Oh, the Guests! | Is Reading Too Much a Bad Thing? By Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity

Is Reading Too Much a Bad Thing?, Oh the Guests, Becky, A Fool's Ingenuity

Is Reading Too Much a Bad Thing?, Oh the Guests, Becky, A Fool's Ingenuity

[stextbox id=”guest2″ image=”null”]As you know, we are using Fridays here at Oh, the Books! to help promote newer bloggers (though other guest posts might make their way in if we have openings). If you have started your blog in the last six months and are interested in contributing, we want to hear from you!

We’re excited to introduce Becky from A Fool’s Ingenuity on the blog today. Becky has been blogging since March 2014 and her beautiful blog is full of reviews, Top Ten Tuesday posts, and weekly updates. After reading her insightful guest post (which goes from a discussion about reading too much to tips for being a blogger), be sure to check her blog out and say hi to her on Twitter!

– Kelley, Asti, & Leanne[/stextbox]

 


Is Reading Too Much a Bad Thing?

I was talking to my mom last night. I proudly announced that, on average, I was reading four books a week and that I had read 73 books so far this year. I expected some half-arsed impressed look from her while she smiled, nodded and said ‘good for you’, since that is my mom’s typical response to what I do. Instead, she said to me ‘is that a good thing?’ and I was a bit offended and a bit shocked. Then it got me thinking, is it a good thing? After all, that is a lot of pages and a lot of hours reading.

The below image is evidence of the number of books I have read at the time of writing this. That’s more than I thought I would have read.

Goodreads Challenge Reading Progress

The thing is, what my mom said bothered me. I started thinking about it all the way to work the next day, and carried on thinking about it whilst I was working. After all, is it a good thing I am reading so many books each week? I don’t know, I really don’t. If I’m reading so many books each week does that mean I am neglecting other areas of my life? Am I putting in a fair amount of effort to my blog and to my personal life?

Could I actually be reading too much?

I know, reading too much does not sound like a thing, does it? I like to think of reading as a perfect way to unwind, it soothes me, so can there really be anything wrong in what I am doing? It is something I enjoy, it makes me happy, why deny myself something that makes me happy? As long as reading does not hinder me in any way, prevent me from doing other things, then there is surely nothing wrong with the amount I read?

Reading makes me happy, it certainly doesn’t get in the way of my personal life. I see my friends, I see my family, I go out I do things. It can get in the way of blogging, though. I am quote lazy, so I have to motivate myself to post, I have to motivate myself to write them and remember to post them, and often I would much rather be reading, especially if it’s a good book. After all, as a book blogger I have to read, right? Then again just because something makes you happy does not mean you should overindulge. Cake makes me happy as well, but you overindulge in that and people start judging you.

I know reading isn’t bad for me, I do. It can be a hindrance though. By devoting so much time to a book I can end up not doing something else with actual people, or neglect writing a blog post which I had planned to post on a set day. It is not a mega crisis, but it can get in the way. I find myself not posting as much as I wish because I would be rather be reading. I know many people think that, there are things you would be rather be doing than blogging at times. That is a motivation issue, though, surely, not a reading too much thing?

Another problem with reading too much is you can wear yourself out. Is the same as any other thing where you overindulge, you get bored of it. Now I will never get bored of reading, but you can wear yourself out where you get to the point that you don’t want to read. You just don’t fancy it, you start remembering you have a life outside of books and you can’t motivate yourself to pick up another. This is normally what develops when you have finished a really good book or series and you have that urge to read it all over again it was that good, you don’t want to leave that books world and can’t bring yourself to venture into another. That’s the point where binge reading is a bad thing. Where you are reading too much to motivate yourself to blog and you’re reaching a point where you don’t know if you want to pick up another book.

Dog

What to do once you realise you’re overindulging?

So, everything I have written so far has been very personal to me, because I have taken issue with the amount I’ve been reading and how I believe it affects my blogging abilities. This last section, well, this is much more general and applicable to all and sundry. It is even applicable you folk that don’t feel like you’re reading too much, I am essentially going to list some common sense blogging rules and ideas that I hope others may learn from.

What do you do when you’re reading too much? You strategise is what you do. I have several steps in place to help me keep a blogging schedule, although that isn’t foolproof, but that is more because procrastination is in my blood, but they probably work for those with a more determined nature.

1. You develop a blogging schedule!

Nothin

I know, everyone has heard about bloggers and their schedules. I am not saying you need to obsessively plan every day for each post. I’m thinking more just have a general idea of what you want to post each week and stick to it. The problem with blogging is you have no one to keep you on target but yourself, so learn to give yourself something to aim towards by having a posting schedule so you know when to have posts ready for.

