Reading? Who has time for that? So many factors in life lead to ignoring our favorite hobby. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, here are ten reasons we are reading fewer books than before.
It’s Another Top Ten Tuesday
It’s Top Ten Tuesday, where we post a list of 10 of our best/favorite/most important book-ish-related items, depending on the theme of the week. Thank you to That Artsy Reader Girl for providing us with this feature and creative ideas.
“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.”
10 Reasons I’m Reading Fewer Books
This week’s theme is “Things Getting in the Way of Reading.”
Are there indeed factors that prevent me from engaging in one of my favorite hobbies? Sad to say, yes, and there are many.
Indeed, I find myself longing long some precious uninterrupted hours with a good book, only to have life throw its curveballs. Worse is having no urge to read a novel; or when I attempt to, they’re either DNFs, a waste of time, or blah.
It’s becoming my norm. Ten years ago, I would read two to four books a week. Not so much today.
This list assesses the reasons why this is the case. What prevents me from engaging in my beloved pastime of reading books?
Obviously, I review books for this blog. Many of those articles are based on works I read in the past. While my memory isn’t photographic by any means, I have a surprising amount of clarity when it comes to novels I’ve read, especially those I felt strongly about.
If I have read something, but am fuzzy on the details, I grab the book off my shelves or go to archive.org to do a quick reread. This takes a fraction of the time a new book would take. I’ve always kept written notes for my reads; so the details remain clear. I’ve read thousands of books yet have reviewed a mere tenth. No need to read a new book when I only need to search my memory.
When I do read new novels (well, new for me, typically they’re not the latest publications), the page count is between 190 and 250 pages.
Furthermore, book blogging involves so much more than reading and reviewing. There’s writing articles, editing, research, social media, tech, and marketing skills, and getting advertisements and affiliates.
Honestly, a maintaining this book blog takes more effort than running a small, ey profitable commercial website (which I have done in the past).
2. Writing Book(s)
I am trying (in vain, it seems) to complete two works-in-progress novels, plus do everything that self-publishing entails.
However, right now, my main endeavor is creating a nonfiction reference book about the history of romance cover art. This is not a coffee table book but an in-depth examination of the history of the romance genre as seen through the lens of its cover art.
As well as outlining, researching, and interviewing, I have to secure legal rights and high-quality images to cover all aspects: publishing houses, genres, authors, artists, and their techniques, cover models, different kinds of cover designs, and romance fandom.
initially, I optimistically thought I could conquer this endeavor in 18 months. Alas, reality has whispered in my ear, and two years seems a more likely timeline. Just a minor setback, right?
3. My Physical and Mental Health
Living life means eventually, the body wears down. Since the age of 14, I have been living with Lupus. I am not in the best shape, so as a result, I am dealing with a diabetes diagnosis, among other health ailments.
As if that weren’t enough, the unavoidable perimenopausal phase has decided to spice things up with its own set of emotional roller coasters. Coupled with long-standing mental health issues and the enigmatic realm of ADHD, my mind occasionally resembles a circus.
It’s really hindered my ability to think in an orderly linear fashion and get things done. I’m trying new solutions, and some are working, but reading challenging, long novels is a tough task
4. Spending Time With Family/Loved Ones
An introvert by nature, for me, socializing can be equal parts exhilarating and draining. But the truth is relationships require tending to. For introverts, that means anxiety and weariness.
As a married woman with an empty nest, it would seem likely I’d have more time to dedicate to my appreciation for the written word and focus on my marriage. Alas, my husband and I each have responsibilities and commitments that keep us busy.
His job and the demands of caring for his ailing father, combined with my never-ending pile of crap to tend to, leaves us with limited quality time to spend together Investing in our marriage, whether through shared endeavors, heartfelt conversations, or maintaining an active spark in the bedroom, takes precedence over the solitary act of reading.
So sorry, books, you’ll have to understand. Love comes in many forms, and in this case, it’s the love for my partner that steals the spotlight.
