Last year around this time I was close to finishing about 25 books and reviewed 15. This year it’s much less and my DNF pile is an actual pile and not a possibility. I’ve been wondering why. Here are some tangible reasons:
- I started an ESL endorsement program and doubled up on coursework this semester
- I’ve taken on coaching twice a week for GOTR
- Getting settled into a new home with projects almost every weekend
- I’m binge watching a lot of shows and movies that I somehow missed because of the voracious reading in past years
- I’m listening to podcasts, watching TED talks, and finding other creative outlets in my spare time
But I’ve always been busy, so what is going on this year? Why am I putting down so many books without pushing myself to finish?
Here are some theories I have after talking to many friends, bloggers and coworkers who feel the same as I do:
- I’m being more choosy with my reading time
- Maybe I’m not picking the right books
- Am I going through another reading genre shift?
- The “I’m on a reading roll” hasn’t started for me this year yet
- It’s only March
Maybe I’m being too hard on myself but I really miss that feeling of reading one book after the next that I can’t put down. I’ll settle for ones that keep me interested at least. I used to have a “read 50 pages rule” and tell that to many patrons at the library, to give books a chance. But that’s not even working for me. Except recently when I pushed a bit with The Heart because stylistically it was a challenge for me and I ended up really liking it. My head seems distracted and it has always been a book that would get me out of my head and into a story, a setting unlike my own, surrounded by characters I love or despise. Or…is it simply the book? I think I will just adopt Austin Kleon’s “33 thoughts on reading“. It’s a pretty fabulous list. His “how to read more” list is also one I read often and posted a copy in my office.
He even has downloadable screen savers for your phone like this one to stay away from the “time-suckers”:
All the books I’ve put down and/or returned to the library unfinished might still be books that I will eventually read and like. But should I even care? It’s not like there is a shortage of books out there. Reading is my “daily dosage”, something I find pleasure in. I’m not getting paid to read, don’t receive any ARCs, or have deadlines to meet. So…