Got To Read Them All!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I don't know about you guys, but I feel immensely pressured to read all the books all the time. My Goodreads challenge isn't just a nice personal goal, but rather a sign of both my glory and my disgrace.* So, the fact that I'm currently seven books behind schedule is grating on my every reader nerve. Will the world end because of this? Maybe not, but maybe yes.

This got me thinking about where in flaming Hades this pressure comes from? One answer is my imminent mortality. There's no way I will read all the books I want to read in my lifetime and that's a tragedy, really. Another answer is that being part of the reading community sort of makes you want to read all the books so you don't fall behind. Maybe it's just the lowkey competitive beast inside me that wishes to be the very best at everything, ever. Or maybe it's just that in order to put out content in the blogosphere/booktube you kinda have to read. Well, there's no kinda about it, I just like to think I have a choice.

However, I think all this pressure can be counterproductive. *Horrified gasps from the audience* Just let me tell you why.

*Dramatic, much? Perhaps, but this is my life and I'll be damned if I don't make it as dramatic as I can.

1. All the pressure to read causes you to not enjoy what you're reading

Sometimes it feels like reading is a chore. I think it shouldn't be, that's the whole reason I'm not studying English Literature at school. I don't like feeling like reading is completing a chore. However, when I feel like I'm falling behind I read like it's a chore,which makes me not want to read, which is counterproductive. It's all a big vicious cycle of constant contradictions.

2. It adds unnecessary stress to your life

Life  is stressful enough without having to add on stress about not reading enough. It's stress on top of stress on top of stress. Who needs so much stress? Specially when it comes from something you should be doing for personal enjoyment. 

3. You feel like an useless heap of incompetence

The fact that you're not reading as much as you should makes you feel bad. It puts a strain on your self-worth as a reader. It's sort of like if you don't read enough you have no right to call yourself a reader. Not only that, but you are bringing dishonor to everything and everyone you love.

4. Because of how slumpy you're feeling you decide to not read at all

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I feel so frustrated at something that I just decide to not do it at all. This year it has happened to me with reading. I feel that it takes me so much time to get through a book that I just don't read at all. Maybe this is a good thing, maybe it isn't. I still feel hella pressured to read while I don't read though.

5. You feel like you can't take a step back and just not read

I know the point above this one is all about not reading, but even as  you are not reading you feel like you should be reading. It's crazy. Certifiably insane, because you can do whatever you want with your life (except murder or some other petty crime, that is not cool) and you should be able to take a step back and not read.

Defining yourself as a reader doesn't necessarily mean you have to be reading all the time. It's okay to not read all the time, you are not any less of a reader for it. Remember, you don't have to ream them all. You can read some, and that is still cool.

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