Every January when I set reading goals for the new year, I tell myself that this will finally be the year when I slow down. I won’t care about how many books or pages I read. I won’t feel pressured to finish a book as fast as possible, or to rush through longer reads. Yet, inevitably by February this laidback mindset has dissipated, and I’ve returned to my old ways.
I’ve always read a lot, and prefer to spend a lot of my free time reading. But to me there’s an important difference between reading a large number of books as an incidental result of spending a lot of time reading — at a slow, calm pace — and reading a lot of books because I’ve intentionally read shorter books, quickened my pace, or have felt rushed in doing so.
This might sound like a strange pressure to put on oneself arbitrarily. But in the bookish online space, it feels like there’s an inherent pressure or expectation to read as much as you possibly can. Rather than circle back to old favorites, there’s a significant emphasis on discovering new books, reading what’s being discussed at the moment, and staying ahead of publishing trends. It’s hard to pull away from that bubble sometimes, to remember that reading is just a hobby, something that I’ve always loved doing just for my own sake. And I want it to always be that for me.
I want to read a lot in 2023 — but only as a result of genuinely loving what I’m reading, of wanting to spend more time with the words of my favorite authors and the characters in my favorite stories.
Do you struggle with this? Any recommendations for slowing down re: reading? I’d love to know.
Take care xx
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