The Top 5 Ways to Kill Your Love of Reading

Did you resolve to read more this year?  Maybe you’ve dubbed this year as the year you finally start your own book club.  To be successful with either of these goals, you’ll need to keep that all-consuming passion for reading alive.  Here are five examples of what NOT to do.

I have been guilty of each and every one of these bibliophile misdeeds. To avoid making these mistakes, it helps to be cognizant of what they are and how they may put-off your love of reading. My list is, of course, not exhaustive. Please feel free to add other ways in which your enthusiasm for the written word has been destroyed or derailed.

1. By taking too long to finish reading a particular book – many a decent book have been utterly destroyed for me simply because I took too long to get through them. Sometimes this is because of a busy work or personal life that interferes with my time that is generally allotted to reading; others it is because I am reading the wrong book.

2. Because of reading the wrong book—what makes a book wrong? Some people say that if a book does not grab you in the first 50 pages that you should give up reading it. I don’t know if I, however, subscribe to an exact number of pages that must be read before giving up. Sometimes books get started a bit late. Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Everything is Illuminated” for example takes a while to get heated up, but once it’s there, this is one of the most incredible books.

3. Through turning your leisure activity into a chore—if reading as a hobby is very important to you, it’s best not to subject yourself to reading materials that can be deemed more as work than pleasure. A classic example of this phenomenon is graduate school. I am not suggesting that you forego higher education to maintain your zeal for the written word; rather i’d like you to understand that you may undergo a 2-, 3- or even 5- year hiatus in this instance.

4. In choosing to miss out on other activities to sit at home and read—so you’re a book-worm that probably means you, like many others who share your passion, are an introvert. That’s great, but don’t use reading as an excuse to miss out on some of the other things life has to offer, like a social life. Don’t get too caught up in the fictional realm that you forget that life exists outside of the pages of a novel!

5. Upon assigning too much meaning to fictional characters—Loved ‘Twilight’ and now find yourself pining for a boyfriend just like Edward Cullen? No man even comes close? Surprise, surprise. Never measure real people up to invented ones, everybody loses. Similarly, if you find a glimmer of someone you know in a villainous character, you may start subconsciously assigning some of the fictional player’s deeds to your real-life loved one. Don’t do it!

NOTE: This post was inspired by my attempt at Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, which was read intermittently from 09/30/2009 to 11/28/2009. This book was rendered a lost cause on November 28, 2009 at approximately 9:32 pm EST. ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ met its end at 251 out of 371 pages read. May another human being hopefully find it a worthy read and resuscitate this discarded tome.

Mrs. Storm

Writing everything from Sweet Romance to Children's Books to Nonfiction, Melissa loves books, birds, and bonbons--in that order. She has an advanced degree that she never uses.

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