Tuesday, 7 August 2018

How My Course Changed My Reading Habits


The other day, I was talking to a friend about which book I might read next and I made a comment about a couple of them being very long. She was confused because, well, these are novels that I want to read, right? So why should it matter how long they are? 

Well, that pretty much blew my mind.  

Something I realised then was that my course had completely changed the way I looked at reading. 

In the last year, I've read three extremely long novels: Bleak House, Middlemarch, and Pamela. Pamela is, admittedly, short compared to the other two (it's around 600 pages), but it feels longer. So much longer. I was reading to deadlines, so I just had to press on. Get on with it. I set daily page goals for Bleak House and spent entire days pouring over Pamela. Both of them seemed endless. I'd never been put off by the length of novels before, but having to force my way through books I hated was draining and, I'll admit, it put me off. 

It wasn't just abnormally long books either. Towards the end of my course, I was mentally exhausted. Reading made me miserable. It shouldn't really have come as a surprise then that upon finishing it I found it difficult to trek through any novel at all. That's how I ended up reading so many graphic novels. I needed a break. Then, of course, I felt guilty because I wasn't reading enough novels. Bear in mind that I'd been reading two or three novels a week for the last three years. I felt like I was doing something wrong.

I think that I'm back to normal now though, or getting there, at least. I joined the Banned Book Club over on Goodreads (which I've sadly neglected as of late, but I swear I'll be back just as soon as I've found a job), and I even read Alias Grace, which is close to 600 pages. 

Things are settling down again. They always do. It's only a matter of time...

This is rather more personal than I tend to go on here so, tell me, are your posts very personal or do you like to maintain a level of emotional distance?