Reading by Whim

… unless you need a break. That’s okay too.

Last week I couldn’t be bothered to blog because I was CONSUMED with reading fever. I read two books start to finish and took a chunk out of my reread of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I simply didn’t feel like stopping my reading streak to bang out some words and fling them into the internet.

I was also super stoked about the #24in48 readathon. Then Saturday dawned and I decided I didn’t feel like reading. So I didn’t. I did not read one ding-dang thing for the entire weekend. Instead, I did a bunch of meal prep, hung out with the kids, met a friend for coffee, and played a stupid cat-Tetris game on my tablet. It was lovely.

For so many years I’ve tried to set a daily goal of reading at least 50 pages every work day and 100 pages on my days off. I’ve been keeping a reading log and I’ve noticed that removing that page number goal helps me accomplish more reading. There are days when I don’t want to read and then there are days that I will read a book start to finish. I have been using a timing app to keep up with how much I read. It dings when I hit 1.5 hours cumulatively in a day, but there are days when I don’t time at all and days when I will get up to three or four hours of reading.

It has taken me a long time to realize this, but when I can still be a reader even if I don’t read all the time. I have friends who are runners and they certainly don’t run every day and always. I have one friend that Is a baker and she doesn’t bake every single day. And those artificial goals of 50 to 100 pages limits my reading experience to pages and doesn’t really say anything about the difficulty of the text. 50 pages of middle grades novel translate into less than 30 minutes. 50 pages of a giant book with small print can be more like two hours.

I’d encourage all of you to read when you want to read and if you don’t want to read then don’t. Whatever readalong, readathon, or reading goal you’ve set yourself is bendable.

Having a weekend of non-reading has wet my appetite to crawl back into a book. I’ve got Shirley Jackson’s The Sundial as my main book for the week. I’m also dipping into Harry Potter, Maggie Nelson Poetry, Plath letters, and a couple of non-fiction reads. Now let’s see how this week of reading shakes out.


6 thoughts on “Reading by Whim

  1. Amanda says:

    I think this is one of the most important things I’ve learned in the eleven years I’ve been blogging. Sometimes it’s okay to just not read. It doesn’t mean I’m not a reader or I’m a bad reader. My brain just wants something else sometimes, the way sometimes it wants fifteen books in two days and sometimes it wants the same book ten times in a row. It’s all good.


  2. odessahiggs says:

    I think you’re onto something in dispensing with arbitrary goals. I love that you strive to read every day, though. I read like a snake eats: a whole lot at once, and then a dry spell. But when it’s on, it’s on!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cleo @ Classical Carousel says:

    Ha ha! I’ve tried to be part of these readathons for years and every time they come I seem to never have time to read one page, so I know what you mean. We all go through non-reading times and I think it makes the times we are reading even more precious!


  4. preferreading says:

    Very sensible post! I read almost every day but I’ve stopped trying to set myself goals, apart from my Goodreads goal for the year which really helped me last year when I felt my reading was becoming too bitty, articles & magazines rather than books. I try to remember that I’m reading for enjoyment & information, not to meet some arbitrary goal, much more calming.


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