My Bad Reading Habits

I was tagged a while back by Rachel to show some of my bookish bad habits. So many of her points were relatable, but there are plenty of bad habits to go around… here are some of mine:

  • Thinking about my rating way too early – I don’t generally take any notes for my reviews until after I’ve finished reading, but I do try to keep up an ongoing mental roster of impressions. And thinking about what I want to include in my review always leads to thinking about how many stars I’m going to give. To an extent, knowing whether it’s a 5-star read or a 2-star read is going to impact the sort of review I’ll be writing, but it is totally unfair to any book to try forming a solid judgement when I’m only halfway or a third through the book. And by the time I get to the end, it doesn’t matter what I thought earlier anyway, because the rating almost always seems obvious by then, so all that worrying ahead of time about whether I’m going to say it’s a good book or not is just wasted worry anyway. Like I need more anxiety in my life.
  • Committing myself to too many books – I’m not generally bad at math, but almost every month I have the same problem with overbooking my reading schedule. I pick up 5 books at the library thinking, “yeah, I read more than that in a month, I can handle this,” and then I pull 5 books off my TBR shelf thinking the same thing, and at no point do I think “well, I average more like 8 books a month so I actually have to choose which of these stacks is more important.” And then I borrow a book from a friend and agree to a buddy read and decide to read a prize longlist.
  • Checking the page count first – Before I buy a book, I check the page count. Before I check out a book from the library, I check the page count. When a book I’ve ordered comes in the mail, the first thing I do is check the page count. Unless the book is extremely short or extremely long, the number has no bearing on when I will read the book. I just like to know. The reason I consider this a bad habit and not just a weird one is that looking up the page count means seeing the last page of a book first, and I concentrate so hard on not reading any of the ending that sometimes I accidentally see some of the ending just because I’m so focused on the fact that it’s there. I hate spoilers; I don’t know why I can’t stop checking the page count to help myself avoid them.
  • Mood buying when I’m not mood reading – I didn’t own a lot of books as a kid and as a teen. The school library and the public library were easily available, I was big on rereading, and I didn’t have an allowance or a nearby bookstore. Just in the last 3 or so years I’ve developed a problem with buying way more books than I can keep up with reading. Other than the numbers of what I’m buying and what I’m reading simply not matching up (apparently I’m just bad at book math in general), my biggest issue is that I buy what I’m craving to read, but then I don’t read what I’m craving and the mood passes. I definitely own books that I think I would have appreciated more if I had read them right away instead of waiting. Which goes hand in hand with:
  • Saving the best for last – If I have two unread books in my hands, one of them inevitably excites me more than the other. Instead of reading the exciting one, I start with the one I’m not as sure about so I can end on a high note. Except by the time I’ve read that less-exciting book, I’ve got two more books in my hands, and I’m picking up the less exciting one again just to get that out of the way. And the cycle continues, because there are always new books and I can’t stop buying and borrowing. But if I keep on saving the best for last, I will never get to those books I’m most excited about. I know that no matter how many years I live, I will die with hundreds of books left on various TBR lists. So why am I saving the good books? Why do I put aside books I’m incredibly excited about or interested in? The world may never know. This is the habit I most want to break, because… it’s ridiculous. I need to become one of those Eat Dessert First people.

I’m tagging: Amanda, Nirmala, Claire, and anyone else who wants to confess some bad reading habits. (No pressure of course.) Comment below or link back so I can see your habits!

Sincerely,

The Literary Elephant

 

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9 thoughts on “My Bad Reading Habits”

    1. Oh, totally! Especially if there’s been a long wait between books, it’s so easy to just keep waiting even when the next one is released, just to savor being in the middle of it a bit longer…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can totally relate to some of these, especially checking the page count with every book I read (or nearly read). My worst habit though is reading too many books at once. I have about 6 on the go at the moment and that’s kinda normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m definitely familiar with book juggling. I usually try to only focus on one at a time, but I do tend to pause a book in the middle to start something new and then go back to it later. I don’t usually have an issue with keeping the stories straight, but it can feel overwhelming at times to have several books going! I hope you’re enjoying all 6 of your books. 🙂

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  2. Committing myself to too many books is my huge problem as well. For some reason EVERY MONTH I think I’ll be able to balance ARCs, random backlist books, buddy reads, literary prizes, and various new releases I’m excited about. I always end up getting stressed out which is so dumb when reading is a hobby in the first place. And I’m also always thinking about my star rating as I read, which is rather unnecessary. Also, checking the page count! The page count is the first thing I look at every time I look up a new book on Goodreads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES, that’s exactly what happens to me as well! You’d think the lesson to avoid overscheduling would sink in eventually, but the excitement for the unread always wins…
      And I’m glad I’m not the only one checking the page count! I think in your list you mentioned checking the number of pages in the chapter, which I also do sometimes, but usually only when I’m getting bored so the reasoning makes sense there for me. I have no idea why the overall page count seems so important but I can never resist.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am definitely guilty of letting the page count be the deciding factor in whether or not a book goes on my TBR. Which makes no sense because some of my all-time favorite books are ridiculously long. But long books still intimidate me for no good reason.

        Liked by 1 person

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