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.