I was tagged by Callum to share some of my bad reading habits, so, without further ado…
Avoiding long books: Callum mentioned this one as well, and I think it’s fairly common in this community. I think the pressures we all feel to read as many books as possible are for the most part self-imposed, because does anyone actually care how many books any of us read in a year? But when you’re surrounded by the Goodreads reading challenge and quantitative monthly wrap-ups, and you’re constantly seeing how many books other people in this community are reading, it’s hard to stop yourself from chasing some arbitrary high number. I met my 2018 Goodreads goal back in July, I think, but still I find myself reaching for shorter books solely because they’re shorter and I’ll be able to read more of them. Which is absurd. Especially for me personally, as A LOT of my all-time favorite books are 500+ pages (Les Mis, A Little Life, Of Human Bondage, East of Eden, The Pillars of the Earth, etc etc etc).
Counting down the pages until the end of a chapter: (This goes hand in hand with my hatred of deckled edges, which make this exercise more difficult.) I am obsessed with casually thumbing through to the end of the chapter I’m on and counting how many pages I have left. I’m not someone who has to read to the end of the chapter before putting the book down, but still, I don’t think I have ever started a chapter in my life without counting how many pages it is.
Hoarding books my friends have lent me: Does anyone else feel like going to the post office is a Herculean task or is that just me? I don’t even know. The plus side is that I will never lose your books; I have all my borrowed books in a pile and I know exactly where they are. The downside is they will sit in that pile for up to three years unless you come to my house to collect them yourself. Sorry Patrick. I’m working on it.
Not reading what I want to read: This one feels especially ridiculous to type out because reading and blogging are both hobbies, so you’d think I’d allow myself the luxury of reading what I feel like reading at any given time, but I know I’m not alone in this. I spread myself way too thin among all of my reading goals and obligations. If you propose a buddy read, I’ll say yes; if there’s a literary award I’m interested in following, I’ll probably try to read the longlist; if there’s a community-wide reading challenge like Women in Translation Month or Victober or Nonfiction November, I’ll find myself bending over backward to try to participate. The problem for me is that my reading tastes are so varied – I read everything from classics to thrillers to fantasy to literary fiction to memoirs – so I think I try to participate in multiple reading challenges to keep my reading as broad as possible. But the downside is that if I’m ever in the mood to, say, go down a rabbit hole and read nothing but depressing Irish literary fiction for a month, I feel like I can’t do that, and I end up forcing myself to read a thriller when the last thing I feel like reading is a thriller.
What are some of your bad reading habits? Comment and let me know!