A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post titled “What I would LIKE to read“. I went through it today to see how far I’d got with those hopes and ambitions and the answer is: Not. Very. Upon realising that, I immediately felt like I hadn’t tried hard enough. That I hadn’t read enough.
Since starting this blog, I have set myself goals of reading ‘X number of books in X amount of time’. While it is fun to set goals and pre-determine reading lists, I realise that being in constant competition with myself wasn’t ever the aim of my blog. This blog was created to get me back into reading (which I’m pleased to say, it has). Blogging has helped tremendously because it provides me with a platform from which to discuss and share ideas about books. Yet, for some reason, I still feel guilty for not reading enough.
A few days ago, I said the following words to my best friend:
“Reading should never be a chore.”
And that’s when it hit me. In that moment, I realised that I truly believe those words, but I also realised that I am truly guilty of not practising what I preach.
Yes, I adore reading and yes, I love writing these blog posts, but I need to stop focusing on negative aspects. Rather than saying, “I ONLY read X amount of books this month”, I should instead contemplate the fact that I actually read something. That’s a lot better than I was doing 6 months ago and I should take a lot from that. I need to focus on what I like about reading.
I enjoy relating to characters and following their development, I enjoy having a means of escaping life without leaving my bedroom, I enjoy comparing and contrasting my imagination to that of someone who has read the exact same book. I enjoy reading. And that should be enough.
Many people have told me that I set myself rather ambitious goals (too ambitious, really) and that I ought to stop beating myself up for not having achieved said goals. There have been times when I don’t feel like reading or don’t have time and I end up feeling annoyed at myself for not having read anything. I need to understand that there are going to be times like this and that’s OK.
Old habits die hard. Having said that, I will endeavour to stop with the negative language when it comes to writing my blog posts. I don’t want to feel bad or guilty when I don’t meet my reading goals. I want to set myself more realistic goals. I want to read books that will challenge me. I want to read books that allow me to learn, to discuss ideas and to share my thoughts. That’s what I should focus on. That’s what I want to focus on.
Reading should never be a chore. And I don’t ever want to forget that.
SSJ Time Lord