It’s obvious that I love to read. I’m always found with a book (or ereader) in my hands. Even if I’m supposed to be doing work, I would much rather read. When I was younger, my parents would punish me by taking away my books and not my TV privileges.
But I have also been told that I read at a ridiculous rate.
I’ve never really tracked how much I read; it’s never been something I’ve cared about. But I found out about Goodreads back in 2016 and decided to track my books. At first, I just used it to mark books to add to my TBR. But in 2017, I decided to participate in the yearly reading challenge. I put my goal as 150 books and considered that lofty.
I ended up reading 358.
When I tell people that I finished a book in one day, or when they see this stat on my Goodreads page, it stuns them. People ask me, “how do you do it?”
Well, it’s simple, really. There are 2 things I do that really help me reach this goal.
The first thing I do is make reading my priority. When I mean priority, I mean nothing else comes before it. This has obvious cons to it. If you are working or in school (and I’m doing my masters), you have other things that need to be put before reading for fun. And when you come back after a tiring day, reading might be the last thing you want to do. But my need to get through my books and find out what happens is stronger than that. I literally read every spare minute I get. Commuting? Read my book. Break time? Read my book. Cooking? Read my book. I even use it to motivate myself and give me something to look forward to when I have to complete a task that is boring. I also hate going to sleep when I haven’t finished a story because the events in the book will fill my mind … so I sacrifice sleep for my books.
Now, I don’t recommend this for everyone. I’m clearly insane, and have not set proper boundaries for myself when it comes to reading. There are times when this obsession with reading burns me out, and then I stay away from my books for a week or more. These breaks are really important for me because they give me the time to feel excited for a book again, instead of making me feel like reading is a chore. I also know that even if I take a break, I will be able to catch up fairly quickly because of my obsessive tendencies. But the point is, I have an insane (and potentially unhealthy) obsession with reading a book whenever I can (and even when I shouldn’t).
The second thing I do is more about how I actually read a book. I skim when it comes to descriptions. Yes, I am that person, the one who doesn’t read every word in a book. Here’s the thing: I read to get to the crux of the story and to form a bond with my characters. Descriptions, while necessary, are not as interesting to me as the dialogue and the events happening. If the book is describing the scenery, I will most likely skim through it to get the main gist of things. If the book is describing what the character looks like, I will skim that and just focus on any major identifying features. Most of the time, I have my own image of the characters in my head, regardless of the way they are described in the book.
Now, I don’t do this for all books. There are certain stories that need every word to be read. These books take more time to read, and I relish them just as much as the books I skim. But for me, the most important thing is the story itself and the way the author ties in the setting with the characters and the plot to create an amazing journey for the reader. And I can get that even if I skim.
Like I said before … I’m insane when it comes to reading. Please tell me how you sane people read books!!! Do I have an unhealthy obsession with reading?!?!?
More importantly, how do YOU read? What do you focus on the most in a book?
~~ Let’s have a discussion ~~