What’s In My Mug: Magic Potion by DavidsTea

As it will shock no one in my life, I read a lot. I pretty much always have a book or my Kindle in my purse with them when I leave the house. When I finish a book, there is normally very little time in between finishing it and starting my next one. Frankly, it generally just means waiting for me to choose my next read and, if I do not already have it with me (e.g. on my Kindle), just until I can get my hands on it.

As I write this, I am working on my 76th book of the year, well poised to pass last year’s personal best reading record of 101 books. I do not know what my final number will be, of course, but I definitely think it will be up there. So there you have it: I read quite a lot, not to mention quickly.

But there’s been something on my mind lately, and I thought I would write about it and share with you. Maybe something will come of it? Anyways, the question on my mind right now is this:

Can we read too much?

There’s nothing bad about reading by any means, I want to make that clear. But I think when you are trying to read as much as you can, trying to beat records, et cetera, things can shift. By that, I am talking about reading books you might not be completely interested in, and just going through the motions to finish the books.

While I review the majority of the books I read, there are quite a few I have just decided not to write about, mostly because I went through the motions in reading and would have nothing to say, negative or positive. If you’ve read some of my book reviews previously, you’ll have heard me say in the past that feeling apathetic about a book is far worse than thoroughly hating it. Whether you love a book or passionately hate it, it still made you feel a strong emotion. You are still feeling something and you will therefore remember what you read because of it. But when you are apathetic, everything pretty much goes out the window once you read it, perhaps even sooner.

I think this is happening to me, given I am trying to read as much as I possibly can. Being less picky about what I read is opening the opportunity for feeling apathetic about a higher number of books. I am also wondering if the drive to surpass previous reading records also builds up the idea that we need to finish everything we read. This is not inherently true, because if you are not enjoying a book you should put it down and find something you would like, but trying to hit a certain number of books read also means you have little time to experiment and have half-finished books around.

I can’t imagine I am going to slow down my pace this year—I don’t believe I can let go of the idea about beating my record. At the same time, I think I might come to the point where really reading in overdrive (such as the seven and a half books I read on my recent vacation) is not the best fit. There are so many books out there, sure, but I want to always read the ones I will enjoy the most—since I highly doubt I will ever be able to read every published book out there.

So, before I go I would like to pose this question about whether or not it is possible to read too much. Do you think so? Or not? I would love to hear what you have to say below in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “Time For Tea: Can We Read Too Much?

  1. I’ve often wondered myself, and I think we do, especially bloggers. I find when I read too much is when I don’t get the thrill to open up a new book (a slump or what have you) and when I need space away from reading. Every day I have a book in my hands, and sometimes I need time to process some difficult subject that was in said story.

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    1. That’s an interesting look at it. I guess you could say I’d be in a slump…but at the same time, I always keep picking up a book, hence why I’ve read so many this year so far. I wonder if it’s worth slowing things down and just really being choosy. Some people who aren’t necessarily as big of a reader as I am say they will put a book down if they aren’t really into it. This isn’t something I do very often at all. I think there’s only been one or two in the last couple of years where I’ve done that

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      1. I know some bloggers have taken a hiatus from reading so they can, in a sense, get into it again.
        I’m not sure if slowing down is necessarily the answer. Maybe we read too much of the same genre.
        I rarely dfn a book. The last time I did was probably 7 years ago.

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    2. Perhaps a palate cleanser is the way to go. Returning to a book or books I love for a little and then getting back into the swing of things. Reading too much of the same genre is certainly a thought. I should have a look at the books I’ve read recently to see if that could be the case on my end.

      7 years? Wow! Ever been close in that time?

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      1. Definitely. Even venturing into genres you rarely read might spark something, I find. I’m not a huge sci-fi reader, but I’m slowly getting into those books.

        Several, actually. Sometimes I feel that I’m not giving the book/author a chance, but there are times where some books just drag on.

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  2. I think it is possible. Sometimes people get into reading slumps for a reason. Maybe they kind of burn out from reading so much. Maybe they’re trying to read books that simply do not interest them, and they just keep pushing stubbornly.
    I feel like I’m going through the motions sometimes, definitely. But I do my best to not let it happen frequently. Mostly, it’s books I’ve requested for review, for instance, that I do need to review. Otherwise, I won’t force myself to read anything else. If it’s boring or just bad, I’ll stop. There are exceptions, of course, but mostly that’s what I do.
    The GR reading challenge and whatnot can mess up readers/bloggers. There’s this competition aspect that people really get into. It almost feels like a failure if you can’t complete the goal. And no one likes to lose. I’d like to say it’s not important to me but it kind of is, too. It feels nice to see I’m ahead of schedule or on the right track. It doesn’t feel too good when I’m behind on 5 or 6 books.
    Great post! Always love a nice discussion 🙂

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    1. The GR reading challenge (and the 50 Book Pledge) is exactly what started this for me, I think. Last year I was trying to just read 50 books, but when I hit that goal early, it kind of became how many can I actually read in one year, and the tail end of that resulted in more books I didn’t really care too much about, which has only increased recently (e.g. I think I am on my 3rd book in a row of now really being hooked, but at the same time I am only 85 pages into this one, so it might shift).

      It definitely does feel like a failure if you can’t complete it, which is why I don’t think I am going to be able to stop my challenge this year, knowing my personal mindset about things like that. But I wonder if I can approach the GR challenge differently next year. Perhaps the way to go about it is to set a smaller goal of reading 10 excellent books over the year. The number is manageable for even slow readers, but at the same time it also gives faster readers the ability or permission maybe to put a book down if it doesn’t hook them.

      I wonder, how easy or hard is it for you to put down a book if you are not enjoying it? Because for the most part I feel quite compelled to finish it. This could be, in part, because of wanting to hit certain reading goals, but I also think it was still hard for me before I started the challenges.

      I definitely know I can never stop reading (or frankly posting about it), but I definitely think its time for a change in my approach. Of course there’s some inner conflict going on for me, but I digress.

      Loving this discussion!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I rarely DNF books… In a way I don’t want to waste my time with something I’m not enjoying but at the same time I also want to make sure it doesn’t get better and I’ll be missing out. Plus, there’s the accumulative factor, where each book I don’t read doesn’t count for the challenge. So yeah.
        Of course! A little break (or whatever you decide to do) never hurt anyone, even when it comes to things we enjoy 🙂 I’ve been thinking about going on one myself. But right now I do have a few ARCs and review copies to deal with so I can’t xD
        I’ll still read a book whenever I feel like it, but there’ll be no pressure to do it. I’m way too focused on books sometimes and miss out on other hobbies. Sigh.
        I guess I just need more time in the day!

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