Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Can You Read Too Many Books?

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I feel like the question that is the title of this post is super loaded but I don’t know how else to really get into a question that I’ve been contemplating for a while. Which all starts with this, GOODREADS CHALLENGES.

Some people love challenging themselves to read more every year and other people don’t want to set a number for how much they are gonna read, lest they ruin it. I am somewhere in the middle? I’ve taken to setting challenges as 1 book a year for the past two years but like, here is the thing. I can set it to 1 to make myself feel good but I’ll always have another ambitious goal where I wanna read like 5,000,000 books.

The most books I’ve ever read in a year is 400 (back in 2013). I am quite proud of this. I always look on this year as my ‘reading goal’ not just because I read the most books I’d ever read in my life but because that entire year, I was not reading books for a number. I was reading books because I KEPT FINDING books I wanted to read and wanted to open my mouth and swallow them whole.

In January of 2018, after I cleaned my shelves out and aimed at getting my TBR to a more manageable amount, I had a v. good time reading books from my backlist. I kept finding that there were books I had on there for years that were worth my attention. I read like 41 or 42 books in January which is A LOT OF BOOKS but I was having a chill time reading.

It never felt like too many books because I was just genuinely happy to be reading??? I read maybe 27 or 28 books in February and that, on the other hand, seemed too large a number for how I was actually feeling. WHICH IS TO SAY, in February, I was basically reading for a number and not for little ole me.

To be entirely honest, I don’t even know where I am going with this post. Am I just venting about my reading problems? Maybe?? But I feel like the question of can you read too many books comes down to how you feel and how happy you are with what you are reading? If you’re basically reading to say you’re reading, that probably means you need to slow the fuck down and chill. I mean, unless you don’t want to. I am just a caterpillar on the internet, what do I know?

Reading is such a complex art that people don’t give enough credit to because it’s just a book but reading a book takes time and patience. Everyone has their own pace. Just because I can read a book a day doesn’t mean I should because that’s probably going to wear me down as I continue to set unrealistic expectations for my final tally for the year.

I am trying to be nicer to myself this month though and try to rediscover that feeling I had in January and Early February. Maybe I just need to find a genre that matches my mood right now or maybe I just need to not read too much.

Those are my goals for myself but you know, I think the general question as to whether you can read too much just depends on the person? Do they feel like they are reading too much? Then they probably are? And to be fair, I’ve read enough that there are times when I don’t even remember if I’ve read a book and then will check my GR to find out if I have but also, I remember a surprisingly amount of details from a book I read in 6th grade and CANNOT FUCKING REMEMBER THE TITLE OF. Okay that’s a rant for another day.

Do you think there is such a thing as reading too much? Tell me your thoughts and feels!

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Rashika has been tired since 2013. There are very few things that spark joy for her besides a nice cup of tea, warm, baked goods, good books and good TV shows. She is here to pile onto your giant TBRs and to-watch lists. Offer her a cookie and she might be nice to you.

8 Responses to “Can You Read Too Many Books?”

  1. Olivia

    Can you watch too many episodes of a television series? Can you watch too many television series? Can you go on walks too often? Can you hike up too many mountains? I think the reply to all these questions is: nope
    You can only overwhelm yourself by setting goals that start confining you. Last year I wanted to reach 104 books. 2 a week. I was doing well until November where I had a few weeks of bad anxiety and didn’t read…and suddenly I was 6 books behind in December and with my reading 2-3 books a week, reading 14 books in a month just wasn’t going to happen and I would have had to force myself. So, I stopped at 100. If I would have forced myself to reach 104 it would have destroyed my pleasure…
    As long as you’re having fun, read as much as you want, at least that’s my motto. But don’t let expectations, and self-imposed goals pull you down. If there’s a month you’d prefer not to read, then don’t, even if the number of books read by the end of that month is a big fat zero.
    For me the Goodreads Challenge is more making sure I do read. Because I’m prone to just watching TV and sinking time into video games and neglecting books and I really don’t want to neglect books.

  2. Beks

    I think it is possible to cross a line, and that line is when reading becomes work and not something relaxing. I started setting goals for myself because I just stopped reading after college. I was a creative writing major, so I had to read a LOT of books I didn’t like for my lit classes. Reading, which I used to enjoy, became a chore. A few years ago I made it a point to read thirty books, and amazed myself by hitting that goal easily, so I upped my goal up to 60 and still read about 64. Last year I set my goal to 70 and had trouble reaching it, and toward the end of the year, it was a chore. This year, I have a goal, but if I don’t hit it, I’m not going to sweat it. Frankly, the number I’ve read is still impressive to me, considering how many people DON’T read (and are proud of that. Why should they be proud of that?).

  3. Joy Lennick

    Interesting! It is such an individual choice, more dependent on your life-style than anything else. I don’t imagine that you, Rashika, have three children or even one? Or that you are – part-time – running your own or someone else’s business? Time and plenty of it are, surely, the key. If you are a reader, of course. I LOVE reading the books which interest me (mixed genres). Hate finishing the really good ones…but, because I also write, I don’t give myself goals but read when I have the time.I MUST cut down media involvement too…Trouble is I am eternally nosey and enjoy learning in general and about people in particular…Books are Wonderful portals through which to enter, so ENJOY!

  4. Laura

    Yes you can. You can read all the ‘good’ books and be left with the books that are just not good enough. It makes you a book snob. Luckily it is only a matter of time before you stumble on another fantastic read…so the question really is: are there enough good books out there to keep you reading forever? I hope so!

  5. Krys

    I think if you enjoy it and can actually participate in reading as much as you’d like, than why not?
    I don’t think there is such a thing as too much, as long as it doesn’t take over your life.
    – Krys

  6. Carole Rae

    Like everything in life there needs to be a balance. Read all you want BUT if it takes away from life responsibles then yes, it is too many.

  7. Valerie

    I THINK YOU GOT PRESSURED BECAUSE I WAS READING A LOT OF BOOKS, AND HOLLY WAS READING A LOT OF BOOKS (and for once Shannon was reading the least lol), and so I guess that got to you because you are competitive and wanna stay in the lead.

    So child, all I wanna say to you, is…..I will never catch up to you. Ever. So don’t worry about me. Take care of yourself booboo.

    ALSO yes you can read too many books. And then you’ll feel drained, or forget what happened in books, or like…just not enjoy reading for a while. Too much of a good thing always leads to a bad. Except vegetables, or so I’m told 😛

  8. Linda @ Reading with Archuleta

    I always think I read too little books.. probably because I still have so much books I wanna read but I don’t know. Probably because those books I’ve read are not too good so I assumed I’ve just read too little? Well.. lets not think about that and enjoy reading as much as we can~ ^^