Random

I don’t enjoy reading anymore???!!

Hey, peeps! I hope you’re having an amazing day. I have been meaning to talk about this controversial thing for quite a long time now, and I’ve been waiting for the right time to say it, but now I’ve realized that there’s no such thing as the right time, and I should just get it over with. And I’m sorry if it ends up a little long-winded.There is a thing called “reading slump” where you start feeling very unmotivated to read books. The bookish community talks about it a lot, and I’m experiencing it these days. I used to feel that I knew what a reading slump was, but nay, I was so wrong.Now I know what a reading slump is… because I am in one of the worst slumps of my entire life. I haven’t touched any book in 20 days -listening to the audiobook doesn’t count, because I’ve been listening to the same one for the last 20 days, and I switch it off after listening to it for four minutes.And it’s not just that. I know why I am slumped, and how I can beat this slump. But I do not feel motivated to read ever since this year started.Why? The answer is STRESS. Reading does not cause me stress, book blogging does. And it makes me end up in super long reading slumps. I mean, it is not even book blogging that makes me feel stressed out. It’s me that makes me stressed.I really enjoy blogging. I love the book community on WordPress, and even  Goodreads. But…there are so many things that I do not enjoy. This does not exist, but I feel like it does. As a book blogger and an avid reader, I often feel that I’m competing against other readers and bloggers.So many people are able to finish so many books in little time. So many of them are able to finish 15 books a month, or 30 books a month. I’ve seen people read 100 books a year, 200 a year and 300 a year. I see people who have read 1000s and 2000s and 3000s books, and I only have 105 books to show off, and I feel like I am not valid? It does not make sense, but in my mind, it is an insecurity I need to work through. Not just that, I see book bloggers post every day even though they are busy people, and I am not really that busy, and I feel like I’m not a real or a proper or a complete book blogger for not posting every day and only posting whenever I feel like it.I feel like a lot of people in the bookish community are obsessed with numbers. I do not think being obsessed with numbers is a bad thing. But I know that it’s bad for me. When I had joined Goodreads last year in August, I had joined the reading challenge. I had decided that I would read five books, and I knew I would be able to read them. No pressure. Just read whatever you feel like reading. Nobody is gonna judge you. I could never imagine that I would read 44 books in a year. And I did, and that was when I did not worry about numbers. A lot of books I read last year are my favorites. And I am glad I read them.This year, I joined the reading challenge again. I set my goal to 50 books. And when I had read about 34 books, I decided it wasn’t working for me. I realized I was not reading for my love of reading. I was reading to reach a goal. My insecurity had started getting the best of me, “what if I wasn’t able to complete this challenge?”

