Wednesday, August 14, 2019

I Think I Have Turned Reading Into A Chore

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Is it redundant to start this post off with the title of this post? Because yeah I think I turned reading into a chore and am not entirely sure how to read for fun anymore.

I am not even sure blogging is entirely to blame for this because I read a lot more than I review in an attempt to maintain a balance.

When I was a young baby, just starting to dip my toes into the online blogging community, I was driven by this fear of running out of books to read. I added everything I possibly could to my Goodreads shelves and I read like I was running out of time. In 2013, I read close to 400 books.

Ever since, in a desire to compete with myself and also to read every single book that comes out + backlist, I think I’ve backed myself into a corner I don’t know how to get out of. There are so many books out each year plus so many books I’ve wanted to read forever and I constantly feel overwhelmed.

Over this past year, I’ve done extensive spring cleaning of my shelves to remove things I know I will never read but my goodreads TBR still stands at a whopping 700+ books. This doesn’t include unpublished books I want to read and it also doesn’t include some books I want to read but keep forgetting to add to my TBR!!!

I am also working harder on being easier on myself when I am in a reading slump because forcing a book on myself isn’t really conducive and honestly makes me appreciate the book less.

I am still chasing that high I used to feel as a child when I read a book and got sucked into a new adventure and I feel like it’s been a while since I truly felt that way. Even though I’ve read many good books this past year, I haven’t picked them up because I was super excited to be picking them up, I picked them up because I felt like I had to in an attempt to tackle my giant and ever-growing tbr.

A decade plus of making a habit out of reading something daily seems to have turned something I truly loved into a chore rather than something I do because I truly truly want to and I am hoping I can find a balance this upcoming year. I miss that feeling of being extremely excited to pick something up again. Not the excitement you feel when you read a summary and a book sounds up your alley but that excitement when you open a chapter and are excited about the process of reading.

I have no idea if this even makes sense or if its a long ramble but I felt like articulating my feelings re: reading lately because I feel like it has impacted what I read or don’t read.

I gravitate more towards contemporary these days because contemporary is quick and easy to follow whereas fantasy is not. I was never the kind of reader who would shy away from a big book and now I am and that makes me incredibly sad.

I don’t want to pick up books because I just want something to read, I want to be able to pick up books because I am excited about picking them up and not out of a habit of reading. I want to translate my excitement about a book to excitement for actually picking it up and reading it.

In case this isn’t clear, this post isn’t a “I am gonna stop reading now” post, it’s just me angst-ing about how I’ve ruined a perfectly good thing. I still read a lot and have loved many books I’ve read. In fact, the last book I finished, I absolutely loved. I just wish I was more excited about picking up a book and it didn’t seem like a chore to actually pick up a book.

Has anyone ever experienced this?? What have you done to combat it??

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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.

5 Responses to “I Think I Have Turned Reading Into A Chore”

  1. Jordan

    I totally understand where you’re coming from with this! I’ve definitely had times where I have to make myself sit down and think about whether I genuinely want to be reading as much as I do or whether I’m just making myself because it’s routine or because I feel pressured to do so. For the most part, I’ve been able to prevent it from becoming like too much of a chore, but I’ve also tried to have more leniency with myself. I’ve been learning to say “it’s okay” if I don’t feel like reading at a time I normally do or if I just need to read slower than I usually do. I love reading and I definitely want it to maintain a love and not a chore, haha, so I’m always thinking about this topic and try to keep myself honest! I hope you can find a happy balance with reading more for pleasure and desire, I definitely think it’s something a lot of us bloggers struggle with at times–you’re not alone! 🙂

  2. Valerie

    I’ve felt that way through most of this year. I’m a slow reader and can’t even begin to read 100 books a year. I’ve worked my way up from 10-12 per year to 35-ish. But that’s in part to counting graphic novels and audiobooks, which I didn’t count previously. This year, audiobooks have saved me. I’ve been in editing for my own books since February, and I just don’t gravitate to reading for pleasure as much when I’m constantly reading my own work. I just get into the mindset of reading = work. Not to mention that what I’ve read for the last few years has been mostly controlled by what movies and other adaptations are coming out. Anyhow, in 2017, I started listening to audiobooks every morning during my shower. At first it was just a fun addition to my reading. Now, it’s turned into the primary way I consume books. I hope that when I finally get my edits for both books done, I will find my way back to reading for pleasure in the traditional way. But I guess what I would suggest is trying something different. A different way of reading. A different genre or story line than you usually read. Or just breaking away from the Goodreads goal method. My Mom set hers pretty low this year, and she’s been powered through books! I’m jealous. Haha. But you know what? The numbers just don’t matter. What matters is that you enjoy what you’re reading. That you’re gaining something from it. If you can get away from the pressure for a little while, I think that feeling will come back to you.

  3. da-AL

    How about switching to audiobooks for a while? I am absolutely addicted to them! I listen while I read, drive, brush my teeth — so many little minutes that add up to a book & that take my mind off of unhealthy ruminations… wishing you the best, dear Rashika 🙂

  4. Joy

    I completely understand! I also have times where I’m not sure if I’m really reading for fun or to make my tbr pile smaller or my “read” pile bigger. Sometimes I feel like I’m just reading quick quick so I can read every book I ever want to read, which is quite impossible.

  5. Fora

    I know what you mean, Rashika, I have moments like this too. I think that it was my huge ARC TBR pile that caused the shine to tarnish a wee bit; I requested booked that I wanted to read and that sounded interesting but as soon as it becomes “you’ve got to read this now” instead of “ooh, I want to immerse myself in this now” a small bit of the passion goes.
    I’m not sure what the answer is but I hope you find your spark again soon. x

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