My Musings

It’s OK to Take a Break.

break

Recently I have taken a break from reading and I haven’t picked up a book for over a week. No real reason other than I just don’t want to. I love reading, I really I do and most of the time I’d be more than happy to spend all day, every day reading. But, at the risk of getting lynched (ask me nicely and I’ll post something controversial worthwhile for you to lynch me over) and having to hand in my book blogger membership card and ID (my number is 666 – which is pretty cool and I must be the Devil’s favourite blogger) I have enjoyed stepping away from it and having a break.

Whilst taking a break though there has been this voice in my head, nagging, niggling away at me and making me ask myself that because I am a book blogger should I be reading every day? That, whether on days when I don’t want to read should I push through and do it anyway because it is expected of me. I mean, how can I be a book blogger if I’m not reading?๐Ÿค”

At the moment there is no discernible reason why I don’t want to pick up a book and read, I just don’t. However, there are also myriad other reasons why I might not want to read.

I might finish a book and decide that instead of diving straight into another book that I want to take a day or two away from reading before I start my next book. I might want to type my notes up and write the review for the book that I just finished before starting my new read as, that way, I’ll be able to start that new book with a blank slate and no outstanding reviews that I need to find words for and write.

I might be procrastinating and even though I have 50,000 (slight exaggeration on the size of my TBR but, ya know, I am male, we exaggerate where sizes are concerned) books to choose from I might not be able to decide which book I want to read next and I end up spending a couple of days figuring out what I am in the mood for. That’s not my fault. It is the fault of all of the authors who write such amazing books, the blurbs that all sound so enticing and the covers that all look so stunning and that of course, the books themselves that all whisper ‘read me‘.

I might have other things going on in my life. Obviously not a social life, I’m a loner and an outcast and I don’t have one. If I had a partner (I don’t, no woman wants me and I am like an aged book on the shelf, getting near to being called a classic with dust and cobwebs clinging to the spine and my story remaining unread) I could be spending time with them and I might not be able to pick up a book – I might have my hands full with other assets instead!๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜œ C’mon, harmless filth for the win.๐Ÿ˜‰ I shall even mansplain it to you. By assets I mean another four-letter word that come in a variety of shapes and sizes just like books, that sounds very similar to books and that are boobs ( . ) ( . )

I could be ill and that that might stop me from reading. I can’t read when I have a bad headache anyway as it makes my head spin and the headache worse. But, I could be suffering from a cold, a virus, the dreaded man flu and I might just want to curl up and die rather than read. Or, I might want to plot my violent and bloody revenge (think Deadpool mixed with Rambo) on whoever I caught the germs from and have no time for reading as I spend my time thinking of even more grisly and gruesome ways to get my vengeance.

Maybe I had a bad day at work which would usually have me reaching for a book with both hands to escape into when I get home. But, at other times, it might not. I could just be having an off day and I can’t focus enough to read. There are personal issues, sometimes darkness follows me, stalks me and if I’m having a down day I might find solace in a book. But, like with a bad day at work. At other times, I might not as it can be a struggle to focus when dark thoughts are plaguing me and try as I might I just can’t find enough clarity and peace to be able to read more than a few pages and ultimately, even if I want to read.

We never know what is going to happen, life might get in the way, something might occur that is beyond my control, that old saying ‘shit happens‘ and something important/unexpected happens that takes priority and that means that I can’t pick up a book and read.

The reason I don’t want to read could be as simple as either, time got away from me. Or, I just want to chill out and relax some other way. Catching up with TV shows, watching a film or spending a few hours playing a video game instead of delving into a book.

As I wrote at the beginning of the post I love reading, I do and I tend to get antsy if I have a book on the go and can’t for whatever reason get a chance to read. I mean, I often get annoyed if I only find time to read a few pages when all I want is to spend a good chunk of time devouring the book. Honestly, there is nothing better than losing myself in a book and it is something that I enjoy immensely. But, it doesn’t mean that I have to do it every day. I also asked back at the start that as a book blogger should I be reading every day? The answer to that question is no, no I shouldn’t. If I want to read each and every day then that is OK and if I don’t, then that is OK too.

