This post from Tumblr perfectly describes my relationship with books.
If you ask me on any given day while I’m going about my business if there is something else I’d rather be doing, reading is going to be high on that list. But if you ask me how often I actually read… well, I’m going to sign deeply and inwardly frown. Because I’m a book worm, but sometimes I’m not.
I love books, but sometimes I go through long droughts of reading. Months go by where I can’t be bothered to pick up a book. Or every book I start to read just doesn’t catch my interest. Or I want to read, but every other aspect of my life feels like a priority over reading.
You see, I am a consistently inconsistent reader.
Every month I make myself a to-be-read pile and psych myself up for reading. Then, without fail, I drop the ball on making time to read, and fill my free time with anything other than a book. And before I know it the month is over, and my TBR pile has remained untouched and started collecting dust.
I wish I was someone who could stick with a reading routine. I enviously scroll through Bookstagram posts from avid readers who devour books by the stack. But even that doesn’t motivate me. This year, I’m trying something new. I’m looking back at my past two years of reading, which have been meticulously tracked on Goodreads, and analyzing what I read, and why I read it.
2018 may have been one of my most consistent, and successful, reading years. I read 26 books, and while my goal was 35, I have to say the majority of the books I read were rather lengthy and one even took me 3 months to read, it wasn’t terribly long at 516 pages… but it was terrible, and those are 3 months of my life I’ll never get back. So I’m happy with 26 books total.
Then enter 2019, where I read 8 books and took a 7-month reading hiatus. And I had started out so strong, with 6 books under my belt by the beginning of April. The interesting part is it wasn’t even a bad read that caused me to not pick up a book again until November. In fact, the last book I read was one of my favorites of the year. What would cause such an aversion to reading?
The most significant factor I found from analyzing my past reading habits, is that my most productive reading is done when everything is right in my life. When I’m in a completely non-stressed, content state of mind is when I can allow myself to enjoy a book. If I’m stressed or depressed or anxious in any way, it’s like my brain cells won’t accept the relief reading can bring.
Now that I know this about myself, I’m hoping I can use it to my benefit, and get myself in the right headspace to be a productive reader. With the state of the world right now, it would be nice to lose myself in a book, but I’ve also decided to go easy on myself. Consuming 60 books in a year isn’t the be all end all. Would it be nice? Sure. But I’m not going to make myself feel guilty over unread books. There are far more important things.
Will 2020 be a consistent year? Well, so far, I’ve not finished a single book, but I do have a list of reads I’d like to get through this year. I’ve also set my bar very low to avoid setting myself up for failure (my Goodreads goal is 20 books). How about you? Are you a consistent reader, or are you a book lover that goes long periods without reading? Let me know!
Also, stick around for a post about being a consistently inconsistent writer, because this post was supposed to come out in January…
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