Discussion | On Reading Breaks & Feeling Out of the Loop

Going to university forced me to take a break from reading for pleasure. Doing an English degree meant that I would often have to read up to 4 course books a week, or poetry or plays, leaving very little time to read for fun. I read a lot of good books but studying them for short, intense periods meant that it left me feeling exhausted by reading. I didn’t feel like reading to wind down anymore, I felt like watching Netflix (and sleeping). As a result, for about 3 years I hadn’t really read for pleasure and missed out on a lot of new releases.

After graduating, I had collected lots of books that I just hadn’t looked twice at – uni books, charity shop finds, books given to me during work experience at publishing houses, books I had bought myself. I spent 2017 reading the books I already owned rather than getting anything new. It forced me to get rid of 50-odd books that I either wasn’t going to read/re-read and I finally got round to reading 1984 which was fantastic. I did however feel limited by my personal library and spoke a little bit about it in a blog post here. But this meant I was now 4 years ‘behind’.

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This year, I have started buying books and going to the library again and I’m loving it! I feel excited about the books I’m reading. Being an active part of the book blogging community, however, means that I am aware about tons of great books but have read approximately none of them. Throne of Glass for example, is a book that I read excerpts of years ago, was so excited when it was finally published and loved it at 17. Now I feel like I’m so far behind, with multiple books out, a spin-off series out plus prequel books. I feel like I’m playing a little bit of catch up sometimes.

I have the same feeling with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was more or less on top of the films until I went to uni and I stopped going to the cinema as often (…there seems to be a trend here). I was not ready for Avengers: Infinity War. I know they have been building up to it for 10 years but couldn’t they have waited for *me* to catch up?

There’s a certain joy  that comes with being part of the cultural zeitgeist and the conversations surrounding it. You feel like you’re part of a community and meeting people who are part of your fandom is the best thing. But there’s also a certain amount of pressure to absorb all of the latest culture by osmosis as soon as it is released.

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I enjoy so many different mediums of culture; books, cinema, theatre, TV shows, that I feel like I’m never going to catch up. I think all book lovers have that existential dread that they will never be able to read every book they want to. I’ve realised that it’s much more enjoyable to go at my own pace, and that my younger self had more time to read books because that’s all she did. So, I’m giving myself permission to slow down and read at my own pace. And not read, and watch a TV series instead. Or watch a film and just enjoy it.


Over to you – do you think the blogging community encourages you to read more or do you feel left behind a little too? Do you juggle different interests? How? Tell me your secrets down below!

4 thoughts on “Discussion | On Reading Breaks & Feeling Out of the Loop

  1. Lovely post, Arub! ❤

    "I didn’t feel like reading to wind down anymore, I felt like watching Netflix (and sleeping)." I relate to this on a very deep level. Ever since I started uni, my desire to read books has suffered. 😦

    I wish I had secrets to share with you! I admire people who manage to run their blogs and all their other social media accounts and everything else online, and still "have a life" so to speak, so much. I'm still trying to juggle blogging/reading/Goodreads/all my other hobbies, and I'd love for someone to give me advice on how to.

    And I love the book community as well, but I definitely feel very overwhelmed sometimes, because I come across even more books I want to read, and there's just no time to read them all.

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    1. University is hard work and involves SO much reading that it’s hard to read and feel relaxed!
      Oh yes, there are so many bloggers who are at uni, blogging and reading that I’m not really sure how they do it all. We’ll just have to wait till someone else spills their secrets for us.😉
      It’s reassuring to hear that, haha. Thanks for your lovely comment Lily ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I got into a HUGE reading and blogging slump during my senior high school years, and when I got back, I was so surprised at how different the blogging community was–so many more books can only mean so many more bloggers! I’ve been active again this year, but I’m finally going to university in August, which will ~definitely~ murder my reading time, and that’s something I’m not looking forward to at all. D:

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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    1. It might depend on what you’re studying? Though if there’s any heavy reading involved, it might be an issue. By my final year I gave myself about half an hour before bed to do some reading and that was quite nice. Good luck with uni Aimee! ❤

      Like

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