Reading is a hobby, it should be fun and as a hobby, I shouldn’t feel any guilt or pressure over it. I should be able to take a break, take a day off and the weekend away from it without questioning whether or not it is OK for me too because, simply, it is OK.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ“š

Not reading every day doesn’t make me any less of a book blogger than those who read multiple books daily. It doesn’t make me any less of a book lover either and it doesn’t make those that do any better than me. We all love reading whether we read daily or not and whether we read 10 books, 50 books, 150 books or 300+ books a year.

It’s OK to be you, you are good enough, it’s OK to be a fast reader, it’s OK to be a slow reader, it’s OK to read one book at a time and it’s OK to read multiple books at the same time too. Do what suits you, do what makes you happy and remember that if the enjoyment is fading then it is OK to take a break. The books will still be there tomorrow, in a day or two, next week or whenever you next feel like picking one of them up.

This post is about reading in general and not ARC’s but for those who feel pressured by ARC release dates and the need to have the book read and reviewed by then. No-one ever died from missing a release date, you aren’t the first, you certainly won’t be the last, a review is still a review regardless of when it is posted, you aren’t letting anyone down and the world won’t end either.๐Ÿ“š

To end the post I will finish with some of what I have written is also applicable to blogging too.

Blogging can be hard, it can feel like there is lots of pressure associated with having and running a blog and it can be a stressful endeavour. If you want to blog daily then blog daily and if you don’t, don’t. Don’t want to read other blogs daily, don’t. You get the picture, do what you want.๐Ÿ‘ There is no right or wrong way to blog and we are all different. We all run our own blog how we want and we are all run our own blog in the way that is right for and that works for us. Different not better and it perhaps needs to be written that no-one is better than anyone else and no way of blogging is better than another.

Reading is a hobby and blogging is a hobby too. There are no expectations or rules that need to be obeyed. If it all gets too much, if you lose the fun or, simply because you want to then please remember that there is no shame and that it is perfectly OK to take a break from both blogging and/or reading.๐Ÿ‘

77 thoughts on “It’s OK to Take a Break.

  1. So that’s why you haven’t been posting as much. Hey, if you don’t feel like reading, that’s cool. Just becoz you’re a book blogger doesn’t mean you need to read every day. No way, Josรฉ! ๐Ÿ‘ Hang up your reading hat, buddy. Pull on the chill-ax one ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But seriously, I support you! *waves up a cheerleader pom-pom*

    You take care.๐Ÿ˜˜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not posting as much?! And there I thought I’d had a pretty good blogging month…I even did a couple of memes!๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜œ There has been a distinct lack of original content from me now for months and months, probably getting near to a year but that is due to hassle I received over a post and the fact that I decided I couldn’t be arsed with the grief.

      I don’t post many reviews anyway as I am a slow reader.๐Ÿ‘

      I’m not hanging up my reading hat for good, I’m sure I’ll be back at it soon. At least, I hope so, I love reading and while I’m enjoying my break I do find it weird that I don’t want to currently read.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ“š

      Thank you, I will, you too.๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol yeah I saw the memes ๐Ÿ˜œ but it felt like you hadn’t been posting as much.

        I’m glad you’re enjoying your break. What you’re describing looks like a reading slump. I hope you feel like reading again. But definitely hang the hat for a little while ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can so identify with you on this…well most parts…no pun intended. I love to read and share a good book on MurderInCommon.com (shameless promotion) but sometimes I tire of reading a book with a view toward others – not just for me. Luckily, the feeling passes and I’m back at it with a vengeance.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I finally decided I can’t engage on every platform. So I do lots of review posts on my blog (I’m trying to create more non-review content, but it’s so time-consuming…), and I am pretty active on Instagram, too (also time-consuming). But you’re right that there’s only so much time in the day, and you can’t beat yourself up for not reviewing every book exactly when you wanted to. At the end of the day, this is still a fun side hobby for most of us, so why not treat it that way. Enjoy all your, uh, extracurriculars during your reading slump. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It wouldn’t a post from me and my blog without extracurriculars and filth, I like to amuse myself with adding some craziness to posts.๐Ÿ˜‚

      I totally agree, non-review content is time consuming and it can also be really hard to think of ideas and then actually write the post.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I know full well the feeling of just not wanting to read. That was me last year. I think i spent more days not reading that actually reading.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is the blogpost I needed! Iโ€™ve stopped blogging (maybe temporarily, maybe not) because I was getting fed up with feeling the pressure to post reviews and it was ruining my reading enjoyment. Now Iโ€™m reading for the sheer joy and itโ€™s awesome. Great post Drew, and thank you for reinforcing that to love books doesnโ€™t mean dedicating everything to them! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you.๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ“š

      It doesn’t, it is very true that just because we love books our every waking hour doesn’t need to be dedicated to them.

