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I laughed when Tivo released QuickMode ™, the option to speed up shows with faster playback. I mean, I think if you need to look at something for homework or something (is that one thing?) And you really don’t want to see it, the faster the better it is. But if you are doing something for pleasure, why speed it up? At that moment I realized that I was doing exactly what I was doing with my reading: rushing through books as fast as I could to get to the next with my TBR, who can’t wait to read it, and also trying to break the previous year number of how many books I had read.

But why? Pizza Hut doesn’t give me free pizza for my reading services. There is no price that I work for. While some of my reading is for work, and when you like your job, joy and work are blurred, I’ve always read for pleasure. For the places I travel to. The people I meet – friends and enemies. It’s the time to be between the pages and break away from * wild gestures in the current world *. Why did I read instead to finish one book and get to the next faster?

Yes, the goal of a book nerd is always to read as much as possible because there are so many great books and so little time – * shakes your fist over the last stolen hour *! But getting to as many books as possible and what you read with the constant aim of hastening what comes next to the point that you are not in the moment of the book you are reading certainly wasn’t a goal I wanted. But there I was in 2020. You may just shudder when I mentioned this year, so yeah, your most likely assumption that the year itself probably had something to do with the break of my very long, great reading life is pretty exactly . But I think it just highlighted one problem for me that I hadn’t realized had started.

I kept checking the percentage of how much I had read and how much more I had to walk. I was already thinking about the next book I would read like it was more important to the one in my hand. I wanted to read in order to increase my annual reading count, and my actual reading life suffered badly. Who cares exactly what my carefully read book is all in all? Did I compete with the booknet? My past me? What exactly was the point? How did reading become a sport?

I started 2021 with a big step backwards. Every time I caught myself doing something in my reading life, I asked myself three questions: Why are you doing this? What’s the point Does it add to the enjoyment of your reading life?

Since then, I have forbidden myself to check which page / what percentage I am on and how much is left. This took most of the work such as not checking your phone.

It is not known how many books I read each month.

Pushing a book aside because it has too many pages and I could technically read two in its place is a ridiculous thing.

Related: Keep track of how many pages were in the book I read, goodbye.

Choosing the next books to read while I’m still reading my current books – unless you’re planning a newsletter for unusual suspects – is a thing of the past.

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Reading at EVERY moment, when I could perhaps only read three pages, has stopped – unless I read a page turner. In this case it is mandatory. But tiny bursts of reading – and I mean tiny, like the time it takes me to walk up two flights of stairs – wasn’t enough time to get into a book and break away from real life, and seemed to bind back to some imaginary The aim of “must read as much as possible as quickly as possible.”

And wow, has my reading life improved? I felt like I did when I was a child when I crawled into the world of a book to escape, to learn, to laugh, to cry, to meet so many people and see so many worlds. Now when I set a goal for myself I make sure that it is for my enjoyment and benefit, for example looking for more comics and narrative nonfiction / memoirs because I always really love them and just read less of them because I don’t take the time to look for those out. I still have a list of what I’ve read for work purposes and because my memory is so bad I would end up reading the same books over and over, but the number doesn’t matter. It never actually did.

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Meanwhile, I wondered where and why this had started and couldn’t find a definitive answer. I love to see what everyone else is reading, and I have never tried to outdo other people’s book inhalations, just my own. This allowed me to continue enjoying the community of book nerds on social media who keep track of things and / or share their STATS at the end of the month. Something can work for one reader rather than another, and all I had to do was figure out what camp I’d been in lately and make adjustments. And strangely enough, even though my goal was to stop trying to breathe in every book as quickly as possible, it seems like I’m reading more now than I was before. I think I just had to go back to reading for fun, and not some weird imaginary sport.