When the Reading Slows Down

When the Reading Slows Down

I looked at my reading stats the other day and had a bit of an existential crisis. I read less than 2,000 pages during the month of November, which is unheard of. I don’t think that’s ever happened since I first started reading heavily. Every year, I tell myself to do things other than read. Live more, read just a little bit less. Even with that, I read an extraordinary amount of books (extraordinary by regular standards, NOT book blogger standards. :p). My goal this year was to read 156 books — 3 a week. I burned through that goal by the end of October, giving me 3 more months of reading. Then, Life started happening.

November was the start of NaNoWriMo. I haven’t participated fully since 2011, and it was exhilarating to take the challenge again. I WON! It was a struggle and a real effort, but I actually wrote 50,000 words in November, which is just insane. On top of that, family visited, we visited family, the holidays came around. Reading slowed to a crawl. And it’s continuing to slow! We have more people visiting, we celebrated my birthday, and I’m actually doing other things than living in books.

It’s not a terrible thing, but I also feel anxiety creeping upon me every time I look at my stats. Shouldn’t I be reading more? I need to write more reviews! (Even though I have some scheduled through March.) I need to finish those series! My to-read pile is going to fall on top of me at any moment! It’s during these times that I wonder my book addiction is really healthy. Of course reading is good for you, but to what point does this obsession count as a problem? Even with making my yearly goal, not reading causes me actual anxiety — that can’t be good.

I’m trying to manage it by thinking of all the awesome stuff I get to do instead. I did a lot of writing and made a lot of progress on the story I’m working on! And hanging out with family is always a treat, since our families live on opposite sides of the country, and we live kind of in the middle. I’ve also taken some time to finish a cross-stitch project I’ve been working on for over a year, now. I’m so happy about being able to do all these things, but I’m still wishing I had more time to read. One day, I hope anxiety will be less of a problem when I’m not reading and I can just take it all as it comes.

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