Disclaimer: You need to know that I read all the time and I’m a very fast reader. I can usually start and finish a book in the same day. And when I’m on what I like to call a “reading binge” I can read up to 6 books a day.
This whole thing came about because of the the conversation I had with my dad this weekend. The conversation when something like this.
“So Courtney, what did you do today?”
“Nothing really. Why?”
“Well with it being a Saturday I thought you might do something fun.”
“I did. I read 3 books today.”
“What? Reading is fun!”
“I’m going to tell this story at work tomorrow. When I asked my daughter if she did anything fun on Saturday she said ‘I read 3 books’. And that was her idea of fun.”
This whole conversation got me thinking. And I know that my dad wasn’t being mean-spirited. He loves that I read. He’s the one who started me reading in the first place. But I’ve had variations of this conversation hundreds and hundreds of times since I started high school. And not everyone has meant it in a good way like my dad.
For some reason when people ask me what I did yesterday evening, over the weekend, over the holiday or summer vacation and I say, “I read” they give me a look like I’m a freak. Not everyone and not all the time but yes the majority of the time I get the “freak” look. Or at least the “Why in the world would you do that?” look.
I love to read. I read all the time. I actually think that my day is ruined if I don’t read at least 30 minutes. So here’s the thing, when people look at me weird because I like to read, I never quite understand why. Maybe they think I read too much? But really what is too much?
My definition of too much is when I read so much I don’t do anything else that I need to do. The moment I read to the detriment of my job, my family or my puppies then I’ve read too much. And yes, I have almost gotten to that point. I’ll even to admit going past that point in high school (really it was Algebra II and I don’t think I’ve ever needed anything I learned or did not learn in that class).
And another thing about “too much”. It changes depending on the time of year, my workload, my family or friend drama, and my puppies. So my “too much” in Winter is a lot less books than in the summer when I read at least one book a day. And family or friend drama means that I read more just so I’m not so stressed out. Plus “too much” is going to be different from person to person. I get that.
But here’s my really big deal with people getting snotty when I tell them I read all weekend. Why does it matter to them? The answer: it doesn’t. There is nothing wrong with me spending my weekend reading if I want to. It doesn’t effect them at all. It doesn’t hurt them.
So why do they act like I’ve done something wrong? Is it to make me feel like I’ve done something wrong? Is it to see if I’ll be embarrassed? Is it to make themselves feel better because they don’t read? I honestly don’t know but the only thing that happens when they react badly when I say I spend the night/weekend/holiday reading is that I get mad. And I do have other interests. I have 3 dogs who I play with everyday and I like to swim in the summer and do arts and crafty stuff when I can. I also love to shop and go to flea markets. I cook and spend a lot of time getting lesson plans ready. But yes, when I define myself I usually put reader at the top of the list.
So I’ll wrap this up with a few questions. How much do you normally read? How much is too much? Do you think there can be too much reading?