2. Be realistic. Know your limits.

Ninebottles

Don’t aim too high. Yeah, I know you’re an overachiever who has always been told you can do whatever you put your mind to, but those people lied to you. Don’t schedule yourself to post everyday of the week because you will tire yourself out and you will only disappoint yourself when you can’t keep to the proposed blog schedule you developed in the first step. Know your limits. If you work long hours you will not have enough time to post all the time, you need a life as well, or time to read. If you aim too high you are only setting yourself up to fail, and when you’re a newbie blogger that is heartbreaking and probably leads to many blogs not making their first year.

3. Remember what you’re good at.

Not my division

Learn what posts you find easiest to write, remember that and cater to it on your blog. If you struggle to write reviews you don’t have to force yourself to churn one out each week. If you struggle with discussion posts you don’t have to do them. Find out what works for you and what you’re good at and post those things instead of anything which feels forced or takes up vast amounts of your time to do. I’m not saying you can never post things you aren’t good at, it’s fine to challenge yourself by writing that which may not come naturally to you. I’m saying don’t force yourself each week to write something which takes up your free time. It will only sound forced on your blog and you won’t enjoy it.

4.Don’t feel bad.

Scale of caring

So, I’m sure every single one of you have felt the pressure to blog, haven’t you? You have your schedule set up. You know what posts you want to have this week. You know what you’re good at writing and you have it all set out and ready to go. You’ve planned all your time accordingly, there is no obstacle stopping you from blogging. You miss a post though, you just weren’t in the mood to sit down and write. The world is going to end. Your readers and followers will hate you. You may as well give up blogging altogether you can’t even keep to your simple schedule.

Well, no. Calm down. Take a breath. Grab a cup of coffee (or whatever your beverage of choice is) and just chill for a second. So what if you missed a post? Don’t get yourself down, because it happens. Sometimes you are just not in the right frame of mind to blog. No one is going to blame you for that. We blog because we enjoy it so don’t get yourself down if sometimes you are just not in the mood to post. You don’t need to get yourself down about it because it is not the end of the world. If you’re having an off week and don’t feel like posting and don’t want to upset your followers, tell them about it. They’ll understand and it will relieve some of the pressure on yourself. Remember everyone wants you to do well, so tell them about it and it will be ok.

The only one who is gonna get you down if you don’t post is yourself.

Okay. That’s all the advice from me. I often don’t stick to these rules, but I try. It helps keep me on track. It helps keep me organised. It helps me keep on track when it feels like I am consuming too many books each week and doing little else apart from reading.

This post developed from my concern I was reading too much and neglecting my blog and neglecting my life in general, all because of a little comment from my mother. I do believe you can read too much, you risk reading burn out if you do that, but by being a blogger I think it helps me avoid it. I see everyone elses book blogs and all the books they are reading I have to go out and read them myself. I read too much to try and catch up with everyone else, which is stupid, I know.

Blogging is difficult, it takes a big commitment. When you’re first starting you try and do everything at once. You try and write all the posts. Read all the books. Essentially, you try and do all the things. That is why I came up with the above things to remember, because sometimes you try and push yourself to do too much, and that doesn’t help you achieve anything.

I have to say, when I came up with this post idea, I imagined it going very differently, I like the way it turned out, but it’s definitely diverted from the original idea of can you read too much and developed into how to try and be an alright blogger in four simple steps. Sorry about that.


What do you think? Is reading too much a bad thing? Do you think Becky needs to slow it down? And what do you think about her tips for bloggers? Are they things you pay attention to (if you’re a blogger)?

Read 16 comments

  1. I kind of don’t believe in reading-too-much. Hehe. I mean, if you’re neglecting things you SHOULD be doing in favour of reading, then I think it’s bad. But if it’s your way to unwind and what you do in your down-time, then heck yeah. I read quite fast so I’m around the 120 mark atm, and hehe…my eyes get tired. THAT’S when I know I need a break! XD Very interesting discussion!

    • I agree, I don’t think I read too much. I think I am lazy and have to motivate myself to do things I don’t feel like doing so I often find myself reading more than not because that is what I enjoy. It was a thought that got planted and would not leave. I know what you mean with the words blurring, sometimes I do get to the end of a long day and after reading for a while I feel like I come out a bit crosseyed.

  2. This is such a good post, I remember talking about something similar and it’s a big thing I think. When you blog, time taken to read gets shorter because you’re blogging about the thing you’re running low on time about, it’s a catch 22 really. I’m immensely proud of what I’ve read this year, but next year, I want to chill out a little, read what I want, but do other things, go out, see friends (if I make any, ha!) and get working on my designing instead of always worrying about the blog, but you’re right, the reason people don’t make it through the first year is that they think failing once is going to end the world, it’s one post, chill out people! :)

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one getting stuck on thoughts like this. I do sometimes feel like I’m trying to read to blog but then I don’t make enough time to write, so I cut back on reading, but then I have nothing to write about. I think the idea of reading too much cutting in blogging time is partly why I digressed into blogging tips, because they are things I constantly have to remind myself.

