Reading, reading, reading…

It’s funny how we shift the goal posts. Before starting this blog I was quite content with my average reading pace of about 2 books a year (300 readings of The Gruffalo doesn’t count). But now I’m disappointed that I’m only managing a couple a month – which like a million percent increase on before. So why am I not a million percent happier?

Well for starters, in discovering the magical world of blogging about books and reading and what not, I also discovered the to-be-read list (TBR to those in the know). Previously, I had maybe one or two people giving me book recommendations, but now I read reviews everywhere. That book sounds good, that one sounds amazing, that book that sounds fantastic is number 5 in a series of how many?? Oh no, when am I going to have time to read all of these.

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Me falling down the TBR hole

Life was easy before. Every couple of years I would check to see if Bill Bryson had a new book out. If he didn’t, no worries. If he did, fantastic, there’s one of my two books for the year sorted. [By the way, if you haven’t experienced a Bill Bryson you are missing out].

But now I’ve been exposed to the world of wider reading, including (shock, horror) science fiction and fantasy. I have a book on my nightstand and two on-the-go on my e-reader. What is happening to me? I’ve even sought out one of these books by my own choosing [it’s a New Zealand based sci-fi/crime thriller, which a small part of me thought would be crap because New Zealand has a habit of doing this sort of stuff very badly, but I was wrong, really, really wrong. As in, I stayed up way too late last night reading and really regret it but I’m only 42% of the way through and I NEED TO KNOW what happens next].

But it’s not even just books. Twitter and Instagram and WordPress have been a glow with updates about Stranger Things. So I thought I should watch an episode, you know, just to stay up to date. Oops, accidentally watched all of Season 1 in a week. Darn you, social media!

Anyone else changed their reading habits over time? Do you read more or less than you used to?

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40 thoughts on “Reading, reading, reading…

  1. Have largely switched to audiobooks (which feels like cheating to me) but it means I can get swept away by a story on my cycle to and from work. Currently reading (or listening to) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline which, after a somewhat annoying first few chapters, now has me completely engrossed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Is it safe enough where you cycle to have headphones in? It seems like a great way to pass the time. Cars here seem to swerve towards cyclists unfortunately.

      I haven’t listened to an audiobook in years. I should really try it. I have really fond memories of long car trips listening to all sorts of stories on tape.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Books! I could disappear between the pages of a good book, and might never find my way out again if it weren’t for my family demanding that I come back to the real world. 😂
    Sounds like you could use a new book added to your TBR list… Or maybe ten. I’m not really sure what the count is up to now. The Last Kingdom series is seriously word porn! (And no, I don’t mean graphic sexuality, though there is a tactful bit of that, as well.) I’m obsessed with this series by Bernard Cornwell. He writes historical fiction, and brings it to life in the most wonderful way! I want to know how it ends, dammit!!! The combat scenes are fast and impressively written. It’s better than watching action on the big screen!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, free time is way more limited now than pre-kids. Like right now I’m trying to make breakfast and answer comments at the same time. Thanks. I’ll add those books to my list! I’m not sure how long it is now either haha.

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  3. Like you, I’ve found a lot more books to add to my ever growing list. I’ve always read quite a bit so that hasn’t changed, in fact if anything I probably read less now because I spend more time visiting other people’s blogs and reading/commenting which does swallow your time almost equally as much as your reading tbr hole. Plus, social media – I can definitely while away the hours right there. It’s all worth it though, just to have other people with the same book love and who understand the need to share.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true. I love visiting other blogs and seeing what other people are reading. Mr NW in particular has been pleasantly surprised to find there are lots of people out there that enjoy the same books as him. It’s a tough balance – commenting/reading/tweeting etc – but we definitely feel more connected now. 😄

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  4. See, you hang out with bad company and before you know it, your morals are totally corrupted! Have you thought about going to a Bookaholics Anonymous meeting to get help for your problem?

    So welcome to the Bookthug lifestyle. It totally chose you!

    TBR. A couple of years ago I was up to 500 books on my tbr [and I know that is nothing to some people’s] and realized that I just wasn’t going to get to half of them, ever.I added anything that looked “interesting”. So last year I totally revamped my tbr by ruthlessly weeding it out and I started my organized reading. I only add books to the tbr that I KNOW I will read now. It does mean I’ll miss out on some hidden gems, but in all honestly, if I kept adding books the way I was before, I’d probably miss out on them anyway.

    And you know what? My tbr isn’t shrinking. Even with reading over 150 books a year [which is my goal, because 200 is my real goal but if I say that, then I’ll probably not actually make it, you know?], it is staying roughly the same. There are SO MANY books out there. And then when you consider that I plan to throw Dickens and shakespeare into the rotation starting next year, well…

    My reading has increased since 2000. I’d read 40-60 books a year. But I was into anime, didn’t have full time access to the internet until ’04 and didn’t initially join GR until ’07. But once I bought my own place in ’07 and realized there was a wider social community of book lovers and was exposed to a MUCH greater variety of reviews, then my reading took off. I had a year or 3 where I was reading over 200 a year. But that was when I was working my second job as a night security officer and had almost 8hrs of uninterrupted time every night. Now, like I said earlier, 150’ish is a decent goal post for me.

