Over the last year, I’ve started reading more than I have done for a long, long time. Importantly, I’ve started reading more fiction. I used to devour fiction regularly when I was younger – I LOVE a good story. And it’s no coincidence that I’ve started writing more in the last year too. I love to write, and I love to read, and the two go hand in hand.
I’ve always had this idea in my head that one day I would have just one book that I really wanted to read at a time, instead of dozens that I am so-so about. That I would have no unread books at home, and going to the library or book shop would be a chance to slowly browse the shelves, looking for that one story that I could totally immerse myself in for the next week or two.
Instead, my reading tends to be haphazard – more now than ever before. I tallied up all my fiction books and I have four on my shelf waiting to be read, and four that I am currently reading – one of which I started over three years ago.
This is symbolic of how fragmented my life has become: I jump into things and never finish them, with something else always vying for my attention and drawing me away. My choice of books has been unconsidered, which means I tend to start them, feel disillusioned and then don’t finish them.
And those books that are unfinished – they are mental baggage, mental to-dos. I feel guilty for not finishing them. Sometimes, I even stop reading a book that I really like, and it sits for months before I pick it up again, because I have been distracted by some life event, or some general busy-ness and I forgo taking that time for myself, allowing myself the pleasure of reading.
I want to change my relationship with books to something simpler. I want to have more focus, on just one book at a time – and not any old book. A book I have chosen because I truly want to read it.
So, I’m going to finish those four book that I’ve been (not) reading all this time. I’m going to decide if I want to read the other four that are still sat on the shelf. I’m going to clear the decks and establish better reading habits. I’m going to seek out authors I love and find stories that speak to me.
I’ve updated my Goodreads account so I can keep a record of what I like and don’t like, in my quest to find more books that I truly LOVE, rather than constantly reading stuff that I am really just not that bothered about.
I’m reinstating and elevating fiction in my life!