When You Just Aren’t Reading Much At All

reading in pool

 

The other day I was sitting on the couch reading for a good chunk of time and Will remarked on how he felt like he really hadn’t seen me sit down and read much lately which was weird to him because normally I always found time to curl up on the couch with a book.

It was true. I’ve said as much on here about how I really slowed down on reading this summer and I really hadn’t been reading very much at all — at least not for the long chunks of time I normally do. It’s twofold I think: 1) I was really busy this summer — new friends, new experiences, saying yes to more things rather than staying at home and 2) I just haven’t been FEELING like reading (or really being able to concentrate on it) which I’m not one to force myself to do something…I just kind of go with the flow and know I’ll always read again at some point when I feel like it. So I haven’t FELT like picking up books or making myself try to sit down and concentrate on them.

I think the thing that was most interesting about his comment was how it was weird for him to see me NOT read. I was thinking about it and I think it’s because ~being a reader~ has always been a huge part of who I am. It’s my thing. So when I’m not not reading as much…it’s weird. Weird for him to see but also weird for me. I FEEL weird that I’ve gone days and days without reading because I’ve been a pretty consistent reader for the past 8 years after a massive long slump during my college years where I rarely read at all. Here and there when I’m busy I might not get to read a lot but I always tried to slip in at least 15 minutes before bed. But recently I just…have let a week go by without even picking up my book. And it feels weird.

For example….I have been waiting for a year for Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. Like the top of my most anticipated list. And I’ve read 150 pages since it came out on the 6th? Which, for reference, I read Queen of Shadows in a time period of 24 hours. I just have zero desire to really pick up a book and I’d rather go out and do other things — no matter how anticipated the book is apparently.

And, like, I’m okay with it. I’m all about letting myself do whatever it is I feel like doing and that, for now, is being more social than I previously was and letting myself do other things with time that would have normally been spent reading. But IT FEELS EXTREMELY STRANGE. Almost like I’m a little off kilter right now?  It’s always been such a big part of who I am and my days in general that it feels like I’m missing a part of myself right now. If that makes sense?  I’ve never quite gone through such a period where I’m really not reading very consistently (I’ll not read for a week and then devour a book in a day). And it’s not like it’s even a time thing — I HAVE TIME if I wanted to. I just am choosing to NOT read with the time I have to do it. Even though I very much want to read — it either comes down to I feel like I can’t concentrate on a book or I would choose my social plans instead.

It’s weird to not be doing the thing that has always been a big part of who you are. Kind of feels like a liiiiiittle bit like having a crisis of your identity but NO BIGGIE. *cry laughs*

But, for now, I’m enjoying all the OTHER things I’m doing — dinner dates, Monday Fundays with my friends, going hiking/walking with Will and Finn, checking out flea markets, binge watching shows, saying yes to experiences I might not have always said yes to before.

And hopefully I’ll find myself with a little more consistent relationship with books soon. I do tend to find myself reading more in the Fall and Winter months anyways so helpfully with Summer winding down that will happen.

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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. Kelsey Cooper says:

    I think you have to take breaks from things like this, and its totally normal! Its like too much of one thing can just be.. idk, too much? I find myself doing the same thing, but it always seems to come full circle! As long as what your doing is making you happy then just go with it, and you’ll always come back to the OTHER things that make you happy, too (like reading). I feel like that was just one big word vomit, but basically I feel you! Dont stress about it – when you get back to the reading it will be like slipping back into a comfy hoodie and will make you just as happy!

  2. I made it a goal this year to actually read less (and have a lower GR goal to make sure of it). I wanted to focus on other hobbies without feeling the ~pressure~ to read at all moments of the day. If I had free time, I’d feel like I had to read because of my challenge. I love having the ability to choose going out or watching Netflix or spending time with friends instead. No pressure. But it does feel weird especially when I WANT to read all the books but also don’t want to read anything. I find myself sitting down and reading a big chunk of the book and then waiting a week before finishing it off. It’s weird but I’m thinking it’s seasonal too! I love having hot chocolate during a snowstorm and reading a book. I can’t imagine that will be different this year 🙂

  3. I found myself doing the same! During the first half of the year, I read maybe three or four for-fun books. The rest were textbooks for class. But now, despite it being the first semester of my senior year of college, I’ve already read six or seven books within weeks. The trick? It was discovering historical romance books. I’m currently obsessed with the Spindle Cove series by Tessa Dare, as in I’m even buying the novellas–and I rarely, if ever, read novellas. But they’re so fun, relaxing, humorous, and steamy that I can’t help but fall in love with the characters. And every book is a standalone that ends with a happily ever after. So maybe, if you haven’t already, try dabbling in historical romance! They’re so easy and fun to read that sitting down for 15 minutes–even amid a crazy busy week–is easy and enjoyable, and I look forward to it every time. I may actually meet my reading goal this year thanks to historical romances. (And I, like you, was looking forward to Empire of Storms–and yet I haven’t read it yet.)

