This week’s topic on I Swim for Oceans’ weekly “Let’s Talk” link up is a good one: Your Reading Habits. This might require a bit of thought.
I go through phases with reading. Sometimes I’m voracious, devouring book after book – sometimes one every couple of days. Other times I’ll go a month without reading a single chapter. This pattern has been further complicated by my post-University slump. At the end of my degree my school reading load was pretty intense. There were times when I was reading the equivalent of a book per class each week – and while the topics were interesting, they were also often exhausting.
When I graduated about two and a half years ago, reading had ceased to be an fun, relaxing activity that I did for leisure and had become an activity I equated with “work.” I developed a habit during my last year of school of reading the fluffiest, lightest and easiest things I could stomach (yes, I read the entire Twilight series one week) to give my brain a break. By the time I finished school, even this wasn’t happening as much. I went into a bit of a book blackout. I would read a book here and there if it really interested me, but I certainly didn’t manage the frequency or depth of reading that I had been used to pre-Uni.
I’m still struggling with this a bit, but have discovered a haven in Young Adult fiction. I select YA books that have a bit more maturity and depth to them (The Fault in Our Stars, Eleanor and Park) for some of my reading, I’m also starting to dip my toe back into “grown up” fiction – but lighter reads. And my love for reading is starting to return. I’ve also found myself becoming more and more interested in reading the news, and have developed a habit of reading news during my commute every day. I see this as a positive change as my mind is starting to feel more alert after a lengthy period of being completely burned out.
Now that I’m getting back into reading, I’ve gone a bit overboard in creating a never-ending reading list. My bedside table is creaking under the weight of my to-read stack and I’m back to my old habit of reading several books at a time. I tend to read whenever the mood strikes. I’ll often read during breaks at work, and nearly always read for at least half an hour before sleep. If a book really gets its hooks into me I’ll read it wherever I can – and with my trusty e-reader this includes buses, any type of queue, while waiting for an appointment – whenever I’ve got down time. I’ll also happily curl up and spend a weekend day lost in some other literary world if the mood strikes. I don’t make rules around when or how I read, becuase I’m determined to make it fun again. I do try to share my thoughts on what I’m reading with you, so I sometimes jot down impressions, comments and quotes while reading. I’m hoping that I’ll slowly work my way back into reading more challenging (and rewarding) literature again, because I miss the feeling of closing the back cover on a book that has forever changed the landscape of my mind.
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