    Ok, now that I’ve written the first epistle of Bookstooge, I think I’d better stop 🙂
    You guys really put up some great interactive posts, that is for sure!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Love it. Epistle according to the apostle Bookstooge. That’s really interesting that your reading has increased since 2000 and with having different jobs. Mine’s definitely been on the opposite trajectory. I would absolutely devour books as a child/teenager. It probably helped that we had some fairly strict rules around tv and internet was dial up shared on one computer. I think at that stage I was reading at least two or three books a week. Though YA books are considerably shorter.

      But I’ve found as I’ve needed to read more and more scientific papers or textbooks during the day, the likelihood that I want to sit down and read in the evening has diminished. So whilst I’d love to increase the number I don’t think it will ever get beyond about one a week, unless I get a job working security 😄. If that was your second job, when did you sleep?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Part of those numbers is that I no longer regularly watch tv or movies, all my friends are no longer single so we don’t just spur of the moment hang out on the weekends and I’m no longer into anime. And I don’t play computer games. But that was already on the decrease by 2000.

        I can see if you have to read during the day why you’d not want to for fun. I highly doubt I’d be reading so much if I had to be in front of a computer screen all day in the office. I’m outdoors traipsing around cursing and peeing without abandon in the woods, so when I come home, I plop down on the couch and bam, my brain needs some stimulation.

        As for sleep. I had a second job because my first job, land surveying, was so slow. I was lucky to get 1-2 days a week for a couple of years…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. YOU Are so funny!
    My TBR is 158 as of yesterday. *cries* Technically I’m only a little over a year behind if you don’t count the books that haven’t released yet. (Counting from the date I added it) but the distance grows every day. And the list doesn’t include continuing series, it only lists the next one I’m supposed to read.
    It can get overwhelming and depressing and I recently realized, “I don’t have to read them in the order I added them!”. Instead I am now requesting the ones that sound most interesting right now from the library and using the others as filler as I wait. I still only manage to read about a book a week 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good approach. It’s definitely not a case of first in first served. 158! Wow, that’s amazing. You obviously have a better system of keeping track than me. I’m just making mental notes. Though maybe that works well because things naturally fall off my mental list if I don’t see something that reminds me about them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe you should get your own, then!
        I especially like it because I use Kindle and it automatically updates what I’m reading and when I finish it. I’m the only reader between me and my husband so although we share the same Amazon account there’s no book overlap.

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  6. Starting to blog really opened my eyes on what’s ‘out there’ 😀 i found so many good books I wouldn’t have read and reading is more fun in some way cause you know there are lots of people doing the same and actually care about what you have to say!

    My TBR is finally gone though! I’ve started the last unread book 2 days ago and am now looking forward to buying new books from my wishlist, hooray!!

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  7. I’m totally with you! It’s hard to imagine that only a year or two ago I felt like I had a hard time finding books I was interested in, and now I have 45 books waiting for me on my shelves and another 300 or so on my Goodreads. And that’s not even counting sequels in some of the series I’m interested in!

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  8. I read so much more now than I used to and I can entirely relate to this post. When I finished college and had my first kid I was sort of “burned out” on reading, being a lit major. But (two years later) when I realized I hadn’t read anything in that time, I had a major self evaluation moment. I started small, trying to read one book a month and everything just exploded from there. One summer I read 27 books in one month. I can hardly count the amount of books I read per month now. I love it. But weirdly, the more I read the more I understand I can never read everything I want to read. Prioritizing is my weakest area. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one out there! 27 books in one month is amazing. I saw a thing on the internet that said even if you read a book everyday you’ll only reach 1% of the books out there. So many good books, so little time.

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  9. I don’t read as much as I should, and by that I mean, rarely. I often don’t have the patience, and after spending three years in grad school where I was reading scientific writing non-stop I am a little burnt out on reading right now. However, I have been hanging out on scribophile and am forcing myself to read critically and write critiques. It’s quite fun and am more interested in attacking my infinitely long TBR list. If I had my way, I would just read short stories all day long and be happy. Novels are too long, haha!

    I have been reading more comics and manga, though! I like the visuals and the fast-moving stories.

    Maybe I should challenge myself to read a couple of books in a month. I can do it, I just don’t feel like it lol.

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  10. You people are insane. If I read one book a week, I feel like a champion.

    Part of my slowness is my refusal to skim. I have to absorb every word, even if the words aren’t crucial to the plot, which means my reading sessions can last only so long before mental burnout commences.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My TBr grows each day it seems. I read quickly so my problem is I can’t afford to keep up with my reading habits. Because when I read a book I have to own the book. It’s like a person with a shoe problem. I wish I could be paid to read. That would be an awesome job.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Since medical school I have read WAY less than I used to. I practically lived in the library and in high school, undergrad, when I became a nurse (even started a book club at work). Id read about 2 books a week easy! and then … I changed life goals and I find myself with next to no time to even sleep talk less of read 😦 worst thing ever! It took me 7 months to read a book this year, but I managed to get about 5 or 6 over the past 2 years. shameful

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am a slow reader and up until last year, I doubt I read more than one or two books in a year. But, I started Grad School last year, had to read Ulysses and re-discovered my love of reading and ended up reading 10 books and listening to 2 audiobooks. Granted 4 of the actual books werefor school, but that means 6 of them were for pleasure! It is my goal to read 15 books this year, I am a slow reader, so if I ever get into the 20’s, I will consider that amazing! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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