I’ve Been In A Mood: Part 1

I’ve been in a mood when it comes to reading in 2015. I’ve been having 3 very distinct and reoccurring feelings about reading thus far. This post was originally kind of a mess when I started it a couple weeks ago — a bunch of random thoughts all pasted haphazardly together with cement glue like 1st grade Jamie would have done (she also really like to let it get stuck to her fingers so she could peel it off). I didn’t think it was ever going to see the light of day. Thought maybe it was just something I needed to get out for myself. However, after I was chatting with some lovely ladies on Twitter about it, I decided to take a look at it again and every thought kind of started to fall under these 3 distinct feelings. Β  I’m going to talk about one over the course of the next 3 weeks to split it up because it would be massive (it’s already going to be too long because I’m overly verbose).

So this first feeling?

 

It’s the feeling of wanting to rebel against my compulsive need to always have a current read.

 

tumblr_mqmazdwSxJ1sbkh67o1_500

 

I did a series a couple years ago in which I examined my reading habits before I started blogging and after I started blogging. It was really interesting. Some of the habits I didn’t necessarily love, some I did and some just were neither good nor bad at the time..just a change in habits.

One of the first things I talked about was the time I used to take in between books. So, pre-blogging Jamie? She would read a book and maybe she would start a new one immediately and maybe she wouldn’t. She typically didn’t run to her shelves before the back cover could hit the last page and pick out a new read. She might take a few days or a week or more. She also didn’t read books AS fast.

After I started blogging I became COMPULSIVE about always having a current read. I finish a book and I’m already, in my head or physically, picking my next read and marking it as “currently reading” on Goodreads. I never let it settle. Just jump right in.

 

ALWAYS. A. CURRENT. READ.

 

 

This year I’ve started to rebel against that. I just don’t want to move that quickly. I want to savor. I want to let that last book soak in. Really think about it before I jump into something else. I want to give myself time before I move on. LIKE I USED TO. (And sometimes I might WANT to/be ready to jump right in and that’s okay too). Sometimes it’s fine for me…a side effect of just loving reading so much. Sometimes it’s just a self-imposed habit I’ve gotten in the habit of.

As a blogger I’ve gotten this mentality and I think it comes from this place of feeling like I need to keep going and going so I’ll always have content for the blog and keep with ALL THE BOOKS I want to read. I’m so concerned with my TBR list that I just keep going without stopping.

I think it’s led to a lot of burnout over the years. I think it’s led to feeling a lot of unneeded guilt when I’m NOT reading. When I was talking to my friends on Twitter I also mentioned having this guilt for when I watch tv or movies because I feel like I should be reading instead. WHAT EVEN IS THAT?Β  I mean, I don’t give in to it most of the time and I still watch tv and movies but I feel like if I’m sitting around the house I should read instead of anything else.

When did reading start feeling like something I needed to do so fast? When did it feel like something I NEEDED to do every moment of the day (wanting to is different)? When did it feel like a competition? A race? An obligation? Something to check off? WHEN DID THE SIMPLE PLEASURE AND JOY OF READING BECOME SO COMPLICATED?

It’s over. I’m going to recondition my brain. I already started to do that by not setting a goal of how many books to read this year. And you know what? IT HAS BEEN SO FREEING FOR ME. Seriously. It’s helped to not be concerned with what I’m reading. To let myself go through spurts where I’m reading a bunch in a row because I WANT TO and ones where I’m not at all or am barely picking up a book.

 

Guilt-free, no pressure reading. Savoring. Enjoying. Diving deep. Thinking hard. Reading because I can’t not. That’s where I’m headed.

 

Have you ever felt like this as a blogger? If you aren’t a blogger, have you ever? What do your habits typically look like? Do you always reach for the next book immediately? Go through waves with reading? I’d love to know!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. This is something I’m also working on! In my New Year’s post, I mentioned that I had read EVERY SINGLE DAY for over two years. I literally did not miss a day of reading, even if I just had to force myself to start a book early in the morning before I got busy, or right before bed after a full day. That is just ridiculous. I’ve done sooo much better this year. I still start (and usually a finish) a book almost every day, but I don’t force my else to start something just so I can say I read that day and make sure I have something listed on GR as currently reading.

