Saturday, February 27, 2010

Do I read too much?

The other night I attended a wonderful presentation at my favorite bookstore, Read Between the Lynes about books ideal for book group discussions. Part of the presentation was some giveaways, and for one of them the person who had read the most books year to date in 2010 would receive the prize; I won the giveaway because I said that I had read 15 books so far this year, and some people were shocked that I had read so many.
When I got home I looked at my 2010-reads list I set up on Goodreads, and found out that actually I have read 21 books so far.
I feel almost embarassed about this now. I know that I read more than most people, but not as much as some. I'm making a more conscious effort to read for quality over quantity, and I feel that most of the books I've read so far this year have been thought-provoking and caused me to slow down and appreciate them. Yet I have so many books on my to-read piles and on my to-read list that if I don't read as much as I do (at my lunch-break at work, in the evening instead of watching tv most nights), I will never get through them all in this lifetime.

Does anyone else feel self-conscious about their reading output?


  1. I guess I sometimes do: people say "you read a LOT!" and I feel like they are suggesting that I shouldn't read so much. But WHY should we be embarrassed? Are people embarassed by how much TV they watch? Or, how much of the Olympics they've watched, for example?

    This last week I watched 0 hours of tv. My son watched maybe 2 hours of tv and movies. I didn't watch any of the Olympics. Yes, I've read 30 books so far in 2010, but there is a reason...

  2. Don't feel bad..I've already read 117 books in 2010..and my goal was only 200 for the entire year!

  3. Personally, I think the only time a person reads "too much" is if she no longer has time to do the other things that are really, truly important to her - whether that priority is advancing her career, spending time with family, eating quality food, getting exercise, meditating/praying, making art, or whatever might be important to the individual. I couldn't care less if I'm reading more or less than a bunch of people in a crowd.

    Also, "how much do you read" is relative, & not that easily measured. Many people I know read some version of a newspaper (print or virtual) every single day. Some read more than one. I don't read any, nor do I own a TV, so it's not that surprising that I read more books. I guess what I'm saying is, don't be too hard on yourself, lady. :-)

  4. Rebecca, Deborah and Emily -- thank you for your comments.

  5. There's no such thing as "read too much". I get raised eyebrows from people when they hear how much I've read. Infact when people ask me what I want for my birthday/christmas and I say books they shout me down and say no, never, I read too much already. But that's what I want - books! I don't neglect my job or my husband and I don't have kids so how can they say I read too much? Instead of doing what?

    That said, Deborah, how have you managed to read 117 books already in 2010? Now that's impressive!

  6. I peeked at your Goodreads list for 2010, and I think your list is very impressive -- of course many of them overlap with my own to-read list.

    And there's nothing wrong with reading a lot. Nobody ever lay on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time watching TV or housework. I do sometimes fear I'll die before I finish my to-read list.


What do you think? Good or bad, I'd love to hear from you (but be nice - I'm sensitive!)