      There is definitely a pressure, ARC dates don’t bother me, perhaps I’m weird as they do for most but having to review any book, ARC, my own I struggle with as I doubt my words and often feel pressure over the quality of my reviews.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s so nice to be reminded of all that you wrote, as many of us are in the same pot, but rarely anyone talks about it. I’ve had several big blogging breaks which started small, by missing a post, then two, then ten, and by then I feel so ashamed to even open WordPress, let alone write anything. Then I spend a lot of time gathering up courage to start posting again. Rinse and repeat. I think we should remove that shame by speaking more about this. Great post and thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The one greatest bookish change Iโ€™ve done for 2020 is created a TBR jar. I canโ€™t even begin to tell you how darn exciting it is to shake that jar, pick a folded post-it note, and then start reading a book, randomly chosen by my other half usually ๐Ÿ˜‚ Itโ€™s on my bookshelf/kindle because I put it there. So I MUST OF wanted to read it. Doing away with that โ€˜nah, donโ€™t fancy that one yetโ€™ attitude is very liberating. Iโ€™ve finally found out that I didnโ€™t even like or finish The Night Circus and randomly picking Matt Wesolowskiโ€™s Six Stories was the ultimate reward because that book is incredible!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I don’t remember when I reviewed ARCs on release day. Oh hell, I even miss tour dates sometimes! I definitely feel guilty for that. Even though I don’t read according to release dates, it does get overwhelming. I take a day or two break almost every week now. Most of the time it’s for family and to have just relaxed day. It feels good to take break and it’s really okay. Aren’t we blogging for ourselves first? Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This. A thousand times this. Well-said, and something I think needs to be said.

    No matter what your reasons are for taking a break, there’s no shame in it. For me, it was partly life stresses and partly that sense of review obligations that shut me down for about 4 months last year. Stepping back was the best thing I ever did. Like OwlBeSatReading said above, just reading for pleasure was exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries and give me a sense of perspective. No timelines, no expectations, no release dates, just the pleasure of plucking dusty old books off the shelf.

    Enjoy your break and know you’re not alone in needing it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thatโ€™s really refreshing to hear. Iโ€™ve always believed that you, as an author, have poured goodness knows how much blood, sweat and tears into writing your book, so as a blogger I should respect that and pay it the attention it deserves.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been on a reading break since Christmas, I just cant seem to pick up a physical book but I have been listening to audio. I really dont know why I cant but I told myself that starting tomorrow I will read something, even if it’s only 10 pages!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Completely agree. I had to take a two month break from reading, blogging, bookstagram etc last year due to being seriously ill, and even though I could barely lift my head up I STILL beat myself about it the whole time! It’s good to be reminded that life happens, and it’s fine if that means taking a break for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Of course it’s ok to take a break – or a vacation! Last time I looked slavery had been abolished… ๐Ÿ˜‰
    And some time off always gives us a better perspective and renewed energies – just don’t turn those energies into that Deadpool/Rambo combination because it sounds quite ominous!!! ๐Ÿฅถ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

    ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

  13. This is so true, I think the pressure to be reading a lot for a book blogger is HUGE. I always have to remind myself that whatever I get read is enough and that I should be proud of any blogging I get done whilst holding down a full time job and family! Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Way to go, Drew! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I take breaks every now and then, and I think I’d be a worse reader/blogger if I didn’t – sheer exhaustion would take its toll on quality at some point!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Couple of years back I did the same. And it showed in my final reading tally for that year. I read a grand total of 16 books. Some of which were short stories.

    I enjoyed just ‘going dark’ as far as reading and blogging went though. Feel I’ve enjoyed reading a lot more since.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’ve been going through a phase of reading without reviewing the book. I am reading for reading’s sake and it feels like a welcome indulgence.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I go through phases (sometimes they last weeks) where I don’t feel like reading much either. That or I keep starting new books and get bored and put them down like 10 pages later. I’ve been doing a little bit of that lately and I’m not sure what to read to snap out of the funk. (I’ve also been terrible at writing and blogging the last few months. I wonder if anyone is even following me anymore, lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. As always, I laughed at various points through this! So thankyou once again for brightening my day!

