{DISCUSSION} Importance of Reading

How important is reading?

As I am sure everyone who reads/follows any social media I am on my blog knows, I am in graduate school. And as I am sure most people are aware, graduate school is no joke. It kicks my ass. It is the reason why I announced earlier this month that I was cutting my blog posts down to two per week. It’s why I have been so bad at responding to comments. It’s why I put Calendar Girls on hiatus. Why I haven’t been around Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or Youtube.

It’s because graduate school is eating my life.

Now don’t get me wrong. I chose to do this. I am choosing to put in an excessive (or by their standards ‘limited’) amount of effort because I really love where I am at right now and the research and the people. It’s great! But please get me right when I say:

I miss my hobbies so gosh. darn. much!

It kills me to cut back my blogging, to barely finish reading one (300-page) book a week, to not watch any tv/movies Monday-Friday, to watch my piano and violin collect with dust, to forget words in foreign languages I was trying to learn, to not work out. Graduate school now requires 14 out of the 16 hours a day that I’m awake. That leaves all of 2 hours to take care of my dog, eat, clean my apartment, and do my hobbies. I am so far behind on stuff, I’m actually stressing out over my hobbies. It’s because of all of this that I have to ask myself (and of course all you lovely readers):

“How important is reading?”

I know! I know! I can hear the gasps and heart attacks from here. πŸ˜₯ It kills me to have to ask this question, but when I have a limited amount of time to spend on things I enjoy (and none of these activities even count as ‘de-stressors’ so I have to make time for those too), I have to decide what I really want to andΒ can spend time on. Naturally, reading comes up.

…because my bookshelf stares at me with the judgement of three dozen unread books.

…because almost every night of the week (and my Saturdays) goes to reading a book.

…because it’s the main topic of my blog and I do reviews each week.

…because I love it and destroying critiquing novels brings me so much joy.

But as I said, this hobby takes up a ton of time. Most weeks, it’s the only hobby I actually have time for, which means I’m not practicing music or languages, not writing my novels or short stories, not watching tv/movies, etc, etc, etc. Because reading takes up so much time to do, it seems like the logical thing to cut if I want to enjoy more of my hobbies. And yet… I have done this before.

For most of my life, I didn’t read books. I didn’t like reading books. Even when I did start to like it, I didn’t make time for it. I chose other things over reading and it’s only with a ton of effort that I have finally gotten back into it. So can I really do that again? Can I really put myself through the struggle of not consuming stories?

After all, stories are more than just entertainment.
They take us on adventures and broaden our minds.

They are worth far more than a tv show or a movie or video game. You must use your mind. You must use your imagination. There is so much more to reading than just reading and it’s because of that single fact alone that I don’t think I could cut reading from my life no matter how much time it actually takes up. I might skip a review when things get absolutely hectic, but I don’t think I could ever just… quit.

But what do you think?
How important is reading to you?
Leave your thoughts below!

And check out my discussion from last week:
‘Not Dead’ Cliche


33 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Importance of Reading”

  1. Reading is such an important and beneficial part of our lives. Obviously we know this, or we would not be here blogging and sharing πŸ˜‰ But like all things, it must be done at one’s own pace to be fully appreciated. Life is always going to be happening and even readers are allow to enjoy other hobbies (the horror, right?). So I always remind myself to just let it happen as it does. It is much more rewarding and enlightening that way ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was like that for me in graduate school – all the scientific reading and critiquing and working out experiments. I did very little else except take exams. I’ve been trying to make up for it every since! Hang in there – it WILL get better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh! That does not make me feel better, Noelle. πŸ˜‚ I am still catching up from high school and undergrad. I don’t need ANOTHER 4-6 years worth of books to catch up on. :p But I am trying to make a little time each night so that I read a few books. Perhaps I won’t reach my goal this year, but something is still better than nothing, right? And you gotta have something to offset all the science. :p


  3. Reading is definitely a critical component of my life; though I tend to break it down into different types of reading. Sometimes I read to learn (both fiction and non). Sometimes I’m reading for fun, but I’m reading for the first time, so I still want to be well rested, cause you only ever get one first time with a story. And I admit, there are times where both of those take a hiatus.

    Perhaps the most essential form of reading for me is rereading. There’s a strange way in which, once I’ve read something once, that sortof takes the pressure off. I don’t have to finish it, and I don’t have to worry about putting it down for a few days and forgetting what happened, or (more often) continuing until far too late/early because I just have to know how something resolves. Instead I can go at a leisurely pace, appreciating all the small things, because the big questions have been answered. That kind of reading is something I can never do without, and while I love the other two types, I’m particularly motivated by the desire to continue finding stories that I can enjoy time after time. Cause I read, at least a few pages, every night before bed, and there are definitely some stories that I’ve read a few too many times, but nothing helps ease me into sleep quite like revisiting a familiar favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BAHAHAHAHA! πŸ˜‚ Like I have time to re-read books. That’s funny, Adam. I have never re-read books and I think it boils down to the fact that I always need something new and I get bored easily. So knowing how a story ends doesn’t really make me want to read it again. :/ Additionally, if I am re-reading books, I can’t re-post my review on my blog and that’s another important reason why I try to read at least one book per week and always a new book. If I had more time, maybe I would re-read, but until such a day arises, only new books for me. :p

