Hi, Hey, Hello!
I came to the realisation the other day that I have no real idea what kind of reader I am anymore. As in I don’t know whether I prefer reading one book at a time or a couple at once.
Back in secondary school it was one book for months for 5 years. I could leisurely read a book through multiple times (one of the reasons that I have a severe love/hate relationship with Romeo and Juliet is because I have read it more times than I can even count anymore, but then at the same time this was also the reason that I feel completely in love with Frankenstein). With this more ‘relaxed’ approach to English reading (I mean I had several other subjects to do so I was definitely never relaxed) I also had the time to read other books outside of the curriculum and ultimately not feel all that guilty about it.
Then A Levels hit and there was a couple of texts to read every few weeks as well as independent reading. But that was manageable. I was still moving through one at a time. Quickly.
Then I had the smart idea to go and do an English degree (I largely loved my 3 years at uni, it was one of my better decisions in life). But with that decision came the increase in reading. To two books, sometimes 3, a week. And I got into a whole new routine with my reading process. I would read two books simultaneously. When I couldn’t take much more of one I would just switch it to the other and wait until I hit a wall there. Repeat until completion.
Except this habit then translated into my ‘leisure’ reading life at the time. I would start one book and then when I felt myself trailing off in concentration I would just start a new one (usually one that I bought specifically for that kickstarting purpose). Then I either blaze through that particular book or inevitably hit a wall with it and go back to the original one.
Now during my uni years that made sense across the board. It was how I kept on top of everything for those three years and how I stopped myself from getting incredibly bored (seriously some days all I did was sit, read and make notes in the margins for most of my waking hours, boredom was easy to come by).
Then I finished uni and I hardly read at all. It was like I had been hit by this MASSIVE book hangover where every word on a page just made me want to hurl the book across the room. I walked out of my final exam with all these plans of all the books that I was going to read and not feel about because I had NO other books to read. No external course commitments. But every book I picked up I didn’t finish (I’m sorry The Maze Runner and The Secret History, your time is coming).
So when I came back to reading there was no rhythm to it at all. I could sit curled up on the sofa and flick through page after page and before I knew it I would flick onto the final page and be finished in a couple of sittings. But that mood quickly disappeared and I would spend weeks in coffee shops with a book open in front of me but more fascinated by my coffee or people watching than the words on the page (except with Gone Girl, that shit owned me).
Then I would revert back to picking up a different book and reading that. And then I would pick up another. And before I knew it I had 4 books on the go and I had no idea what was going on in ANY of them. So I hit a wall again and almost decided that reading wasn’t for me anymore (that is a partial joke).
And now I’m confused.
Because sometimes I can read one book and it will be enough. I have done that a lot this year. Picked up a book and read it from start to finish in a matter of hours or days. But then there are other times and other books that leave me wanting something…else. I was reading The Book Thief but at the same time I wanted something less intense, which I didn’t get with The Bone Season but I did get with The Picture of Dorian Gray apparently (I don’t really get that either, also that meant leaving two books unfinished). I devoured Landline and the Stephanie Perkins trilogy but it was an actual uphill battle to get through On the Road at times (and that review is coming…I can’t tell you when, but yeah). I’m currently finding myself itching to read a different book as I’m making my way through Sense and Sensibility right now and the only thing that is stopping me from giving in to that urge is the fact that I am on trains and I only have the one book on me. But I know once I pick up another book then I am just gonna hit a wall with it and then be stuck in the middle of two books.
But one book doesn’t seem like enough. And then also like too much. Then two books sounds overwhelming, but I want the option. I want the choice. I’m apparently so used to reading two books side by side that I have forgotten how to only read one consistently. And now I’m confused.
I am both a one book at a time kind of girl and a multiple books at a time one and even I can see that they just don’t add up with one another.
I might just keep doing what I have been doing and start a new book immediately after I have finished the old one and tell myself that I am definitely tricking my brain into reading more than one at a time. (And keep plowing through Sense and Sensibility in the mean time. I mean I love Austen, but at 8:40am I don’t love her so much)
Parentheses count: 11. See you tomorrow!
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