My Bad Reading Habits

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.

I’d love to know the bad reading habits of Hannah, Patrick, Emily, Zuky, and Eleanor.  Feel free to pass of course, no hard feelings.

What are some of your bad reading habits?  Comment and let me know!

28 thoughts on “My Bad Reading Habits

    • Literally all I need to do is drive to the post office and have the forethought to bring the book with me, and yet. Somehow. The task feels so much bigger than me.

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  1. A fellow deckled edges hater! So many people love them but I just want to be able to flip through the pages easily while I’m reading. I like flat edges that are lined up so evenly that they’re really soft or smooth. That is the true art of paper edges, in my opinion. Thanks for the tag! I can definitely come up with a few bad habits. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hate them SO MUCH! I don’t even think the aesthetic is all that great – it looks a bit tacky imo. Not as tacky as sprayed edges, but still, it looks overly stylized and not in a good way. What’s wrong with a good clean edge?!

      Can’t wait to read your post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. omg, every chapter?? Sometimes I’ll look at how many pages I have left in the entire book but I think I would drive myself crazy if I counted every chapter. I also have this mentality that if I’m counting how many pages are left then I’m not enjoying the book…and it’s a weird self-fulfilling prophecy because sometimes I’ll be really enjoying a book but I’ll still want to know how many pages are left and then I’m like…”Am I not actually enjoying this book because I want to see how many pages are left?” And then I obsess. lmao, basically, I do my best to avoid thinking about page count because I know I could drive myself up the wall if I start thinking about it too much!

    When it comes to long books, since I read a lot of fantasy, I tend to inevitably come against lengthy books, but I also avoid the *really* lengthy books because to be honest I think it’s really rare that a book ever really needs to be 900+ pages long; I find that those usually tend to drag towards the middle. I’m like 500pgs into Crimson Petal and I’m barely halfway done dsljkafalkja and even though I really like the book I think A LOT of content could have been edited out with no loss to story or character arcs.

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    • YES EVERY CHAPTER! Like, multiple times, too. I’ll be in the middle of a chapter and flip through to the end to see how many pages are left, even when I’m enjoying the book… I literally have no clue why my brain insists that I do this because it’s ANNOYING but what can you do. I just have to accept that I’m going to keep doing it and it doesn’t mean that I’m disliking the book, I think I’m just obsessed with numbers?

      That’s a very good point, I also feel like 500+ page books (literary fiction) rarely justify their length. I think East of Eden and The Heart’s Invisible Furies are the only ones I can think of that make use of every page. Even some books I love with my whole heart I will readily admit should be a lot shorter (looking @ you Les Mis).

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    • It’s hard to come up with something that’s truly ‘bad’ when this is all so low stakes! I think some people see bending pages as bad but I figure you can do whatever you want to your own book. (Not that I do that anyway.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m guilty of counting down the pages too! I’m also forever checking how many pages I have left of the book, which feels so silly. And like you, I try to fit in with every challenge going! I must try not to do that so much next year.

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    • Yes, I’m always checking the number of pages left in books too! Even if I’m loving the book. It makes no sense to me but my brain insists on doing it. And I’m really hoping to break away from that ‘must participate in everything’ mentality in 2019, it’s going to drive me mad!

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