5. Housework (Indoors & Out)
Housework is the bane of my existence. Cleaning and I have never seen eye to eye. Unfortunately, I don’t possess a cadre of maids and houseworkers at my beck and call. So, the house and yard demand attention, as neglected issues can no longer be ignored.
My Libra nature of philosophical inclinations and love of pleasure means a natural aversion to manual labor (actually, my astrological pairing of both Libra and Snake makes me super lazy! I find myself in a neverending battle against the demands of a home that needs attention.
While cooking and some light gardening can be enjoyable, the toil of physical labor is not my cup of tea. Organizing and scrubbing may bring joy to some people, but not to this book-loving soul.
Even so, the housework demons persist, leaving less time for the solace of reading.
6. Working for an Income in Order to Live
I haven’t had a traditional 9 to 5 (8 to 4) job since the early 2000s. Our bohemian family has always danced to the beat of our own drum.
Regardless, every person needs money to live. To experience the life we wanted, we worked from home or scheduled jobs around what we valued most. Over the years, various home-based businesses provided us a modest living. We willingly exchanged the potential for a higher income for time and freedom.
We can still live that way, but only through new kinds of work. Thus, I find myself constantly learning further skills, taking courses, and adapting to the ever-evolving demands of the professional world.
It’s a juggling act, but a necessary one to keep the bills paid and the bookshelves stocked.
7. Lack of Interest in New Books
Perhaps it’s the inevitable sign of getting older, but like with much modern art and media, I find myself less enthralled by the latest offerings in the romance genre.
Call me an old curmudgeon, but the allure of contemporary romance novels often fails to ignite the fire within.
I do read at least one classic a year (usually listening to it on Audible). And I enjoy other genres like history, detective books, and science fiction. Plus, I love the latest pulps that are very popular today. It’s just that more and more, the newest romance novels leave me cold.
8. Reading Requires Focus
Once upon a time, reading was a skill I possessed anywhere, anytime. Train rides, car trips, noisy rooms, toilets—I could devour books with unwavering focus anywhere.
Sadly, as the years have passed, my concentration has become a fragile creature that demands silence and solitude. Multitasking is no longer an option when reading.
Folding laundry, washing dishes, strolling through the neighborhood, or tending to the backyard—all feasible with headphones on.
But reading demands undivided attention, a dedicated space where the mind can roam freely within the realms of a captivating story. No distractions, no interruptions. It’s a battle with my mind and capabilities against a world filled with noise and constant demands
9. I Do Read…But Not Books
Although I don’t pick up as many books as I used to, I haven’t forsaken the act of reading itself. I read blogs, websites, articles, magazines, comics, and reference books, and I lurk a lot on social media.
For those times when reading becomes a sensory overload, I turn to the comforting embrace of audiobooks on Audible.
Still, it’s not a source of pride for me. There’s something about completing a book that no other reading experience can surpass.
10. Too Many Books, Too Little Time
I am 45 years old, and I’ve read probably 4000 books in my life. A respectable number, no doubt.
When I glance at my physical library and the ever-growing collection of e-books and PDFs, the harsh reality sets in. Around 8,000 unread books await my attention, tantalizing and teasing with their untold tales.
However, recall that much-referenced element in this list, time? There’s simply no way I will get to all of them. It would be paradise on Earth to be able to read everything in sight, consuming input like a romance-addicted Johhny-5.
But the truth is, even if I were to live until 90, with the inevitable decline of eyesight and hearing, reading may not be my top activity in the twilight years.
So there you have it. My confession of the top ten obstacles that persistently stand between me and my beloved books.
Whether it’s seeking personal pursuit, dealing with life’s responsibilities, battling health hurdles, balancing relationships, doing housework or working to pay the bills, changing literary tastes, the need for absolute focus, or the fact that time waits for no man, I find there are far too many reasons I don’t read books as much as I used to.
What do you think of our picks for the top ten list? Did you find yourself nodding in agreement or wondering what the heck is up with my inability to prioritize?
In fact, are there any things in your life that get in the way of reading?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. So, drop a comment, share your opinions, and let’s talk romance!