Reading Goals, Guilt and Gaps


Before I was introduced to the bookish side of the internet, before booktube, and book bloggers and Goodreads, I had a different perspective on reading. I would go through phases where I might read a ton, and then maybe for a few months I wouldn't read, and that would be perfectly ok. But ever since I got introduced to this (don't get me wrong - AMAZING) world, this phase has been known as the book slump. One of the most important things I have learnt: book slumps are bad, book slumps are to be feared. Do everything to avoid said book slump, because if you get caught in them you won't be able to power through more than a few pages

For a few years, I set my Goodreads goals at 100 books and powered through the slumps, forcing myself to read when I just wasn't feeling anything because that goal, must complete Goodreads challenge. This would cause me to not read some books, avoid slightly longer or larger books, because hey - I could read 3 smaller books in the time it would take for me to read that bigger one.

This year, I've had a shift in mindset. I started the year with all guns blazing, eyes on the prize, set to achieve my (more modest) goal of 50 books. I started the year with a bang, powering through nine books in January, thinking to myself 'Hmm.. maybe I will get to 100 books anyway.' I was on a serious reading roll, even finishing 2 books in a day, I was a lean, mean book reading machine.

Then, I just didn't feel like picking up a book after the ninth one. Nine books in a few weeks made me feel all read-out, and instead I found myself wanting to turn to Netflix instead, because Oh My GOD - I can't believe they just left of that episode of Jane the Virgin like that!! I guess it was what people in this world may call a 'book slump'. However, right now, I just think of it as a break - and that is perfectly fine. I want all books I go into because I have a desperate urge to read that book right now, not because I haven't picked up a book in a week and need to prove to the internet that I am a reader.

I read for pleasure, I read to relieve the stress of my PhD and get lost in worlds that I can never visit. I read to enrich myself, and get inside the minds of others, to think how others think and better myself. But I have realised that I don't want it to be a stressful thing, reading for me is about balance, and if I feel like stepping away from the pages for a few weeks that is perfectly fine, and I have no need to feel guilty about that.

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