    • YES! I so understand! While I wouldn’t say that I MADE myself read every day (because sometimes I go a couple days without reading depending on the week or my mood) but ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS when I don’t read in a day I feel this awful guilt. Like I don’t want to make reading a *SHOULD*…I just want to do it when I want. Blogging definitely is the culprit to my feelings because I don’t ever remember having guilt when it came to reading. I would fly and race through books and sometimes compulsively pick them up one after another. And sometime I wouldn’t. But there was never any guilt or pressure.

  2. It’s hard when you feel like you have to do something. Even when that something is a task you enjoy. Last year I was just book after book after book. This year I’ve read 5 books total (I just realized that yesterday when I posted an update to my 2015 reading challenge on my blog). :/ Oh well. I think I just need to choose the books that I feel like reading right now and not force myself to read other stuff. Glad you’re finding some peace with this. πŸ™‚

    • YES! I don’t ever remember, pre-blogging, feeling like I HAD to read. There was extreme want and need to because of the pure joy of reading…but not a need because of blogging/numbers/keeping up. etc.

      I know I’ve read a lot less, even though I’ve not kept track or counted them up so far this year, but I’m okay with it! I’m enjoying my pace and what I’m reading!

  3. Even from before I was blogging I always start a book immediately after I finish another one. I don’t really know why I do this, I guess it’s just habit to be honest. However, I’ve definitely been reading a lot less recently because I’ve been listening to a ridiculous amount of music. I actually didn’t finish a single book in February, which was just bizarre, but thankfully my blog is for both books and music so I was still able to post stuff. Anyway, I’m rambling. I think it’s a pretty great idea to take gaps between books because it’ll definitely give you time to think about the book and to also do some other things. It’d probably be a good idea for me too because it could definitely help me get a better balance between books and music. Great post, it was very interesting!

    Killian @ http://leaf-on-the-breeze.blogspot.ie/

    • I don’t think it’s a bad thing inherently! Before I blogged sometimes I WOULD do that. I think, for me, with blogging it became sort of “job” or like I SHOULD do it. Sometimes I don’t mind because I’m just in that thrill of reading and have so many good books to get to. Other times it feels like OKAY I REALLY NEED TO READ like I’m feeling some quota..not because I really FEEL like it.

      Definitely taking a look at your blog being a lover of music and books! πŸ™‚

  4. Completely agree and so glad that you’re managing to free yourself from it bit by bit! I think the goodreads goal particularly forces that sensation of MUST READ EVERYTHING NOW. I find myself staring mournfully at books I want to re-read and thinking ‘nope, not on target yet, can’t read until I’m on target’ which is INSANE. Great post and looking forward to seeing the next two in the series!

    • YES! The goodreads challenge gave me such anxiety. I mean, it’s not a bad thing but I think I need this year to free me from how it made me feel. I like aiming for a goal but I realized I was focusing too much on quantity and choosing things that would help me meet my goal rather than what I wanted/some of the bigger books I had here.

      AND YES…I never let myself reread these days because I think OH GOTTA READ ALL THESE NEW BOOKS. It’s sad. I want to read what I want when I feel like it. That’s the end goal in me trying to work out these feelings I’ve had. Re-reading maaaay just be another part of this convo πŸ˜›

  5. I’ve definitely experienced this before! And it’s something I’m familiar with at the moment as I’m trying to recover from a slump. As soon as I finished the book I was reading last this week, I picked up another that night. More because if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t have. Gosh, slumps suck! But I love what you said: reading because I can’t not. That was exactly how I used to feel about reading, and unfortunately, something that blogging can change. But it’s up to us to let it not. Here’s to chasing that feeling!

    • UGH, yes slumps suck. Sometimes with slumps I let myself ride it out…just not pick up a book. Other times, after a week has passed, I will just either pick up a book to reread and that usually gets me excited again (even if I don’t reread the whole thing) or I just say SELF JUST READ A CHAPTER OF THIS BOOK YOU ARE EXCITED ABOUT.

      Yes. And that’s how I feel. I don’t mind if I’m picking up one book after another after another because it’s that thrill of reading and I just CAN’T NOT. But I don’t want it to be out of a sense of duty or obligation. Reading is my hobby. My happy place. I will reclaim it from my blogging self.

