One of the big ~conundrums~ in my life is that I’m really good at developing bad habits, but really bad at developing good ones. It takes me weeks to talk myself into wanting to develop a good habit, for example, and a few more weeks talking myself into starting, and a few more weeks before I actually start.
Now, that might not sound too bad if the habit stays with me forever, but that’s 100% not the case. Often what happens is I “let go” and “take a break” for a day, and soon I forget about working on that habit and just totally give up on it. I’m that bad. 🙈
Anyway! This list has to do with my “bad” reading habits — bad in quotes because, well, it’s all pretty subjective. Let’s get to it. 😊
1) Reading on the bed.
I read mostly in bed — at night on weekdays, and in the mornings on weekends. I always start out good: lots of light, back straight (or at least upright), book in hand… and then I get lazier and lazier as time goes by and suddenly I’m lying on my side or on my back, completely horizontal, and only using my nightlight. I think I’m ruining my eyes, guys. 👓
2) Not taking notes.
When I read, I like to be 100% uninterrupted, and taking notes sometimes takes away from that. It’s great, but then I find myself needing to write a review having forgotten pretty much the fine details. This is probably why I’m really, really fond of reading e-books — the process of taking notes and jotting down quotes is just faster, easier, and more convenient.
3) Skipping to the end.
Have you ever encountered a scene so tense, you just have to know if the characters make it out alright? I have, and quite often too.
When the anticipation gets unbearable, I flip to the very last page before I could stop myself. Then I breathe a sigh of relief (or swallow a cry and then remind myself not to get attached), and go back to where I paused reading. It calms my heart, but it also sometimes takes the excitement away from reading.
Similar to the above, I guess, but I usually commit this ‘sin’ with books that have superfluous writing but tremendous potential. It gets tiring having to wade through dense, heavy purple prose, so after a while I just stop trying.
Case in point: Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight. Loved the premise, but the writing wasn’t exactly my style. I skipped all of the footnotes and basically skimmed the first few chapters of the book. 💁
5) Getting a gazillion books out from the library.
I think I’ve been guiltier of this ever since I started my bookstagram — I just want to take pictures of all the books and would even bring home things I’ve read before. I also get very reserve-happy and extend-happy and admit that I’ve held books for longer than one month at a time, during my worst.
My highest personal count is 12 library books. That doesn’t sound too bad when you consider how big some people’s hauls are, but it’s an amount heavy enough to lug to and from the library! Almost back-breaking, if I were to be honest.
6) Tuning out audiobooks.
I usually listen to audiobooks (or podcasts, they’re very similar to me) when I’m at work, and sometimes I just don’t even try to really listen. Like, I’m listening, but I’m not actually hearing things, you know? And soon I find myself listening to Chapter 6 having no idea who the characters are or even (honest) what book I’m currently ‘reading’.
This mostly happens with fiction audiobooks — I do OK with non-fiction and I love podcasts, but give me an element of fiction and you lose me after the first three minutes. I still don’t know what it is! Maybe I just haven’t found a narrator that works for me. 🎧
7) Losing focus when reading.
Most of my reading is done after 10pm, just before bed, and often find myself reading until well after midnight. 3-4am nights aren’t that rare in the house of Reg — I’m obstinate enough to want to finish a book before I sleep, no matter the condition. Drooping eyelids? Whatever. Early morning start? Pretty much my reality every day of the week.
The bad thing, of course, is that my eyes might be reading, but my brain has practically shut down. Sometimes I have no idea what I just read, but I power through anyway. 0/10, would not recommend. 🙅
Pretty much any time after lunch is snack time for me. I have little to zero self-control and could likely eat all snacks all hours of the day if I ‘let go’.
This is especially dangerous when reading, because I’m just not paying attention to what’s going into my mouth and suddenly I’ve eaten a whole bag of chips, a bar of chocolate, AND a whole box of chocolate chip cookies without even really feeling it. 🍪
I’m perpetually running out of time to do the things I actually want to do, so I’m perpetually attempting to multi-task. Keyword here, of course, being attempting.
Very often I find myself sitting in front of the TV catching up with the latest episodes of a show, with my laptop open to reply to blog messages and such, and a book in my hand. The end result? I end up missing a lot of tiny little details and often have to rewind my show and continue that book later. 😕
10) Reading too many books too quickly.
Okay, okay, this one doesn’t sound that bad, but if you’re anything like me… it’s pretty bad. I may be a fast reader, but I’m also really easily bored. Reading too many books too quickly is a sure-fire recipe for a burnout or a reading slump for me, and I have to very carefully tread the line between ‘reading a lot’ and ‘reading too much’.
I can read a lot, but I also need to be doing a lot of other things. 💪
Now that that’s over, let’s talk! 💖
- Do we share any of the same reading habits?
- What are some of your ‘bad’ reading habits? Are you actively trying to ‘fix’ them?
- If you’re like me — bad at developing good habits, good at developing bad habits — what has worked for you in the past?