I have a confession to make.
Just one, today. It’s one of my most closely-guarded reading secrets. Well, okay, maybe not, since I’m writing a blog post on it. But it’s not a confession that I’ve seen often, so I’d like to know if anyone else is infected…erm, AFFECTED by it. Please tell me I’m not the only one!
Okay, so the confession is this: for most of the books I read, I flip to the end and see how many pages I have left.
It’s not even just for books that I dislike.
It’s books I really LIKE as well. Not all of them – with some books, I don’t ever want to finish. But I guess this stems from not having ample time, as well as a huge TBR. When you’re constantly trying to read, read, read, it can be tempting to just want to rush through each book and start the next one. But there are a few reasons why this doesn’t work.
1) You don’t enjoy it as much
If you’re constantly counting down the pages – 200 to go, 100 to go – then you’re not really enjoying the story as much as you could.
2) You miss things
If you’re powering through a book to get to the end, you’ll probably miss vital things, or not understand it as well as you could, or FORGET THE MAIN CHARACTER’S NAME. That has happened to me waaaay too many times.
3) Reading becomes a chore.
And it SHOULDN’T be like that. Research conducted by the Loony Teen Institute says that this is how some people fall into reading slumps – they’re trying to get through so many books that they fail to enjoy the books they’re reading.
I mean, I’m not going to stop counting down pages for some of the books I read. It’s the way I cope if I’m not too interested. Plus, it helps me figure out how long it will take me to finish a book, so I can schedule reading around other things.
But I think if we’re doing that all the time, counting down to the finish and planning how long it’ll take us, we aren’t as involved in the world of the book as we might otherwise be. And honestly I think that’s quite sad. I wish I could go back to when I was a little kid, and could read for hours upon hours. Since I can’t, I try to read in short snippets, as often as possible.
My favourite books are the ones that make me forget how many pages are left, forget how long I’ve been reading, or the fact that I should be in bed. And that makes all the mediocre books worthwhile.