I Used To Read A Lot


This year, I made a resolution to finish the book series I’m reading and have read at least three more books by the end of the year. It seems like a small feat but, when you consider that I only read two whole books in 2018, no books at all in 2017, and two in 2016, it makes sense to set myself a small goal like that.

The book trilogy I’m currently reading is very long, with each book having at least a thousand pages, and I find it daunting. While I do enjoy it, it just feels like I’m never really getting any closer to finishing it. And I’m reading it on my kindle, which means I have no physical evidence of how much more is left to go because it shows progress as a percentage. 1% of the book is eighteen pages long, and it’s a little draining to know that I can read it for half an hour and only have read about 4% of it. 

But things didn’t used to be like this.

In my early teens, I could easily read seventy or more books in a year. It never took me more than two weeks to finish reading a book, no matter how long it was. I would finish a 500-page book and start another one of similar length in the same day, and have finished that one four days later. And I thought the longer the book, the bigger the challenge. Eventually, I had read so many books that my mum got annoyed with how much space they were taking up in my tiny bedroom and started having me box them up every couple of months so she could put them in the loft.

But the story of how I lost my passion for reading is just the same as the one about when I lost my motivation to do anything, and it’s not really fitting to tell in this post.

During my A Levels, I was reminded of how much I used to like reading. I was using two books as a reference for my coursework: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and One Day by David Nicholls. I’d borrowed them from the school library and promptly forgotten that they weren’t actually mine. Near the end of the year, I was issued a final reminder to return them, and I realised I hadn’t even read them because I’d opted to write a different genre for my coursework. 

I had three days to return them and no other hobbies taking up my time. So, that evening, I picked up The Fault in Our Stars and read the whole thing in one sitting. It took me eight hours, and at the end I closed the book and sat for a moment, overtaken by that feeling of having to return to reality after being absorbed in another world.

The next day, I got to reading One Day. This longer book also took me about eight hours to read, but in a number of smaller increments over two days, and I loved it. 

And that’s what I want again. I want to be so absorbed in a book that I forget how long I’ve been reading it.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to try by absolute best to replace a lot of my screen time with reading time. Because I spend upwards of five hours each day going between Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram just to scroll. If I spend that much time reading instead, I’d have finished the series I’m reading months ago. 

Less screen time, more reading time. Three books this year. 

This is easy.

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