  6. I totally get it. Ever since I found Booktube and started my own blog/vlog, I’ve felt the need to read more and more. As my TBR grew exponentially (seriously, how did I afford all of these books!?) that need to read was stemmed more because the books I got were fascinating to me and I WANTED to read them. But then it turned into a “I’m not reading as much as they are” guilt feeling, so I tried picking up my pace. That was all in my first few months as a book blogger. I couldn’t keep up with it, or when I wanted to read, I was too tired or just not in the mood, so I did something else. But then I’d feel bad for not having read (mostly because I really wanted to, not needed to). This year, though, I may be reading hella fast for me (book after book after book), but I’m enjoying it. Yes, for a lot of the books I wish I had just sat and let it soak in. I’m regretting not doing it for some of the books, but as a competitive person (when I set goals for myself) that’s when it becomes hardest. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, but there are times when I put down the book and say, “I’m going to do this instead,” and I’ve found that healthy for me. And hey, I think I’m going to do my own discussion post about this on my blog. You’ve inspired me. c:

    • YES this is exactly how it started for me 5 years ago when I started blogging. BUY ALL THE BOOKS. READ ALL THE BOOKS. Suddenly I had 1000x more books on my radar than before. ALL GOOD THINGS. Until the sense of duty and obligation and guilt set in :/ And yes…feeling like you don’t read as much as everyone else. I KNOW I don’t. I’m normally okay with it but sometimes I get jealous or feel guilty.

      I think, for me, I don’t mind having that compulsive need to go book to book to book when it’s because it’s that THRILL of reading. That need to have a book in my hands that is so pure. Not a sense of I HAVE TO READ because of blogging or guilt or anything else external.

      And yay! Can’t wait to read your post!

  7. For me, it depends on the book. I like jumping into a new read, but sometimes a novel hits hard and I prefer to sit back and savor the moment – whether it’s an hour or a week. Reading is one of my all-time favorite things to do, so I’m the kind of person who doesn’t go anywhere without a book, whether or not I find the time to pick it up (better safe than sorry, right??)

    If you’re not ready to pick up a new book, don’t. Nothing would kill a love of reading faster than constantly forcing yourself to do it. Reading isn’t a race!

    • YES. There are certain books that just demand you to linger a while. I also don’t EVER go anywhere without a book AND a fully stocked Kindle oh and a Kindle app haha.

      I think, for me, I totally don’t MIND when I’m jumping from book to book to book when it’s out of just a pure love and need for reading. In the case of how I’m feeling this year….I have a problem when I’m jumping to book to book when it feels like it’s more out of a sense of duty or obligation or guilt. Before blogging I sometimes WOULD read a bunch of books in a week but it was because I was just so enamored by book and words and reading. Not because, as a blogger, I felt like I had to. I want to get back to a place like THAT. I’ve said it a few times here and there on the blog over the years but I don’t want to let my blog dictate what I do as a reader. I was a reader first. I started a blog BECAUSE I was a reader. I don’t read to blog. I’m happy that, at least where I am now in my blogging journey, that I am able to see these things and make changes. A couple of years ago I just let these things burn me out. I’m constantly doing a mental “check-in” with how I feel as a reader and a blogger.

      Thanks for your thoughts, lady! xoxo

  8. during my first year of blogging, I definitely found myself “needing” to have a constant stream of current reads and TBRs. It worked just fine for a long time until I hit a point where I was simply too busy and too stressed from things in real life to do that. I was just too tired to read (I feel like this is a blasphemous statement). At first, I was freaked out because I thought, “I’m a blogger. i need to be reading constantly!” But now, I realize that I enjoy my books more and write better reviews when read at a comfortable pace that fits into my schedule.

  9. i don’t feel like my reading habits have really changed since starting a blog, I’ve always had to start on a new book after I finish reading even before because I just hate not having anything to read. I feel more guilty if I don’t read things as quickly because I want to get a review up of the book I’ve been reading but I don’t feel like this makes me rush my book or as if it makes me enjoy reading any less.

