Chasing Reading Goals
Looking at the Goodreads reading challenges among my friends, many of us, including me, aim to read a hundred books a year. In order to reach that goal, we need to read an average of eight to nine books per month. That means reading at least an hour everyday, save for speed readers who manage to devour tomes in two hours. For the rest of us, reading that many books a year requires that we invest a fair bit of time.
On Reading Slumps
Some have the stamina to read all year round. I don’t. Yes, I always have a book in my bag. I’m always in the midst of a book but while I occasionally finish one in a day, it can also take me three weeks to finish a book of 300 pages. There are days I read a mere 10 pages, and other days, I don’t even read at all. I’m distracted, would rather do other things, or am simply unable to focus.
When that happens, many bloggers refer to reading slumps. I don’t like that term. It sounds negative; as though someone’s failing to be a bibliophile.
Rest Your Mind
Breaks from activities are necessary — they’re not slumps. Athletes go through seasons. In between seasons, they take a break. They have lighter training routines or change their paces with different sports. Off-season periods are a time to recuperate not only the body but also the mind.
Our minds need variety. Bibliophiles aren’t only bibliophiles. We have family and friends with whom we love to spend time. We have other personal interests. I’m an active athlete in my local sports league. I love to experiment in the kitchen. I am fascinated by photography. When I’m not reading, I pursue those other interests. That doesn’t make me less of a bibliophile.
Bibliophile on a Break
I have a stack of books on my nightstand. Normally, the books in that pile are the ones I’m currently reading. Right now, those books are the ones I’d like to start soon. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab has been there since June, Release by Patrick Ness since May, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas since last December. These are all books I’m excited about but right now, I need a break.
This month, I’ve hardly flipped a page. During my free time, I’ve been retreating to the kitchen instead and been whipping up meals for the family. Just because I’ve slowed down, I’ve not stopped being a bibliophile.
It’s Okay to Slow Down
If you’ve found yourself reading less, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay to slow down and take a break from reading. Of course, the hype around new releases can make us feel like we’re missing out but really? Those books will still be there tomorrow when we’re ready to continue reading.