Why I Haven’t Been Able to Finish A Book –– Confession of a Bookworm
Here we go with my confession of a bookworm: your girl hasn’t been able to finish a book in a while. Like, a few months a while. Yeah…it’s bad. But worry not ladies and gents, we’re going to try to fix this.
Before we dive into the reason of why I haven’t been able to finish a book in a few months, let’s go back a little bit to August of last year. Ah, 2019…what a great time to be alive. The time where we don’t need to be wearing masks whenever we head out, and wash our hands every hour.
Okay, August of 2019. For the first half of 2019, I have been in a book slump, barely able to go through half a novel before putting it back down and giving up on reading. At first, I tried to force myself to read––to no good result, if I should say so myself––and have also tried audiobooks––which also peter out and failed. So in the end I decided to just stop forcing myself to read. I mean, if I’m having such a hard time reading, then I shouldn’t really force it right?
Well…the answer is a little bit more complicated than that. Because towards the end of July, I slowly started to push myself to get back to reading again and after what was a slow start, it eventually picked up steam and your girl was actually able to keep the momentum going until the end of the year.
And to be honest, I was quite proud of myself. Okay, scratch that. I was really f-ing proud…and then everything went to shit.
The Start of 2020
Your girl was on a bookworm roll until the end of December 2019 hits. The end of the year is when I usually spend Christmas and New Years with family, and the year of 2019 was no different.
At the beginning of winter break, I was still keeping up with my reading. No days went by without me at least chipping a few pages from the books that I was reading. Your girl was feeling good, undefeated. Because if even winter break, family gatherings and good food can’t hinder my reading progress, then that means I’ve reached the highest level of being a bookworm!
…Or so I thought.
All was fine and dandy until we reached the beginning of January 2020, and all of a sudden, my desire to read just dried up like water in Sahara. I didn’t even know what happened. It was as if like overnight, a switch in my head flipped, and suddenly this book blogger just doesn’t feel like reading anymore.
A Little Bit Here and There
Throughout the first half of 2020, my reading journey was filled with a lot of stops and starts. Before, it would only take me a few days to finish a book, but eventually it would turn into a week and eventually a few weeks. I still did finish the books I read, but it would take much, much, much longer than it usually took me.
However despite that, I didn’t give up. Your girl plunge and pushed forward. As much as I kept on trying to push myself to keep reading––because what kind of book blogger would I be if I don’t read books––I also tried to change the book genres that I read. From young adults, to erotica, to mystery thriller. It helped, at first. But eventually, none of the books I read ever really did catch my attention, and in the end, I was back to square one.
A girl with loads of books in her kindle––a self proclaimed bookworm––yet none of the books I read was able to hold my attention for long amounts of time. My habits of being bored easily finally caught up to me. I was bored, none of the books I was reading was interesting. And I was lost.
Too Fast, Too Much, Too Soon
I don’t know when this started, but from the beginning of last year, I started to be conscious about the book genres that I’m reading. This isn’t something that I’ve done until last year, but I find myself comparing the books I read to other readers.
Until 2019, I was predominantly only reading romance novels and young adults. Which, of course, there is nothing wrong with that. But for some reason, I started to feel self conscious about it thinking that the book genres that I read aren’t really teaching me anything of value. Romance novels are the kind of books I enjoy reading, but at the same time, I feel judged for it. It’s as if like I felt like since I was getting older, I should also start reading books that are less imaginative and more realistic.
Honestly now looking back, I don’t know what sparked those kind of thoughts in me. Because no one, and I mean this truly when I say absolutely nobody has ever came to my face and told me that the books that I choose to read are immature or non-educational just because it was romance. However for some reason, I find myself starting to look down on romance novels even though it is a genre that I adored––and still adore––wholeheartedly. I started to think of it as something that young girls read––which couldn’t be further away from reality––and that I wanted to disassociate myself with it. Because obviously, now that I’m 21, I’m practically an adult who needs to read books on finances, history and biographies.
And for the next few months, that’s exactly what I did. I forced myself to get our of my comfort zone and pick up books that I barely had any interest in. Classics that were too hard for me to follow, biographies that were dark and nightmare-inducing, fictions that were depressing. And in the end, while I did manage to push myself out of my comfort zone and try out a whole lot of new books, I also killed my love for reading.
Comfort Zones Are for A Reason
Exactly what the title says, comfort zones are there for a reason. A comfort zone is filled with all the things that we are comfortable with, things that we are used to. In this day and age, we heard a lot about the need to challenge ourselves, to push harder and faster. To always strive to be better.
While that isn’t exactly a bad life motto to follow, I think it’s also good to know where your limits are. I didn’t know where my limits were before I started going all full gung ho about needing to be smart and reading genres that’s out of my realm. Now that I have had the chance to step back and re-think my decision to go all in without really testing the waters first, I have to say––and I will only say this once and never again––your girl regretted her impulsive decision.
Going forward, while I will still explore other book genres, I am also planning on doing it in it a more controlled pace. Because truly, who am I really going against but myself? It’s not as if like by forcing myself to read a bunch of different food genres I could instantly become the smartest person on earth, or out-read all the readers in the world. Reading is not a competition, it’s a journey. I’m sad that it took me a few years to wrap my head around it, but at the same time I’m glad that I could finally come to peace with it.
Read Books for You
“Read for you. Not to compete, not to brag, but for you.”
These ladies and gents, are things that are easier said than done.
Back when I was really active on Goodreads by logging every single books I read on the website, it was as if I was racing against time and other readers on Goodreads to read more books. It was as if I was just this book reading machine who was driven by numbers. I need read more. The more books I read and the more books I log-in, the higher my numbers are and the more I feel like I have the rights to brag about the amounts of books that I have been reading.
Looking back now, the relationship I had with reading wasn’t exactly a very healthy one. I was quite literally just picking a book to read, one after another, without really disgusting what I had just read. As long as the amounts of books that I read keeps going up, then that’s all that mattered.
As predicted, that process of book reading burned me out quite quickly. But even then, I would rarely let myself take the rest that I need before plunging myself back into reading again to maintain my reading streak. I think this mentality of keeping up the reading streak and comparing book numbers is something that a lot of readers have to deal with, yet not widely talked about.
In this day and age, where everything is a competition, it’s quite interesting to see how our mentality shifts alongside it and was able to turn a hobby that was supposed to be relaxing into something that competitive. At the end of the day, I think it’s important to remember that life is short. While a lot of people like to think of life as a sprint, for me, I think of it as something more akin to a marathon. Going fast doesn’t really matter, what truly matters is if you have the perseverance to go the distance.
At the end of the day, do what you enjoy because as much as we’d like to think that people will judge us or care about how we go at things and our actions, truth is that they really don’t. People have enough of their own baggages to worry about to care about what we’re doing with our time, you feel me?
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