Are we getting tired of reading while also making a sport out of it?
Lately, if you’re on “book Twitter” (which you should be, it’s a lot of fun), you may have seen some debate going around, as per usual on the Internet. There’s been talk of readers shaming others for how much they do or do not read, and there’s been a whole thing how we should not judge others for how much they read (which, like, duh).
A couple of people have talked about this. There’s Ariel Bisett’s perspective for example. There’s a very recent video from Sam of Thoughts on Tomes. Mercy also made two really interesting videos on whether or not she’s falling out of love with reading. All of these creator’s are amazing, and their videos are really interesting.
Now, full disclaimer: I don’t think that we should be debating whether or not people should be shamed for how much they’re reading. That’s a given. There’s no discussion there. I want to talk about my own experiences and stuff I’ve been thinking about lately. So this is solely my personal feelings and thoughts and reactions to stuff. I am in no way implying that this is a general thing. I just want to talk about MY OWN experience.
When Reading Books Becomes Tiring
I have loved books for as long as I can remember. It’s been a stress relief for me for years, and it’s been a hobby and a thing I do for pleasure for a long time. Lately however, with blogging, I started to read differently. I spoke about how blogging changed my reading. I’ve become a lot more critical and I love that, but the truth is that it’s become a chore for me at times.
I get a lot of ARCs (fully grateful for them, don’t taking it the wrong way), and they have been really sucking the joy out of reading for me. When you’re a new blogger, ARCs are super exciting. I use to go crazy on Netgalley and request every possible book in sight. I also strained myself to finish every single one of them. It got to a point where I was reading only books for review and none for myself. I have felt less excited to be reading.
So lately, I’ve been trying to read more of the books I actually want to read, and requesting only review copies that I am generally excited about. I have slowly been getting back into the swing of things.
Reader fatigue has been a real thing for me that made me feel quite down recently. But I have learned to prioritize my reads and 2018 is going to be all about reading books I am excited about.
When Reading Becomes a Competitive Sport
There’s been a lot of talk how we continually strive to “beat” each other, to have more read books, to do more, reading-wise. And I think that’s true. You have a bunch of new challenges, there’s the Goodreads yearly goal and others in the community are reading a lot. But I don’t think that this is a bad thing.
For me, these goals push me to read more. I get encouraged when I see how much others are reading, and how much they are enjoying themselves. As for goals, I am only competing with myself. I won’t even consider the goal until October and than it’s just a bit of healthy competition with myself and other life obligations.
Mainly, I just don’t take it that seriously. I think those goals are fun and make us strive towards reading more, but ultimately, they are just that – fun. If you’re stressed out by it, by all means, don’t set goals. If you see yourself failing, lower the goal. Just don’t take it that seriously.
So I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Have you felt reader fatigue? How have you dealt with it? What are your feelings on reading becoming “competitive”? Please let me know!
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