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Why I am taking a break from reading?

I know that as a fellow book lover, this post comes as a surprise to everyone. But let me explain my point.

2021 has been an extremely good reading year for me. When I started this year, I set my Goodreads challenge for 52 books, aiming to read one book a week. But I was reading much more than that. And hence I was able to reach my goal in less than 6 months. For sure, I bumped my target to 100. And today when I am writing this post my tally stands for 112 with still 2 more months left in this month.

So, when you are reading more than 2 books a week along with a full-time job, it is obvious that this is the only thing you are doing in your life. And that is very true for me. I have spent every free minute of 2021 devouring one or the other book.

So, now the question is what is the problem. But before let’s see

Why I get into this habit?

If you check my previous years’ Goodreads reading history it is never more than 40 books a year. I always love reading but there has always been a balance.

Humans are made for connections. As per various studies too, we as humans tend to avoid anything which might lead to feeling disconnected. And that’s why we get into so many activities defined by peer pressure, shame, perfectionism, and others.

And we all know Covid19 came as a major disruption in human connections. With my roommate moving out followed by disconnection from friends and social circle, and with my rotten luck with love and relationships, I am left with only 2 options. Either accept the pain of this human disconnection and loneliness or find some escape.

And guess what I choose the second option. It was easier and painless. I claimed that I am not reading books for escape because I am exploring so many genres from fiction to non-fiction, engaging in thoughtful discussions, and growing with it. But behind all these adjectives it was still an escape from the bigger issue in my life.

Any why is it bad?

I recently read a quote somewhere which I am paraphrasing here:

Don’t ignore the real relationships in front of you for the imaginary ones in your head

And it hit me hard. I was spending too much time inside my head ignoring the world around me. Recently I went home after quite some time and of course, there was a disruption in my normal reading during that time. But that period let me again experience the joy and warmth of human connections.

I realized that I am only using my two sensory organs to live my life, eyes, and ears. And that does not seem a very fulfilling way to live life.

So, what’s next?

Contrary to what one might derive from the title, no, I am not going to stop reading altogether. But I am going to balance it with other things in my life.

I remember that last year I love to spend time painting and exploring the colors. This year I rarely picked the paintbrush and canvas. I really want to explore my ignored hobbies. I also want to broaden my horizon of reading from books to other sources of learning.

And with the change of Covid19 from pandemic to epidemic state I will also try to rekindle my social relationships along with some caution. And who knows maybe I will break my curse of rotten luck in love and relationships 😉

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