12 January 2017

Reading Lots and Reading Less

For as long as I can remember, I have read at least 200 books a year.


Reading is something that pretty much consumes my life. I can't not read. Unless I have a book in my hand, I am constantly scanning my surroundings looking for something, anything, to read. I always try to have a book and an e-reader on my person at all times, because reading road signs and adverts and number plates gets boring pretty quickly.

Some people think I must be a fast reader to get through so many books each year - I'm not. I'm a pretty slow reader. I take my time with books. I sit and day dream a little as I read, I read passages out loud, I look up and take part in discussions about them, I research as I read...

I just read all the time.

And actually? It's a problem.

Reading has become my coping mechanism. If I'm stressed or anxious I turn to books.

I'm not a very sociable person, so instead of talking I stick my nose in a book and avoid interaction. Only it's actually making it harder than ever to talk to people. Even ordering a coffee starts me shaking, reaching for a book.

When it's the work Christmas party and you're sat in a corner drinking wine and reading on the kindle app on your phone instead of socialising with your workmates? Yeah... That was me this year. Not cool, by the way.


In about August last year I thought that I was in a reading slump. I hadn't read anything for nearly two weeks, I just couldn't concentrate on the words. Then my face started to go numb and I went to the hospital for tests and a lump was found, nestling there on my brain stem, pressing on a nerve. Turns out that this is what was stopping me from reading, but then I needed to read more than ever to cope and I just couldn't.

I love reading. I love getting lost in any number of worlds, experiencing life as others do. I love challenging myself and my beliefs. I love learning. I love the pretty covers, the intriguing blurbs, the smells of the pages. I love sharing what I've read.

But what I don't love is that it's taking over my life. What I don't love is that it's my only way to cope. Because when I can't read, when I can't concentrate for more than a minute at a time, what do I do? I break down.

This year I'm challenging myself to read less. I'm going to drop it down by about one book a week and try to experience things first hand with my new-found spare time. I'm going to find new ways to cope. I'm going to talk to people.

4 comments:

  1. I don't think reading is a bad thing at all but I totally get where you're coming from- it's hard if you aren't as social as others and you know you can turn to a book. Some are so easy to get lost on so I'm 100% with you there. Hope you are feeling better after that scary experience and good luck with reading less!

    Becca theapresgal.com xx

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  2. See that's good that you're aware that you're doing it too much and you need to find other things to do to broaden out your life ~ please don't ever feel as though people will judge you for it, I for one have always stayed in rather than going out being an introvert myself but I guess your own happiness and comfort is more important :) xx

    sophieannetaylor.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. Hi, I can't believe how many books you can read. It's great that you acknowledge this and are looking to seek to find alternatives to reading. Good luck, Chloe https://pinkiebag.com/ #TeacupClub

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  4. I can relate to this so much! I love reading and I find reading book so much easier than actually gong out and talking to people x

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Thank you so much for your comment.

If you've left a link back to your own blog, expect a visit from me very soon - I spend pretty much all day reading blogs and taking part in bookish discussions!