      Liked by 1 person

  4. hi – saw this article and loved it! It was a very early article in my own. For years I could never “find time” to read – now I realise life is what happens when you’re reading a book πŸ˜€ Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There are times in my life that I really limited my reading. not good 😦 But doable. Same with music. However, I have to either tread or be playing an instrument. I can stop both or I will die…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel that, Trent. I have, unfortunately, chosen books over music and I don’t know why. I love music WAY more than I love books, but I think it comes from having a blog and trying to keep up to date in the bookish world. Music doesn’t have a time frame, but music is a lot easier to lose than the ability to read. So… we’ll see. I’m still trying to figure out a good schedule for grad school. Maybe I will find one eventually that allows me at least a few minutes of everything. :p

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, I’m sorry graduate school has been so time consuming for you! Two years ago when I started taking classes just at my local community college, I was so consumed with it, I stopped blogging all together until this past month, and barely read 20 books each year! I completely understand how hectic your life must be right now and how difficult it is to incorporate time to read into your busy schedule. For me, reading is really important and it’s one of my favorite hobbies. Even if I’m not able to devote a whole lot of time to it sometimes, I love it and can’t imagine my life without books. I hope you’ll be able to somehow be able to set a little time aside to enjoy reading, Melanie! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww! Thank you, Kelly. ❀ And I completely agree. I have lived without books for many years and the thought of going back to that is very scary. I feel like I would be so detached from the world and bookish discussions 😦 Plus, I think the less I read, the less I write. So I am worried that I will stop writing too and then what am I left with for broadening my mind? Video games sure don’t do that. :p Though, they are great stress relievers. Hee hee!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I recall totally leaving reading novels when I was doing my post graduation. It was replaced by endless research papers! And it took time to come back to reading. You are still able to read with all the graduation overload is a miracle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand how easy it would be to give up reading altogether and focus on school, but I think I force myself to find time to read so I don’t overload on school. I don’t want to burn myself too early into grad school since I still have a few years to go. :p Reading helps refresh my brain every once in a while. Hee hee!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha! You are a true reader, Rae. I definitely don’t start to crave books. But I don’t really start to crave anything. No. Wait. Video games. I think because they are a legit stress reliever for me whereas books and tv and what not aren’t. But don’t worry. I’m still making time for books too. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Psh! I don’t go to the movies because it’s too dang expensive. It’s cheaper to buy a new book than go to the movies nowadays and besides, that’s what Redbox is for. :p

      And I have made reading a hobby, too. I enjoy keeping up to date on books and trends and what’s going on because it allows me something to chat with people about. I like that social interaction about books (because none of my real life friends or family read the same things I do. Hahahaha!) πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Reading is one of those things that demands quiet time for me. It’s so hard to come by, and it gets shared with my writing time too. I find that a book of shorts can let me get an entire story in with limited time available. You might try some anthologies or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well… the problem is that I have a TON of books on my shelf that I need to get through this year. I’m on a book buying ban until I get through at least half. (which I’ve been saying for like… 6 months minimum) and most of those books are 400+ pages. So I will likely end up not reading very many books each month just so I can finally get through some of them. Which sounds awful. I want to read them, but finding time to read longer books is hard for me and, like you said, it gets split with writing time. I haven’t written anything in WAY too long. 😦 My novels are totally going to suffer in grad school.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. Congrats! And you deserve a break. πŸ™‚ I have a couple short stories out for anthologies so it’s not like I’ve done nothing, but the anthologies take FOREVER to hear back from and in the meantime I’m just like: twiddles thumbs wastes time :p

              Liked by 1 person

              1. My short story books are all me, but it’s nice to have control. I’ve participated in two anthologies, but they asked me. I imagine they’re just like any other publisher when it comes to gleaning the stories.

                Liked by 1 person

                    1. Ah. Yes. They take quite some time to pick through the stories as I imagine they get a TON. The first anthology I submitted to took over 6 months to get back to me. Which is why I’m now trying to submit more often. That way I always have something out. :p

                      Liked by 1 person

  9. I totally understand about graduate school. I actually just graduated in September so I feel for you. I was unable to really get through more than one book a month while in school, but I agree. I don’t think I could ever completely cut out reading. It is much too important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. One book a month. That makes me so sad. 😦 Right now I am managing one book a week but these are very short books (like less than 300 pages) because I know I won’t have enough time each week to get through a 400-500 page book, but I have a TON of them on my shelf. :/ I will likely have to cut back to one to two books per month once I run out of short books, but then what am I going to post to my blog? :p

      Congrats on grad school, by the way! That’s so awesome! (And incredible. Grad school is hard!)

      Liked by 1 person

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