Reading Refresher: Start!

For some reason, I love making my own series on this blog, and a lot of series as opposed to one-off posts. I think it’s because it gives me some sort of structure that makes it easier for me to get my thoughts out, which is the point of this blog for me. Now, this latest venture of mine, what is this about?

To put it in a roundabout way, let me start by saying that I did contemplate doing one of the existing tags and posts here on WordPress. Reading wrap ups, monthly wrap ups, TBR of the month, and a lot more. I would have been totally fine with that, but it never just quite…fit? For what I want to happen at least. I considered other titles of my own, but I eventually settled on this one. And I think I’m okay with this, at least for now.

They say that to make a good blog post it is best if you present a way to solve a problem, and while I know they mean solve other people’s problems, this series is basically to solve mine. What are these problems?

Problem no. 1: I am not reading enough.

If you have been able to follow my reading and book-related posts, you may have noticed either a scarcity of it, or that one particular post where I talked about a reading slump. That happens to me quite a lot, especially in the past 5 years, I would say, and I have thought about why that is the case, when I love reading so much, but it boils down to my job. I have discussed this with my husband and we have determined that as our jobs (we are in the same profession) requires us to read a lot of material (and not the material we like to read for enjoyment) it kind of leads to some sort of fatigue, and you know, when you get a break, you kind of just want to do something else. I am sure someone would be able to understand that kind of feeling. But I do love to read for fun, and for personal development, so I would like to keep that in my life, thank you very much.

Problem no. 2: My Goodreads’ “Currently Reading” shelf is a LIE.

Knowing what you know now, that I do go on reading slumps, it probably won’t surprise you when I say that I sometimes start a book and then I just…stop. It’s not a “DNF” or “did not finish” as the book community calls it, which is pretty intentional from what I understand, and implies that the reader has no intent of finishing the book for various reasons. I do want to finish the books I listed there as currently reading, and honestly I don’t really brand books as DNF-ed because one book I remember kind of writing off in that sense is Persuasion by Jane Austen and it is now possibly my favorite Jane Austen novel of all time (it competes with Pride and Prejudice, but I do love those two books quite a lot). So I don’t really like to do that. But I get distracted (just like when I went on a tangent just now), get too stressed by the book I am currently reading and either go on a slump, or end up picking something else and finishing that instead of what I am supposed to be currently reading. What on earth?! And then I don’t have the heart to ‘declutter’ the shelf because for me that seems like I am giving up on the book and I don’t want that and it makes me feel like I have to start the book again from the very beginning when I do go back to it. Weird, but that’s how my brain works.

So, a ‘Reading Refresher’?

Yep, a reading refresher. I just want to tell myself through this series that it’s ok to pause, assess where I’m at reading-wise, and just be honest with myself about it. It’s the chance to “refresh” my ‘currently reading’ shelf as well, by letting go of the books there that honestly just stress me out with some lowkey pressure of having to read them when I am most likely not in the mood or mindset to go through them, and give myself the freedom to go for what I AM in the mood for, and reflect that on my shelf instead of feeling like a sneaky kid reading unassigned readings under the covers.

If you find me weird at this point, that’s ok. We all have our quirks, and this is a weird year.

Honestly, I have been posting about how I’ve been at a low place for months now, and I have kind of just decided to treat myself in a more delicate way in some aspects, to just accept and go with what works for me, no matter how weird the approach is (like in this case). I think this series will help me mentally one way or another, and I really hope that happens.

So that’s the benefit for me, but for you, dear reader, what’s the benefit? One, you can use this as your checkpoint, too! It may serve as your reminder to take a step back and breathe, and align yourself with your reality. Are you really reading what you want to read? Or are you in that slump just because you are forcing yourself to read something when you so want to read a different book? Also, if you’re curious as to what I’m reading and stuff like that, this will also serve that purpose.

And now, to start…

In my “Currently Reading Shelf”, I have these books listed:

Image taken from Goodreads.

I will be honest here, and say that I am not reading any of those right now. It’s not even on a rotation or standby mode, where you could say I have several books “open” and I read whichever of those I am in a mood for. Nope, I reach for anything but those (I even checked and one of those has been there since 2018!). I am not really sure why, especially for Graceling, since that book is up my alley and I do enjoy it, but oh well. It is what it is.

Therefore, I think I have to do it. I will have to remove those books from that shelf. I’ll get back to you, dear books, and honestly I think there’s a higher chance of that happening once you’re out of this shelf!

What am I in the mood for right now? Or what are my “open” books right now?

I know this is probably the worst time to reread Harry Potter, but I am rereading the Harry Potter series. It’s just my happy place, and I won’t let that get stolen from me. I’ve also only been able to own the books years after I started working, so it’s fun to be reading my own copies after just reading borrowed ones. Right now I am on the second book, so I’ll add that to my shelf. We’ll let this be an experiment to see if adding books on my “Currently Reading” shelf has any effect on me ending up not reading the book. Having said all that, this is how my “Currently Reading” shelf now looks:

Image taken from Goodreads.

I thought about mentioning some books I am interested in reading as well, but when I really think about it I don’t have that much interest in any other book. I’ll just check back in next time if I do end up picking up another book or if I do get interested in something else by that time.

And that’s it for now! How have you been? Are you still reading at the same pace you were, say, a year ago? Maybe five years ago? Do you also end up reading and finishing books other than those that you are supposedly currently reading? Do let me know, and I’ll see you in my next Reading Refresher!

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