    I agree with so much of this, I read and blog because I enjoy doing it, if I stop enjoying it I step away for a bit, and Iโ€™ve stopped even looking at my stats because they just make me cringe.

    I think sometimes we get sucked into worrying about doing everything for everyone, and forget that this started out about shouting about our OWN enjoyment. Whatโ€™s the point then if you arenโ€™t enjoying it anymore??

    And I think with anything you do, for whatever reason, every so often you just need a change of pace! Nothing wrong with that ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ Iโ€™ve had a couple weeks recently where i just couldnโ€™t get into anything new, and when I realised i was getting stressed about it i stepped away and reread some favourites, because at the end of the day I read to enjoy it, not because i HAVE to. So if itโ€™s not fun ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

    Itโ€™s also why I have taken a huge step back from the amount of Blogtours I was doing, because I want to spend more time just doing my own thing again xx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Really enjoyed reading this post, I have been really pushing my reading this year because of ARC dates so have read 32 or so books, but am in bed with the flue or something right now and just canโ€™t read, yes I feel guilty, but why? Reading is a hobby, as is blogging, so if I take a few days off it shouldnโ€™t matter. So many things you put in your post resonated with me, so thank you for writing it down. I donโ€™t work so donโ€™t have to deal with that, but I live with pain, and darkness which comes and goes. Socially isolated, reading is like company for me, but I have missed watching some things I have recorded on tv, so doing that for a couple of days. Blogtour reviews are written, so no worries there just have to post them in the day. I tend to write my reviews as I finish reading a book, if I didnโ€™t then would probably get books mixed up. I have noticed if writing from a book on my kindle I have to make lots of notes, as itโ€™s too much hassle going backwards to find names etc. But if I have an actual book so much easier to find what I want from the pages. My blog is pretty basic really, took me a while to even work out how to set it up. I will probably mix it up a bit in time, or not!
    So glad I donโ€™t have to feel guilty for not reading for a few days.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hey just wanted to check in…. was just thinking it’s been awhile since seeing you on twitter and/or posting. Like you, outside of a very part-time (12-15hours a week) job, I dont have a social life either, so I tend to notice when people I am used to seeing daily go poof. So please don’t take this as a judgement or pressure of any kind. You have to do you. I have had a hiatus or two. It happens. And you have to care for yourself. Just wanted to say hi and see how you are doing! I cant dm you on Twitter so I am posting here. Hope all is well- susan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the comment and for notificing that I haven’t been around, I really appreciate it.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ƒ I’m doing OK thanks, I guess, dancing with my demon’s a bit at the moment and just needed a break away from SM and blogging but, I should be back in a couple of weeks, hopefully.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ever dance with the devil in the pale moon light?

        Sorry couldnt help it… no worries… going through some stuff mentally too…. but I’m glad you are taking care of yourself. If you ever need anything dont hesitate to reach out! Look forward to seeing you back and around otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Hurrah for this post!! I donโ€™t post every day … I feel rather proud of myself if I post once a week TBH … but just recently I decided to be a deviant blogger – to read a book and not feel I have to write a review on it. As a โ€˜treatโ€™ to myself. To just enjoy the pleasure of reading for readingโ€™s sake. It feels distinctly naughty

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Well said Drew! Glad to be back blogging again but Iโ€™ve found I have to go at a slower speed. And Iโ€™ve given up on the release dates for now. Iโ€™ll get to them, eventually, and Iโ€™m being very good and not hitting that request button (or even looking at NetGalley) right now. I just have too much going on to add to that stress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nothing wrong with getting to them eventually, the books will still be there missed release date or not.๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ“š At the end of the day we do this as a hobby and owe nothing to anybody, nothing wrong with stepping back, missing dates, etc and honestly, with how the world has been this year blogging at all is a win.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ“š

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope- youโ€™re not a bad blogger. We all need to cut ourselves a little slack. I donโ€™t even really worry about it if itโ€™s just one or two books but Iโ€™m currently set up to miss probably 5/6 dates.

        Liked by 1 person

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