  10. I can totally relate! I’ve been having very similar feelings about guilt when I’m doing other leisure activities and my to read list just keeps growing and growing and I can’t keep up! I did set a 60 book challenge goal and o definitely regret that. It’s too much! Last year I listened to books on cd in my car just so that I could meet my book reading goals, but I have given up that and I definitely feel a bit more free. I can listen to music (which I love doing) instead unless there’s an audiobook I really want to hear.
    I want to retrain myself too and read for fun, and not feel the pressure to read book after book, but working in a library and going to school for a masters of library science definitely makes it difficult. Thank you for sharing your struggles! It’s reassuring that other readers feel the same.

  11. Yes! I am so happy you wrote about thi! I didn’t set a number goal either and it’s helped me calm down a lot. I don’t have a current read right now and that’s okay! I’m still thinking about my last book. I’m trying to find my place in the book world as a reader again and not a blogger. I like being a blogger, but I don’t want to forget that I am first and foremost a reader.

  12. I absolutely love this and completely agree. I just started blogging in July and my reading habits have been insane since then. I’ve tried to dial it back quite a bit because of everything you mention here. I set my GR challenge for 200 books this year and would stress when behind. I shouldn’t feel that way! When did reading become a hassle? A chore? I would beat myself up over the fact I chose to watch TV or be lazy or GOD FORBID have a conversation with my boyfriend for a few minutes instead of being glued to a page. I reduced my goal by a bit (not as much as I should’ve) and am feeling so much better. If I want to watch Netflix instead of read, I’m all for it. I don’t feel guilty. I don’t need to CONSTANTLY be reading!!

    I do enjoy having a current read at all times but I find that I jump too quickly on adding it on GR. I’ll finish a book right before bed and feel the need to add my next one on GR…only to wake up in the morning and be in the mood for a different book. ( #moodreaderprobz )

    • Not to mention the fact that since I started blogging, lots of bloggers have been “cutting back” on reviews and focusing on fun, discussion kinds of posts. I love this! It’s motivated me to stop feeling like I need 2-3 or more reviews per week on here. It’s added pressure I don’t need, especially when most people feel MEH about those posts.

  13. Oh my gosh, it’s like you put my feelings into words. I’m not a blogger, but ever since I joined Goodreads a couple years ago and got more involved in the bookternet I’ve put so much pressure on myself to constantly be reading. Some of it is probably due to that stupid Goodreads challenge (which I told myself I wasn’t going to do this year and did anyway *sigh*). Now and then I’ll go a day or 2 in between books, but I usually feel an itch to pick SOMETHING up RIGHT AWAY because I have all these unread books that I feel like I SHOULD be reading. It’s gotten overwhelming, almost, and it’s led to a lot of reader burnout for me, too. I’m really trying to break out of this mindset, but it’s hard.

  14. I almost pick up a new book as soon as I finish one. I’m not a blogger, but I still feel the pressure to read more, more more, ALL THE BOOKS. I didn’t have as much time to read during college, so I didn’t devour as many books, but other than those four years, I’ve pretty much ALWAYS been reading something. The problem is, I have horrible book amnesia, and this doesn’t help. I start a new book before I’ve processed the last one, so a few days later I’ll realize that I have no idea what I read. I keep telling myself to slow down and THINK, but I haven’t had much luck so far.

  15. To be honest, I did this before I was a blogger and especially now that I am. However, I am happy to have a lot more options and awareness about different types of books and genres. It”s really nice to be able to tweet about a certain mood or type of book you want to read and get great recommendations! There are sometimes when I’ll start with a certain book, and then put it down, and pick up another one, and so on. I think it just depends on how excited I am for the books waiting for me.

  16. One thing that usually keeps me from going straight from one book to another is writing my review of a book. But this causes a different kind of guilt because I feel like I CAN’T start another book until I have finished writing my review of the last one. Which means the longer I go without writing a review, the guiltier I feel. Sometimes I get over this and just proceed onto another book, but then if I end up never reviewing I feel even worse about it all. I feel obligated to review almost every book I read, which probably isn’t very realistic and probably isn’t ideal for having quality book reviews either.

  17. I’m definitely feeling like this lately, I’ve even finished a book and not put another for like an entire day on GR or picking it up on real life either, I still want to continue my brain to focus only on what I’m reading and not to start thinking on what I’m gonna read next when I didn’t even finished my current read (I tried to talk about this about my non-blogger friends and about my tbr and they’re like “you’re crazy!”), also this year I don’t have the same time to read as I used to so now when I’m like catching up with a tv series I feel that I should be reading, specially because of those review copies piling up, but I’m getting better on saying wth I’m gonna do what I’m on the mood for, fuck the rest. I believe we are already on the right patch.

