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?

‘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?

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