Have you ever felt guilty about something you shouldn’t? Like guilty about studying, watching TV, going out, or even reading? I have. Many times. I assume it’s part to do with my anxious nature. But anyway I wanted to have a little discussion post about reading guilt.
The way I see it there are two types of reading guilt, and they are the complete opposites of each other. I have experienced both types in this past year multiple times.
Guilt for reading when you have other responsibilities
I’m sure you’ve all had moments where a book grabs you so completely you forget about the world for hours. At the time it feels great. Those addictive novels usually end up being 4 or 5 star reads for me. I have no guilt for picking up such a good book in the first place.
The guilt begins when I take a break and think about all the things I should have been doing instead or reading. Usually it’s study that I’m neglecting. Sometimes it’s working on the blog itself or socialising with friends. Sometimes I can’t even find a reason I just feel guilty. It’s the most terrible feeling and can really put a damper on the joy you just experienced.
Guilt for not finding time for read
This form of reading guilt is even worse than the first. Every time I have a spare five minutes and I don’t read I feel it. Every time I look at my overflowing TBR I feel it. Every time I think of all the review copies I still haven’t read I feel it. Every time I see a new release I haven’t gotten to yet I feel it.
Guilt over ignoring responsibilities I understand because there’s usually something Very Important associated with it. Not reading guilt is almost irrational. No one is forcing us to read. We are under no obligation to read every book ever under the sun. Only a few are gifted with lightning fast reading speed to even get half way to achieving us.
Sometimes I think bloggers can feel this pressure more than most because we start to think we’re failing our readers and the publishers/authors who send us books to review. I know I certainly struggle with it. But it’s important to remember that they do understand how hard it can be to find time to read, everyone does. We’re not failing anyone by not reading, no matter what our brains receive. Unfortunately that’s easier said than done.