How much time do you spend reading? Not books. Not magazines. And not, for heavens’ sakes, anything work-related. How much time do you spend reading blogs?
I have just completed my daily list. The one that I get to complete only on the best of days. The phone not ringing, people not bugging me, work not getting in the way.

Here’s how my internet day generally goes. I check the local paper online for anything of interest. Since I’m in Louisiana, the only things that make the headlines are (1) FEMA-related (2) economy-related and (c) politics-related. Since I am (1) not waiting on FEMA to handle any of my affairs, (2) I have lived here almost all my adult life and therefore am aware of the economic armpit that is this state, and (3) I have lived here almost all my adult life and therefore realize that no good could ever come of reading about Louisiana politics, that takes about ten minutes, tops.

Second, I check Drudge Report as well as the headlines on Yahoo or Google news. I then check Edline to see how my kids are faring this particular day in school. (It’s a wonderful thing, this Edline.) Then, The WVSR. Because it’s where most of this began, at least for me.

Finally, I can move on. To more important things. I click onto my page and check the comments section. If I’m feeling particularly creative by then, I start my own post for the day. Most times, however, I head straight into my linked blogs and read what everyone else is talking about first. Because sometimes I’m inspired by what someone wrote and will work from there. Other times — and this happens more often than not — I use other people’s work to jumpstart my own creativity. When I read a really great post, it gets my own creative juices flowing. (You know, so I can post not once but twice about getting a freaking roof on my house!)

Or I crawl into a corner, assume the fetal position I’m most comfortable in, and mumble incoherently about not being worthy. We don’t really need to go into how often that actually occurs, ‘kay?


So what I was getting at is that it takes a really long time to do this RIGHT. To read each blog. Click on their links. Read the comments and offer my own. On a really great day, I can even click onto some of the commentors’ info and find their blogs. And this practice is what brings me back to the dilemma I face every day.

How many is too many?

I touched on this awhile back. But today, when I realized it takes me over three hours to get through my list, it really made me think.

Most days I get to read in fits and starts. As time allows. But I try to get through all of them because, well, as you know, I cannot start any new reading until the old reading has been completed. Remember? The old stuff will get jealous. Start feeling left out. Old. Stale.

I’m a basket case.

So tell me this. How much time do you spend, on a good day, doing this? And how do you limit yourself? Or do you?