Being involved in the bookstagram community and trying to start a book blog, I often feel as if I am not reading enough. I am a slow reader. Sometimes this bothers me since I cannot get through as many books as fast as other readers. Other times I don’t mind being slow because I get to spend more time with the characters and really immerse myself in their world for a few days. But there are so many books out there I want to read and not enough time! I find it hard to carve out any time to read during the busy semesters of pharmacy school. If I do take the time to read I feel guilty that I am not studying. During summer and winter breaks I have more time to read after work which is really nice. A lot of the book community seem to make reading a competition, especially on social media. While I am proud of those who somehow manage to burn through hundreds of books a year, that is just not practical for me. I almost feel as if some people look down at readers like myself who find it hard to read even 50 books a year.
Another downside to not being a speedy reader is the never ending TBR (to be read) pile. I have been blessed to have an entire room dedicated to my overflowing bookshelves. I love buying books just as much as I love to read. But I put myself under so much pressure that I need to read faster because I have so many books that I still have yet to be read. Then new books come out all the time that I just have to have so it is a never ending cycle. I’m at the point that I am drowning in my TBR pile.
When people find out that I love to read, the first question they tend to ask is what I like to read. Being in my late twenties, it is often embarrassing to say that I like to read YA (young adult). People often scoff, judge, or look at me like I’m a weirdo. But YA is honestly the best. There is so much adventure in the stories and so many amazing authors in this genre. I’m also not into reading about sexual encounters, which are often avoided in YA. I get to enjoy the romance and love without having to feel uncomfortable reading smut. People also seem to judge that I am not reading for knowledge but purely for fun. Reading is my escape. I do read non-fiction books on topics I am interested in, however they are not my go-tos. I really hate when I see posts that only validate those who read classics. I love many classic novels. They are classics for a reason. But just because you read them, it doesn’t make you superior. Additionally, if you exclusively read classics you are missing out on so many awesome stories.
In my opinion reading is not a competition. You should read what you want to read and at whatever speed is natural for you. If anyone else is feeling like they are inadequate readers, don’t. You are fabulous! Read whatever you want to read and do not let anyone make you feel like you’re below them. Reading should be fun, you do not need to rush. Take your time and enjoy that book!