  4. I can relate! Lately I’ve found that although I have some time, I don’t always read during my free time. I have a lot of other hobbies that I engage in and I also have A LOT of school work at the moment. I’ve found that after doing maths/physics/english for 6+ hours, I don’t feel that much like reading because my brain wants a break from reading – and thinking – haha! XD Also, I don’t think we should feel guilty about it (I know I do though) because I guess sometimes it’s good to develop friendships, try out other hobbies etc? 🙂

  5. i do this all the time! okay maybe like 5 times. i don’t know. it really is so weird. whenever i turn on the tv, KC looks around and is like ‘you’re watching TV? not reading?’. it’s weird. i used to have serious weird feelings about it, like i should force myself to read because I AM A READER I AM NOT A TV WATCHER or whatever, like people always ask me how i read so much and i say it’s because i always pick up a book instead of being social or watching tv, so if i am being social or watching tv, i feel like i am lying? which is stupid and crazy, i know. but i’m getting better about it, because i know i will never NOT be a reader, so it’s okay to take breaks.
    i was super super anticipating empire of storms, but i went on vacation the week it came out, so i didn’t order it, and i still haven’t ordered it. so. yeah. hurry up and finish it and tell me if i need to read it! is it the last one? i’m kind of sick of super long series, but i’ll read anything she writes, sooooo whatever.

  6. This is really nice to hear ! Ever since I started blogging I feel pressured to maintain a momentum . Before that I never kept track of my reading hungers, I read when I liked without ever checking the scale. I’d like to have that “sweatpants freedom” back again, to read what I want when I want. I guess we shouldn’t be taking ourselves too seriously and enjoy life as it is : sprinkled here and there by a few good books.

  7. It sounds like you’re really enjoying your life right now, and don’t feel the need to escape. That’s wonderful! You’ll pick up a book again in the future. Breaks are good. Enjoy this time!

  8. I know exactly what you mean. It seems like I have not felt the urge to read very much over the past couple of months either. My husband has asked if anything was wrong because of it. Ha. I think it’s a combination of not finding anything that is grabbing my attention and just general busyness (is that a word? I’m going to say yes). Or maybe it’s the heat. I am just doing other things (like catching up on some TV) and trying not to freak out about all the books that are not being read right now.

  9. I know exactly what you mean. When I realize I can’t read though, I usually have some sort of emotional meltdown so kudos to you for having a much more pragmatic approach! Hehe.

  10. Hey, this post REALLY speaks to me. I’ve hardly been reading at all… and it isn’t that I don’t enjoy it while I’m doing it, but I just don’t have the motivation to actually DO IT lately. Which is weird, because a big part of my self-image is centered on bookishness. And yeah, my husband noticed too. Like you said, it’s a very “off kilter” kinda feeling.

  11. I’ve been the same this summer I’ve just found more joy out of going outside and soaking up the sunshine more enoyable than spending the afternoons inside with a book. I still love to read but I feel like it’s okay because the books will be there for me when I’m ready for them.

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

  12. I relate to this so much right now. I started my first year of college about a month ago, and ever since, I haven’t been feeling like reading *quite* as much as I usually do. I’ve read two fantastic books since arriving on campus, but my main focus has been meeting new people and finding groups to join. And, of course, my schoolwork has left me with minimal TIME for reading. Even during the summer, I read less than usual – a combination of working almost full-time and trying to spend time with my friends before we all dispersed. But just like you, I’m totally fine with it. Fall/winter are definitely more reading-suited times in my opinion, so it will be interesting to see if we go back to normal soon!

  13. I’ve also been experiencing something similar the past few weeks. back in March & April, I got really back into reading again for the first time since graduating college and I read so, so much in a effort to catch up (which was in vain obviously because there is no catching up). After a busy summer where I tried to squeeze reading in whenever I could, I found myself not reading as much. It’s not even that I’m not enjoying the books I am picking up- I’m currently switching between two (one of which is Queen of Shadows) and I just find myself doing other things in my free time. I definitely agree that fall/winter are more reading suited times too. While it’s still nice out for you, I say enjoy the weather!

  14. I think your reading mojo will return to you after your little break.

  15. I think this happens to everyone from time to time. I know I go through phases of not wanting to read anything and I do feel a bit like I’m missing a limb when this happens as I am so used to having a book in my hand, but I find it refreshing to remember I do in fact have other interests. It’s strange as well define ourselves as readers, but that is not all we are. It’s fun to go and do all the other things we can sometimes forget about when we lose ourselves in fictional worlds.

    Reading and books will be there when you feel like picking up something new and losing yourself but you might as well stay enjoying yourself until then, right?