Struggles with Reading

I think it is obvious that I am a person that loves reading. Just look, I created an entire blog about it and devote hours a week to its upkeep on top of the time invested in reading. It is a joy I’ve had with me since I was a child and some of my fondest memories are from reading certain stories.

Lately, however, I’ve been struggling. Since probably October of last year my reading has come in fits and starts and fizzles out just as quickly. I just don’t feel the drive and enthusiasm I once did. Every day I haven’t picked up a story or been engrossed by a book I have become frustrated with myself. I’m the kind of person that feels no self worth unless I’m constantly doing something productive so these last few months have been difficult on the bookish front.

I want to read, I truly do. In the last week I’ve brought home numerous books (that I probably shouldn’t have spent the money on) and organized them onto my shelves…just to watch them collect dust. But something occurred to me this morning after an uncomfortably intense bout of depression yesterday evening.

It’s okay.

It is okay to not feel the drive to read constantly. So what if your fellow blogger friends are reading 20 books a month and over 100 books a year? How does what they do effect your own self worth? It doesn’t. Let it go. The last couple of years I have finished around 60 books total and this year I will not hit that mark. Nowhere near it, in fact. That is okay, too. Everyone’s life is different. Every year is different. Each new day brings new struggles for us to overcome and new roadblocks to navigate.

You can’t judge yourself by something you’ve accomplished in the past or what another person has done. The only time you have is right now and if right now picking up that 500 page book doesn’t bring you joy, then that is fine. It doesn’t make you less of a reader. It just means that right now, at this juncture in life, it does not bring you happiness. It will again in the future, but right now it is okay to set that aside.

Often, we label these times as reading slumps and I’ve beaten myself up about them on more than one occasion. That isn’t healthy. I can still find joy in taking part in the community, adding to my Goodreads TBR, and taking part in bookish discussions without sitting down and finishing a half dozen books a month. If I only read one or two, that’s fine. That is fantastic, as long as I am happy with what I’ve done. You can read all the books or have all the money in the world but if you aren’t happy, then what is the point?

So this is a reminder to myself that it is okay. The drive and thrill of getting lost in a story will return when it is ready. I can’t beat myself up about it. You can’t force happiness, you can only do the best you can and hope it comes to you.

15 thoughts on “Struggles with Reading

  1. I have similar phases occasionally. I refuse to call these phases a slump tho. They are just phases when i feel like doing something else.

    What you are saying about wanting to feel productive at all times… i think that’s very common nowadays. Doing nothing sometimes, even if it’s just for half an hour is good tho and allows you time to calm down and wind down 🙂

    And as you said, as long as you are happy, you are doing something right 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our worth to society has become measured by how productive we are every minute of every day and it is, quite frankly, exhausting and I agree that it is very common. We’ve lost the will or ability to step back for a minute and it is a little sad. Happiness means more in the long run.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really appreciate you writing this article. I almost fell into the trap of feeling guilty of not reading as much as others do… especially when I see comments like “oh, I’ve only read like 30 books this month” or ” this year I couldn’t reach my 300 books target, i only got to 299″. Even if those are NOT goals I would, under any circumstance, set for myself, I still get the “intruder” feeling… so it’s great to have people speak about this, especially now when in media everyone seems to have the perfect reading rhythm that nothing ever breaks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always wonder how people read 30 books in a month. That is a book a day. How is that even possible? Are they magic? Do they have a time turner? Does their cat do half of their reading for them? It is a mystery to me.

      I’m just trying to let that imposter feeling go. It is not healthy.

      Like

  3. Love this post! I’ve never really put pressure on myself to read more (or to read a certain thing, because there’s always so much hype around new releases in the bookish community). I go through months – ahem, right now – where I would rather watch TV and give my brain a break than pick up a book.

    Keep telling yourself it’s okay, because it totally is!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I appreciate that you open up to us and talk about your feelings, sometimes it’s difficult to recognize that you simply don’t feel motivated to read and more being surrounded by the bookish community, but as you say, feeling like this is completely normal and you don’t have to be hard to yourself, it’s not worth reading when you don’t feel anything, you know? It will pass and when you finally feel like reading again, you’ll do it, and it will be amazing. Good Luck 💛✨

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  5. Wonderful post! I really appreciate you having written this because it’s definitely something I have to remind myself of. I’ve been in a “reading slump” for the past several months. I haven’t even been blogging all that much and I felt kinda guilty for it. I literally read two books last month and I’ve been feeling like I’ve lost my will to read and questioning if I’m even a reader anymore. But in the end of the day reading is supposed to be fun and we’re supposed to enjoy it. That desire may come and go but so long as we’re happy that’s all the matter, regardless of how much or little we read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great post. I agree, sometimes slumps are a problem and sometimes its just that, as much as you want to sit and read, you just don’t have the time to. Tbh, as much as I am loving King of Scars at the moment, I am taking sooooo long to get through it because I can only read a page or two before putting it down to do something else. I know there’s sometimes a sense of pressure as a blogger to read more, but honestly we love your reviews every time you post and it’s definitely better to have quality over quantity ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I started blogging I felt like I had to pump out post after post after post and the quality certainly took a nose dive and my desire to continue along with it. Took a while to find a balance. Now I’m only reading books I want and not forcing myself to read things that don’t give me that spark or request tons of ARCs. Had to step back and remind myself that I blog and read for the joy in it, not for the stats or accolades. In a society where your worth is measured by your accomplishments and bank account that was difficult to come to grips with.

      Like

  7. I am in the exact same state at the moment. Since probably the end of August I have been struggling to pick anything up. I have to really force myself and then I end up not enjoying the books I am reading. This was a great reminder for me as well, so thank you for posting it!

    Liked by 1 person

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