      I’m glad my rambling makes sense to someone else as well:D

  3. This is a really good discussion topic! I totally relate to this…sometimes I worry that I read too much, too. So far this year I’ve read like 140 books and it just seems like A LOT. Like, maybe more than I should be reading, I don’t know. I try not to worry about it too much, because like you, I still have plenty of time for blogging and my personal life. But sometimes it crosses my mind, like…is this crazy?! It’s just something I really like to do, though! So I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

  4. This is a really interesting topic post, Becky! Honestly, I feel like numbers don’t matter when it comes to determining whether you read too much. Everyone reads at different paces and sometimes people are just faster so they naturally read more books. But if you’re like locking yourself up in your room to read 24/7 and you won’t stop no matter what, you call off dates with friends and family to read and you just CANNOT stop, then I think that’s when reading becomes a problem. Reading like anything else can be an addiction and I feel like as long as it’s not that extreme or getting to that extreme then I don’t think there’s a problem at all! But I honestly don’t think any of us are at that point. Like you, I get out and do stuff with family and friends and it’s not like I’m isolating myself just to read. So I read more than other people do on average but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that!

  5. I think you definitely can read too much if, like you said, it keeps you from living yor life or interacting with people. But the first comparison I thought of is how you can also watch too much tv. And I think if it were a choice between one or the other, books ate better (not that you’re proposing such a choice, that’s just where my mind went.

    But I think when yore doing a lot if anything it usually comes down to that thing or something else – reading or blogging, watching tv or exercising. Being aware if how much time you’re doing something and the choices you make is always a good thing :)

  6. When I hear about bloggers who read more than 150 books in a year, I just can’t imagine it. I don’t know their personal situations, but maybe they don’t have full time jobs or two large dogs and a husband to take care of! I just don’t think I could ever get there, because it would be a case of serious neglect on my part!

    I sometimes read too much, by which I mean I have to take a few days off between books. I love TV shows and movies too, so I’m glad for the reprieve now and again.

    Great post!

  7. Off the cuff so many of us would want to shout ‘no way!’, but in reality, too much of a good thing can ruin the good thing. All things in.moderation and all that. By doing something else, baking, going outside, writing, anything, you can give your mind a break from reading and blogging which can get your creative juices flowing again!!

  8. Great post, Becky — thanks for guest posting on our blog this week! I have to admit that I was sneaky and read this post before it went live, and it’s what made me visit your blog and start poking around! I’m so glad you started blogging , because I love your discussions (even if I don’t get much time to comment).

    I think your list is full of great advice (and extra points for Simpsons imagery!). These are all things that Asti, Leanne, and I have had to learn (and try to remember) since we started blogging and our lives became even more busy. My husband used to get concerned because I would say things like “I have to read these books by the end of the month” or “I need to finish this blog post for tomorrow” and so from his perspective it looked like it was a job or a chore for me. It’s taken some time for me to convince him that I ENJOY doing these things — I do them because I want to! — but it’s also helped me to take a step back and make sure I do OTHER things too. :)

  9. Pingback: Sunday Post (July 27) | Girl of 1000 Wonders

  10. Pingback: Weekly Recap| Jul 20-26, 2014 | Oh, the Books!

  11. I don’t think there is such a thing as ‘too much reading’ because it doesn’t make you unhealthy like things as ‘too much eating.’ Those things need a specific line, but with reading it is really up to you to decide how much time you spend on it. If someone reads so much they don’t have a social life anymore and they are perfectly happy with that, who can decide that it is ‘too much’? I think you should do whatever makes you happy, whether that is reading 5 books every day or 5 in a year.

  12. Technically, I don’t think there’s such a thing as reading too much either. Haha. But yeah, that is so long as it is not a the detriment of other important things like school, work, family, friends etc. Athletes spend hours on end training, actors rehearse their lines over and over again, while photographers might be chasing subjects for days. Point is, reading is a hobby and if someone prefers reading to watching TV shows or whatever, then that in itself doesn’t constitute “reading too much”.

  13. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up (#44) |

  14. What a great post! Anything when overindulged to the point of neglecting other life duties can be a bad thing, but reading is one of the best indulgences, is it not? I mean, it is educational – it really develops your brain! It is also fun – so many world to couch travel to! Sharing this post.

Leave a Reply