Last week I ended up thinking about the way my reading habits, as well as my blogging habits, have changed since I started this blog March 2013. I came to the conclusion that they have changed quite a lot over the last four years. As I pondered on what may have caused that change, besides the fact that I have changed and therefore my habits are bound to have changed as well, there was only one other thing that I know did impact my reading habits: university.
That damned education, always getting in the way of my quality reading time… Haha. Nah, it’s not that bad. Honestly, I still read a lot! However, the amount of reading I do for fun, for nothing and nobody but myself, has cut back quite a lot since starting university. And really, the books I did read, mostly university related, weren’t all that to blog about. I felt like I didn’t have anything to contribute anymore and so it happened that my blog pretty much flatlined.
I never really realized how much spare time I had during high school. It didn’t really feel like it at the time, but even though I had homework and exams, I was nowhere near as busy as I am now. When I wasn’t in the middle of an exam-week, I actually had a very decent amount of time for myself. Moreover, busyness and stress aside, my social life wasn’t ‘all that’ either. Which left a LOT of spare time to read and blog, and boy did I do both of those things often.
These past three years of university have been great, but also really stressful and tiring. When looking back at my blogging, it is clear to see when studying got tough, because my blogging got erratic or turned completely absent. I struggled so much to keep up with my review copies, keep the blogging creativity and posts flowing, but I just couldn’t handle all of it together. I read so many books for university and that just leaves a lot less time to spend on reading for fun. When I realized that, I slowly started to realize that without reading the books I just didn’t have as much to talk about over here. Erratic blogging was the result. There was a period where I thought I simply had fallen out of love with blogging, but I realize now that I never really did… I just felt like I had nothing to contribute.
I have gotten a bit off track here. A necessary evil, as I wanted to explain how I think the change came about first. Let’s get back on with it: how have my reading habits changed?
Say Hello to a Picky Reader
First and foremost, I don’t just read EVERYTHING anymore. Since I have less time to read books for fun (thanks to tons of university reading) I have gotten more picky about what I read. I carefully choose the books I want to read because I want to spend the time I have on reading a book that I truly want to read, instead of reading for the sake of reading and finishing as many books as I can. Sure, it is fun to look back on a year and say you’ve read over a 100 or 150 books, but that is not what I want reading to be about. That just no longer for me. So yeah, I turned into a picky reader.
I have become a DNFer
Another way my reading habits seriously changed is that I don’t finish all the books I start reading anymore. I used to read whatever I could get my hands on and read it all regardless of whether I actually liked the book or not. Finishing a book was so important to me. Nowadays, when I get to the point that a book is just not working for me I DNF it. I might pick it up later on, but I no longer force myself to finish a book for the sake of finishing it.
I need to Take my Time
I used to be able to finish a book in a few hours. Thinking back I am amazed at how fast and easily I was able to read. Nowadays it can take me days, if not weeks, just to finish one book. Damn I miss those good old days, haha. Most of the time I just don’t feel up to reading the entire book in one sitting, I need breaks. Maybe I’ve gotten old…
My reading habits might have changed, but I don’t think these are necessarily bad changes. The opposite, I am quite content because I read whatever I want to read and don’t stress over the number of books I have read at the end of the year. I like to say I stopped focussing on quantity as much and started caring way more about the quality of the books I do read. So, let me end this post by telling you what summarizes my current reading habits: quality over quantity!