Monday, August 24, 2009
Where's the Love?
I read a book that took me a month to finish. When I was finally done with it I felt like I had to read a lot of books quickly because I had fallen behind. Fallen behind what, you ask? Exactly. Fallen behind nothing. Which is why it led me to believe that I might have some sort of compulsive disorder or something. I hadn’t promised any reviews. I wasn’t even in any danger of not completing a reading challenge. Nothing. There was absolutely no reason I had to get any books read at all. It’s true that I had fallen off of my regular reading pace, but so what? Who’s counting but me? I do list the books that I finish every month here on my blog but I don’t think anyone is going to berate me for not finishing enough books. So what does it matter? Am I that obsessed with filling in the date finished field on Library Thing and Shelfari that it has become more important than the books? (I do like to add the dates. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something.) I enjoyed the book. Isn’t that what should matter? Shouldn’t I be glad that I got to enjoy the book for a whole month instead of thinking about how many other books I could have read in the same time? What is the point of all this reading anyway? It isn’t about looking smart. It isn’t about having a worthwhile hobby. It isn’t about trying to be better than other people. At least it shouldn’t be. (Good thing for me too since in my house I got made fun of for my reading habits much more than I got lauded for them. All in fun, but still.) It’s about the stories. But here I was more worried about numbers. (Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against math. But those aren’t the kind of numbers I’m talking about.) I hope I never get so worried about getting on to the next book that I forget to enjoy the one I’m reading. Granted my TBR list is so long the rest of my life will not be enough time to finish it but what will be the point if it just becomes a huge to-do list? A list of chores I have to complete? What’s the point of reading at all if I take all the fun out of it? Maybe instead of speeding up I should slow down and remind myself why I fell in love with books and reading in the first place. I know my reading is an obsession. I’ve come to terms with that. But it should still be fun, right? So, no more worrying about filling some sort of elusive quota. Okay, so I’ll admit that it won’t last forever. I’ll start looking at numbers again soon. So I’ll start with baby steps and see if I can make it to the end of the year without one single worry that I’m not reading fast enough. If I make it that far there may be hope for me yet.