Everyone has a story to tell and this is mine. About reading, friends, and habits hard to break.
I feel the need to be constantly reading
Some constantly check their social media accounts, others – follow the news. And I, in a spare minute, choose to pick up a book.
A few paragraphs, pages or chapters, the habit of reading at any free minute has become hard to break. And I wouldn’t be lying if I said that that’s how I get most of my books read – in public places whilst waiting for something.
I can only explain this urge to be constantly reading by the fact that my to-be-read list never gets shorter. Every other day I find a book or an author whose work I fancy reading. In fact, the list keeps on getting longer. And that’s when I start freaking out. So many books, so little time!
I don’t read as much as everybody thinks I do
Let’s get it straight. I probably read more than an average person, but I certainly don’t read a book a day. Not even a book a week. That being said I don’t read as much as everybody thinks.
Reading is a rather lonely activity. If it’s not the public reading event you are attending, most likely you are quietly sitting on your own with a book in your hands, engaged in yet another story. You can, of course, read alone together with someone, but it’s not the same as let’s say playing board games.
I love my alone time. But no matter how much I love spending it reading, there are other things in life I enjoy doing no less, especially in a company of loved ones.
If it’s not a company of other people I crave that keeps me from reading, it probably is a lack of concentration. There are days when you skim through the pages without realizing you aren’t actually following the story. At these moments I just prefer not reading at all.
I feel obliged to praise or despise certain books
I guess most of us at least once have felt the pressure from our peers to like or dislike certain things. As an active follower of readers’ community, I feel pressured to praise or despise certain books. I agree that it’s totally unreasonable but I still do it. Subconsciously.
And don’t you tell me, you have never had a guilty pleasure of consuming a certain type of content that you are not supposed to like. Not that this content is bad. It’s just there exists a certain stigma about the audience that tends to enjoy that type of content, and you simply don’t want to be considered as part of that group.
It also happens another way round when you are expected to like something. I have previously talked about my struggle to make myself like 1984 by George Orwell. For the longest time couldn’t accept the fact it’s not a book for me. If my friends and people I look up to like it, I must like it too…
I’m way better at this now as I grow to understand that each reader approaches the book differently and takes away. There are and will be books that will blow me away in ways I could never imagine (um, Stoner!). And there certainly will be books with which I won’t be able to connect at any level.
I consider time spent reading magazines wasted
Don’t get me wrong, I love magazines. I could never pass by a magazine stand in a bookstore, airport or local supermarket. However, I purchase magazines mostly for skimming through and getting inspiration.
Thing is, each time I sit down to actually read a magazine my mind starts racing. “You could be reading something more valuable” I can almost hear myself saying. “There’s not enough time for this, the book is more important”. With these thoughts in my head, I almost feel guilty for reading magazines. As if reading magazines is taking precious book reading time away from me. I can’t help it!
I own quite a few magazines amongst which – a 3 years old Frankie issue I’ve never read but skimmed through so many times that I even broke its’ spine. Also, fairly recently I purchased the latest issue of The Gentlewoman, which I’ve managed to give only a little read.
The Happy Reader is probably the only magazine I read from cover to cover. And the reason for that probably is because the magazine itself is about books.
I’m trying to change my ways about reading magazines but I think there’s quite a journey still in front of me. For this reason, I try not to purchase new ones, and in a moment of weakness choose magazines that are beautiful to look at.
I prefer books to people
I know what you think. Just a few paragraphs earlier I’ve mentioned how sometimes I put my reading aside to spend time with loved ones and now I’m saying I prefer books to people after all.
As a highly sensitive person, I need time for myself to recharge after interacting with other individuals. It means, that after eight hours at work I feel emotionally tired, and instead of going out to have a drink with a friend, I prefer doing things that don’t involve me having to actively engage in a conversation.
It also is one of the reasons that at least one of weekend days I prefer spending at home on my own, or in silent company of my significant other. And I assume it will not come as surprise if I say I recharge when I’m reading.