisfaction of cracking open that book to continue my journey in A Song of Ice and Fire.
Since there are so many good books, many of them have been adapted to movies and that could be a replacement for reading the book. The main difference between books and movies is the time they both require to finish. Most movies are about 2 hours long while books can take anywhere from several hours to days (and if you are reading Stephen King or George R. R. Martin - MONTHS) to complete. So why read the book when the movie can get you the same story in a shorter time period? It’s because in the book, the waiting and the time that you invest in the book is almost always worth it! When reading, it’s not always about the ending destination and more about the journey that brings us there and all the details and circumstances that go along with it. Those are the most interesting parts of the book. A movie can only do so much, but a lot of the scenes from the book are going to be cut or minimized in order to meet the screen time criteria, but in a book, the sky’s the limit!
Now when you have a job and hobbies and friends and other things that occupy your time, it only elongates the time it takes to complete a book and my fellow book readers know how an hour away at brunch with your friends feels like 10 years away from your book! But that is where the patience comes in. We can’t all sneak read in our office or at a concert with friends and, unless you’re Dr. Strange, definitely can’t read in your sleep. So you have no choice but to wait… and usually it doesn’t matter how long you wait because returning to your book is like returning to your long-lost friend. The quality of the book never diminishes and the world didn’t end because you waited. It was still there, as consistent and ever present as it was before.
So I have to still say waiting is no fun. But all good things come to those who are patient and wait!