I was reading this article over on Cup of Jo and it got me to thinking about how I read and other people read. The concept of ‘binge reading’ to me seems weird… isn’t this how you’re supposed to read? I just can’t understand how you would pick up a book if you only have 5 minutes spare. Still, it got me thinking about my reading habits and how they have changed over the years.
As a child I was constantly reading. I did a lot of other stuff too such as drawing, pretending I was a dog/cat/horse or playing with my railway set but reading was probably the thing I did the most. My parents are also avid readers but despaired of just how much I would do it! I’d curl up in a chair and read. I had to read for at least an hour before bedtime. I’d read at the table; if it was a cooked meal I’d cut everything into bite size chunks as soon as it was served so I could hold the book open with one hand and just spear my food with the other. Mum tried banning books from the table; during breakfast I’d actually just sit and read the cereal box over and over again.
This changed a lot as I hit GCSE years. In theory I had to do homework every night so I was reading for this rather than pleasure (in actuality I was one of those who would put it off until the night before it was due). I read a bit more during my A Levels partly due to taking English Literature so I had to read plenty of books for that. However it was at this age that I also discovered gaming plus my weekends were spent hiking with my parents and Saturday nights were our movie nights. I also did aerobics 2 nights a week with Mum so that left little spare time for reading. I still found time for half an hour before bed though.
University is where I pretty much gave up reading for ages. I was obsessed with MSN and gaming. I met my first boyfriend so most of the time was spent talking to him and he was not a book person. In fact he’s read 2 books in his life that I know of for pleasure, one being my all time favourite (Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman). I didn’t give up entirely during this time as it was also when I’d gotten into Harry Potter so the final 2 books were ones I deliberately bought on day 1 and read as soon as I could. Aside from that and staying on top of Terry Pratchett releases though I don’t think I read at all. We gamed most nights instead.
This became a habit and it’s only really since I got with my current boyfriend that I’ve been reading again. Admittedly this is the last 8 years so I’m well and truly back in the habit now but it’s still not a daily thing for me anymore. I rarely read during the day but do try to before I go to sleep each night. This doesn’t always happen though; if I’m too tired to concentrate there’s just no point. Sometimes though I will still get truly engrossed in a book and then I will put aside everything else just to read, no matter what.
I don’t know what it is about reading that I love so much but I could read for hours whereas ask me to watch TV or movies for more than a couple of hours and I get restless and bored. There’s something about a book that just grips me. I still prefer a ‘real’ book but the Kindle works when it has to; I take this when I visit my parents though they have more than enough books to entertain me as well. I just can’t get into audiobooks though. I also don’t understand how people can have more than one book on the go at once (unless it’s one fiction and one non-fiction).
What are your reading habits? Have they changed and is it for the better?