The way my Reading Habits have Changed over the Years

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!

How would you sum up your reading habits? Have they changed much?

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6 Comments

  1. 07/06/2017 / 10:32

    I DNF a lot more now too! I used to want to finish EVERYTHING. I couldn’t handle starting something but not finishing. I’ve really learned to let that mentality go through. Life is too short to be reading books I don’t love. I’d rather move onto something else that’s amazing.

    • Iris
      Author
      07/06/2017 / 16:21

      Exactly! That is how I feel. I sometimes still struggle with it, but I remind myself of this when I find myself reading a book I’m not really enjoying. There isn’t really a point to spending so much time on something you don’t really enjoy.

  2. 08/06/2017 / 01:31

    Quality over quantity is definitely a good change, in my opinion. We’ll never be able to read them all so why stress ourselves out trying to? Just figure out the ones we want to read the most and go for it!

    I’m curious though, do you think your reading habits will move back towards what they were before once university is done? Or stay mostly the same? I always felt like once I no longer had to read for classes I could start reading for fun, but it’s never happened for me. It’s like I’ve just become comfortable with only reading here and there and don’t use it as my main method of relaxation anymore so only get to it if I consciously think about doing it – which isn’t as often.

    • Iris
      Author
      08/06/2017 / 18:13

      I have been wondering the same actually. I used to think they would move back towards what they were, but I’m not too sure… Mainly because I have a lot of different ways to relax and destress nowadays, reading is not my number one way of relaxation anymore.

      I think I’ll be able to read more, for sure, but I think I’ll still DNF because I have realized that I don’t want to spend time reading something I don’t enjoy. Plus, I like that I read a bit slower now, that I take my time when reading and not hurry through it! I guess we know when it happens, haha, but I’m kinda expecting them to stay mostly the same!

  3. 11/06/2017 / 06:47

    It’s so interesting that you’ve begun to DNF more books now – I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the tendency of mine to NEVER DNF ANYTHING EVER, mostly because I have a huge sense of anxiety around missing out what might have potentially turned into an absolutely phenomenal story if I had just stuck with it for another 50 pages. But I can absolutely see how, with a busier life, you’ve gotten much pickier about the books you choose to complete. I’m still in high school at the moment, & I wonder how my own DNF-ing habits (or lack thereof) might change once I begin university & am also hit with the inevitable rush of busyness. I don’t think it’s really a bad thing to be sticking with only the books you love from the get-go, but definitely a fascinating idea to ponder!

    Topaz (Six Impossible Things)

    • Iris
      Author
      16/06/2017 / 18:37

      I used to have the same anxiety, never wanted to miss out on the rest of the story (just in case it turned out to be awesome). However, every time I kept reading that never really happened. When I realized that and when life got busier and I had less time to read DNFing just started making more sense. I’m curious to see if the same will happen for you :)

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