And I decided to knock it off. I changed my reading challenge. I decided to change it to five books, even though I had already read 34 books by then. It’s funny, but I have decided that I would only read five mandatory books every year, and I would read the rest without worrying much about it.So, now, I have read around 45 of 5 books this year… and I am glad.If you’re anything like me and you read to reach a goal, you do not care much about the quality of the books you’re reading. You tend to reach the number as soon as possible. When you set out to read 100 books a year, you tend to read the shorter ones or the ones that can be read easily, etc, etc. I started reading graphic novels–but boy am I glad!– because of the same reason. They’re quick and easy to read. And I do not like compromising on the quality of books. I do want to read a lot, but not at the expense of quality. When I used to read just for me, I was enjoying the books more. All of the books had that spark. Now, I do rate the books 4 or 5 stars because they’re good, but I haven’t really found that spark this year, except in two books –Red, White & Royal Blue and The Prince and the Dressmaker. And guess what, I cannot even reread them because there are plenty of others I need to read??? Nah, not letting that happen. Another thing that makes me stressed out is reading the same books as everyone. I usually read YA contemporary, and sometimes I try to read mystery and historical fiction. I do not like anything that has fantastic or dystopian elements. However, this has made me feel insecure. I feel like I am not a proper reader because so many supernatural, dystopian and fantasy books are released every year that are very famous and everybody talks about them. And not being able to enjoy them makes me feel like a “bad reader”. And it has made me worry quite a lot, because I have tried to read fantasy, and I do not like it, and I cannot want to read it. And a “proper reader and blogger” reads and enjoys fantasy, and writes about fantasy on their blog enthusiastically. But I know there’s no such thing as a “proper reader”, and if I do not enjoy fantasy, I should just not read it and try to find more contemporary books. There’s no point in ending up a slump for a book you know you would not enjoy.As a book blogger, I also feel pressured to read the books that are going to come out or have just come out. I always feel pressured to read the new books, which are not always something I want to read? Sure, I anticipate books and I want to read so many of them, but there are so many of them that I read and talk about just because they sound interesting when I compare them with the ones that have just released. I also feel like I have forgotten what I used to like to read, which is sad.I also used to feel like I need to get ARCs and review copies of books in order to become a proper reader because everyone was talking about them, and when I received my first ARC, I felt extremely pressured to finish it and talk about it. And I’m not even saying that I have a million ARC’s to read. I do not. I also realized that I was not able to reread the books I enjoyed because I have my blog and I need to talk about new books and so many of them keep coming out every week, and repeating their reviews is not something I wanna do. I enjoy reading books again and again, and I should do it more, but blogging about new books keeps me from doing it? Or is it me who keeps me from doing it? I think it’s the latter.A simple answer: I don’t have an answer. It’s just some stupid insecurity and I probably haven’t learned how to not do something so many people do. And I don’t know how everyone feels about this thing, but I feel pressured and stressed out. And that’s not what I had signed up for. I started this blog because of my love for reading, and I do not like it when I try to blog about the things that give me so much anxiety, stress and make me feel inadequate. We have so many things to worry about, and I think I should eliminate this worry, because I can. I enjoy blogging about books, and it is something I want to do. So, I have decided to make a few changes in my reading habits.

Reading is just like listening to music, or watching a movie/ I do not like horror movies–they scare me shitless–so I do not watch them. I do not listen to jazz because that’s not my cuppa tea. Sure, there are some horror movies I like, and some day I might even listen to jazz. I never imagined I could like classic rock, but I’m a classic rock fiend now. Who knows? Our tastes constantly evolve. I think that if you do not like a genre, you can decide to not read it if you’re not interested, That’s what I’m gonna do–I do not really read many genres. I just beat myself up over the fact that I do not read ’em. I had been constantly trying to finish a number of books each month, but that is not possible. I will not let Goodreads choose my books. I will choose them myself. I will not give in to my feelings of insecurity. I do not have to read 15 books a month. I do not have to follow my TBR. I’ll just go with the flow.

I read to decompress. I do not read to reinforce my anxiety. So, I will only read the books I want to read…even if they’re old, or new. Contemporary or fantasy. YA or middle-grade. I will read to enjoy myself and not to stress myself out. I will not request ARC’s just because they are free. I will only request one when I feel like the book speaks to me! I will review a book when and if I want to. I will enjoy the process, because I do not want to be someone who gets bored of the thing she enjoys and has to leave it. I can not bear the thought of reading giving me pain instead of easing it. It is my hobby, and I want it to give me the pleasure a hobby gives. It is important, and that is why I’m choosing to do it the way I like.

That is all I wanted to say. I just wanted to get this thing off my chest, and now I’m feeling super relieved (and nervous). I’m sure there are many of you who do not concur with my opinions. I respect your opinions and I would love to know your views.

I would love to know your views! Let’s chat in the comments!!

One thought on “I don’t enjoy reading anymore???!!

  1. I 100% understand it! I love blogging and the community but it takes a lot from me and I need to constantly consciously not let the pressure build up so it doesn’t become another thing in my life I obsess and stress over!
    I kinda talked about it in my wrap up this month — I wanted to try out the #blogtober challenge and post every day but it just doesn’t agree with my mental health and my mental health comes first! It’s good to set certain boundaries when it comes to social media because it may feel amazing to be a part of something and to feel like you’re accomplishing something here — but it’s still a hobby and a hobby should give you FUN, not stress. πŸ™‚

    Like

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