August 30, 2013

Reading Too Much Might Be Numbing My Soul...

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

There are a lot of books out there. Like, a lot. I have close to 800 books on my Goodreads to be read shelf - even though I try to cut back all the time.

So what's the only logical solution to having too many books you want to read - y'know, aside from cutting back/reading the ones you REALLY want to read first and then figuring out the rest later? Basically, the only thing I could come up with it quit life and read always.
Considering I'm currently (f)unemployed, that's basically what I've done (even though the whole quitting life thing was pretty unintentional). Anyway, my point is, I've been reading A LOT recently. Which you think would be great, but, um... maybe it's not.
Here's the problem:

When I read a lot of books quickly, one right after the other, it's harder for me to be really impressed by a book. I mean, yeah, I'm probably more lenient with star ratings on Goodreads than most, so I don't feel like my reviews are really harming anyone or anything, but PERSONALLY, I find that I'm not feeling the feels as much as I did when I was more of a casual reader. Yeah, I'm getting my reading fix. I'm reading LOTS of books and loving all of these new stories in my life, but there are fewer and fewer books that are TRULY memorable - that hit me in the gut or cling to my back like an overenthusiastic toddler hopped up on sugar.
I feel like this is both a good and bad thing. Good because the books that REALLY deserve to stand out do just that. But maybe it's a bad because now books that might have stood out if I'd lazily read them a year ago just aren't doing that. And that makes me sad. Because I obviously want all of the books stand out. (Take THAT everyone who's ever said I'm a pessimist!)

I know this is kind of a whiny first world problems issue, but I almost feel like I've slighted myself and my reading experience by reading as much as I do as a blogger.
Because I really probably need it.
But, like, I'm not going to slow down or stop. I still have this insane compulsion to READ ALL OF THE BOOKS. I love watching the number of books read on my Goodreads grow week by week. And I love the stories I'm reading, even if I do forget the details of a lot of them as I go. Because, well, I guess the silver lining to all of this is that when I find a book that's the best of the best and really freaking good, I'll know it. And have a place (my blog/twitter) where I can public fangirl and book push.

Which is sort of why a lot of us are doing this, I guess.

Do you have a problem that looks like this one? Are fewer book hitting you as hard? If so, are you happy or sad about it? It can be a bittersweet thing, just be sure to let me know in the comments below!

14 comments:

  1. Omg, I feel you man. I'm like this too! The more I read, the more I think back to all the books I used to love and think 'wow, those really weren't that good'. Like you, I'm really lenient with my Goodreads ratings too but I completely understand when you say it gets harder to just LOVE a book like I used to be able to back in the day.
    Laura @ Music Plus Books

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  2. I agree, I've felt this too. I think it's a natural extension of reading more. Because you have more volume to sift through, your standards naturally become higher. A book has to do more to impress you than when you were reading less, simply because you have more to compare it to now. But I totally feel you on this, and sometimes I do regret not liking some books more than I do.

    CV

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  3. I definitely relate. Sometimes I wonder if I was reading some of my old favorites for the the first time now, if they'd still become favorites.

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  4. Yes! This is definitely happening to me. I am cold and hardened with bookish experience. I am book weathered. It takes a lot to pierce this toughened SHELL. You pick such brilliant tops for your Coffee Clutches, my love. Now to just convince you that coffee is the elixir of the gods...

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  5. I, too, have to read ALL THE BOOKS.

    Brilliant topic as always.

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  6. Yes, absolutely. I do have spurts where it seems like every book I read is AMAZING, but those are pretty few and far between. I've read too much and KNOW too much at this point. What might have amazed and pleased me as a casual reader now earns a shrug, because hey, it's been done, and I KNOW it's been done because I just finished a book last week that did it better.

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  7. I TOTALLY feel you, girl! Ever since I started blogging, I've gotten exposure to a lot of new authors/books/genres, but sometimes I feel like maybe all the hype is pushing me to read more books that aren't quite for me. Plus, because I'm reading more books, I'm noticing the trends and formulas that are present so it makes things more predictable. Or maybe my expectations are waaaay out of control (as I suspect). It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that creates such dissatisfaction, but I do know this... now when I find a book I like, I REEEEEALLY like it, more so than I used to. So with every downside there is also an upside.

    Wonderful post!

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  8. I too have lately felt this way. All the books are great, but they seem so predictable and not really special. I've been in a funk for the last couple of months, but it's nice to know I'm not alone in this. I just want to read what I want and not what I'm supposed to be reviewing and there are so many in the "review" pile that I feel overwhelmed and it feels like homework, even the books by authors I love or books I've been wanting to read, they just languish on my netgalley shelf and I go to the library and pick up 7 books that I don't need to review & just read them, though it still takes a while because I also have a lot of other stuff going on. (and man, that was a long sentence). but anyway, I've put a moratoriam on review books so I get get my mojo back. hopefully, it won't take too long. ~daphne

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  9. I used to, but I haven't been reading as much lately, too exhausted..lol I hope I can get back to reading a bit more though.. :)

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  10. This happens to me too, Gaby. I'll read a bunch in a row and then not only do I get sort of burned out feeling/blase, but I also find reviews harder to write BECAUSE I'm less impressed. If the books are only so-so then it's even worse. So I've tried to pace myself, but then I get behind, so I start reading quickly again and it's a vicious cycle. LOL.

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  11. I TOTALLY get this. Things like Netgalley review deadlines and library return deadlines and Goodreads challenge are always pushing me to read more and fast. But there's something to be said for just lazily reading a book and savouring it too. I recently did that with Wild Awake and LOVED it -- I was on holidays, and it was nice to just read at a slower pace for a little bit :). But I also had a review book on the go too, so maybe I'm not THAT leisurely.

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  12. Ahahaha, only 800 books on your to-read. *pats*

    Oh, yeah, I think it is harder to be wowed. Maybe I would have more top ratings if I read less? I don't know. You just have so much more to compare them to when you read them all back to back.

    But, yes, the really amazing ones stand out anyway. Like Fangirl. There was no hiding that light under a bushel.

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  13. You know what, I was just thinking about this the other day. Whenever I read books one right after the other (which is usually the case), I always feel like I'm getting numb too. There's less room for feels, and more room for feeling MEH. But the thing is, I LOVE reading -- and I read fast. I still can't find anything wrong with my constant ingestion of books. And I do take unofficial breaks when I just don't feel like reading, so I suppose that might help out as well! Haha.

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  14. You know what, I was just thinking about this the other day. Whenever I read books one right after the other (which is usually the case), I always feel like I'm getting numb too. There's less room for feels, and more room for feeling MEH. But the thing is, I LOVE reading -- and I read fast. I still can't find anything wrong with my constant ingestion of books. And I do take unofficial breaks when I just don't feel like reading, so I suppose that might help out as well! Haha.

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