  18. I’m not a book blogger (just a blogger who sometimes blogs about books) and i signed up to goodreads a couple years ago but only really started using it last year.. anyway, i set a high goal for this year and i’m already feeling burned out – choosing shorter books because it will help me stay on track, while longer books just sit on my shelf. i hate it! i hate the reading has become a bit of a chore. i love to read (duh) but sometimes i need a break, and pushing through a book when i need a break just makes me dislike the book and reading.. anyway, i’m glad it’s not just me πŸ™‚

  19. For me it depends more of the state of my brain and how I feel and how much I need my brain distracted from all that, but I agree that since I started blogging I’ve got a bit more compulsive about reading! My ex even commented on that when we were still together, saying that I was jumping from one book to another compulsively without letting the book and the world I’d just read rest and settle properly, and I feel that he is right… I’ve been getting better at taking a break from reading here and there and to give time to enjoy the worlds and the words of the books!

  20. I am currently struggling with this myself. I know for a fact that I am not reading as quickly nor as often as I have in past years. On the one hand, I am okay with that. On the other hand, I am finding it difficult to let go. Part of the problem is that most of my backlog is in e-galleys. I love them, but since I have been reading them almost exclusively over the past year, my desire to read has waned. Then, because they are e-galleys, I feel much more pressure to read them before they expire. At least I know with paper review copies, they will be there for me whenever I get to them. So, I’m working through my issues, and I will find that happy medium some day. Just know that you are not alone in wishing for a more simplistic reading philosophy again.

  21. Sometimes I dive right into a new read, sometimes I take a few days to digest before I move on. It always seems, though, I’ll go a month with a new book always at my side, and then the ONE TIME I finish a book and don’t immediately pick up another, someone asks me what I’m currently reading. And I have to go “oh … well… I just finished a book…” and I can see in their eyes that weird glint of “So you’re not that much of a reader after all, are you?” πŸ˜› Whatever. I don’t want reading to become a chore, and neither do I want it to be a constant distraction — if I read all the time every day, I’d never get anything else done!

  22. I’ve totally noticed this since I started blogging! I read so many books in the span of a few months because I wanted to have stuff to write about and I always wanted to be in the middle of a book. This of course, led to a little bit of a burn out and I took a couple weeks off of reading. Then guess what – all of a sudden I had the urge to go to the library and get a book ASAP! It felt good to start a new book after that. Sometimes you just need a break πŸ™‚

  23. I do read a lot more and a lot faster since I started bookblogging. But mostly what drives me to read so much is my desired TBR pile and my review TBR pile. I’m actually trying to wean myself away from requesting ARCs because I want to read more books off my infinite Goodreads TBR. Every time I read someone’s book blog that grows!

  24. I’m the opposite of this! Like, I want to jump right away onto the next read but I can’t. I savor.

  25. I so get this — and I’m doing it, too! It’s nice to just take a break with a show, or clean the house, or just get together with a friend, or sometimes just lay there and do nothing and not feel like I need be reading something, or that I’m not going to reach my reading goal by doing this other activity. It’s really, really nice to be able to let go of the guilt that I should be reading when I’m not – and I find that I love savouring books now and taking my time to breathe in between books!

  26. As someone who has been reading since I first learned how to, I’m that girl that you’ll constantly spot reading something. But surprisingly, I’ve never felt any pressure to be reading books one after another. If I don’t feel like reading, I won’t. I’ll watch a TV show, or hang out with friends, or just do other things that don’t involve books. But if I do, I go with it and read to my heart’s content. I think it’s great that you’ve decided to take a stand and make sure that you’re reading because you WANT to versus reading because you HAVE to. Less chance of falling into a slump or burning out on books!

Trackbacks

  1. […] I was inspired to write my own blog post about this from Jamie over at Perpetual Page Turner and so I’m going to discuss reading for fun vs not or because you feel guilty for not reading a book. Read Jamie’s post here. […]

  2. […] Jamie wants to rebel against her compulsive need to always have a current read. […]