Why it’s Okay to be a Slow Reader | #BookSnail

So I have a weirdly inspired, random and rambling post for you all today. Today, I want to talk about why it’s OKAY to be a slow reader and have about 3% of time to actually do what you love doing; to be able to tell yourself that it’s okay and you’re doing a good job.

Image result for disney gifs

I was actually inspired by this post because I recently read Nicole @ Thoughts Stained with Ink’s latest post about how blogging changes us as readers. And it got me thinking. Because it’s SO relatable. And SO many of us get down by our inability to read more.

Image result for disney gifs

I mean, right now I should be editing my book or finishing an ARC I’m reading for review. But instead, I’m blogging because damn, I just don’t care and I want to be FREE this Friday night (which it is, as I’m writing).

Image result for disney gifs

So let’s go down the rabbit hole for a minute or two and talk about me and you and how we’re actually pretty awesome. Especially if you’re dunking a digestive biscuit into a tea as we speak, then you’re extra awesome. In true fashion of me, this is a very long post. But I shan’t apologise.

Image result for disney gifs


A Very Long (but Interesting?) Backstory about Me

Back in the day (I say this as a joke but it *has* been four years since I started blogging and jesus christ, where did the time go), I picked my handle (name) ‘ozbooksnail’ which has ever since confused people. It’s strange – but it does have a meaning.

Image result for disney gifs

Let’s go back further before we explain it.

As a child, I freaking HATED reading. I feel like I’m definitely on the minority side here when it comes to book bloggers/youtubers’ childhoods. Everyone else seemed to love reading. You all grew up devouring C.S. Lewis, Austen, Tolkein, Tamora Pierce, Cornelia Funke (and I would include J.K. Rowling but plz, as scrooge-y as I was, I *did* read HP as I grew up).

Image result for disney gifs

I, did none of this. At the age of 22 I read my first Tamora Pierce book. At the age of 18 I read The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time. At the at of 23, I’ve still yet to finish Ranger’s Apprentice. And so on. My reading history is a dark horse we daren’t look at.

Image result for disney gifs

Just kidding, because it’s important. When I first picked up a book (Tiger’s Curse by my beloved Colleen Houck) that I FELL IN LOVE WITH, my mind did a hardcore 180 flip that changed my life. I went from having one half-shelf of books to two, complete bookshelves filled with books I acquired in a terrifyingly short amount of time.

Image result for disney gifs

But I have always been a slow reader and it is why I used to hate reading. I’ve found peace with it now. I think I’m a slow (okay slow-ish these days, I like to think about 5 or so years of a steady 50-80 books a year might’ve ramped up my pace a little) but I also have a reasonably short attention span.

Image result for disney gifs

Why? Because I’m a doer and I feel guilty sitting and reading when I could be painting, blogging, filming, climbing the Eiffel Tower or swimming to the Moon. I just cannot switch my brain off that easily. I find it hard to sit for hours on end and read one book in one sitting. To do so, it takes me about a day. If I’m lucky. I have never read faster than that (fun fact, the only book I’ve done this for and thus what I base this statistic on was Falling Kingdoms, one whole day of reading that bad boy, but I did it!) But keeping up that pace makes me want to faint.

Image result for disney gifs

This all boils down to my complete inability to read 100, 200 or 300 books a year. I simply cannot commit nor do this. BUT IT’S OKAY. So when I named my blog (and everything thereafter) I took the expression ‘bookworm’ and turned it into ‘booksnail’ as some sort of self-deprecating humour that bubbled up from the depths of my 18 year old mind. The ‘oz’ is just because I’m Australian and ‘booksnail’ was already taken on Twitter. I mean really, I found Turbo to be a highly relatable film because of all this. What a complex.

Image result for turbo gifs

So that’s an incredibly long introduction to me but I wanted you guys to know all of that in case it sounds familiar to some of you. Because it’s totally fine to be totally a little bit shit at being an ‘awesome’ reader – and I want to tell you, now, why this isn’t shit at all but actually fantastic.

Image result for disney gifs


Why it’s Okay to be a Booksnail

I’m totally claiming this hashtag now by the way. Let us unite on Instagram and Twitter under #BookSnail. Make my dreams come true. HERALD ME on Instagram with this tag.

Anyway. Being a booksnail essentially means we spend approximately 83.4% of our time watching people show off their 20+ stack of books on Instagram of what they read that month and feeling defeated.

Image result for disney gifs

We pride ourself on how many books we accumulated in one month (because heck yeah I’m fully capable of collecting 20+ books in a month) but then are confused when we only read four books that month, and none of them was the new ones (because we’ve got 200 other books still waiting to be read).

Image result for disney gifs
I am Jane, Tarzan is my TBR

It’s a never-ending merry-go-round of not getting on top of things. THE STRESS. THE BACKLOG.

Image result for disney gifs

We need to talk to each other more. I think this is a really good point. Talking to other readers who read the same amount of you, who validate (even though we don’t ‘need’ validation, PFT, it’s NICE) helps to keep you motivated and in the right headspace. I feel uplifted when I see someone else excited about the three or four books they read last month. It helps provide some perspective.

Image result for disney gifs

But what I’ve learnt over these years is that I’m fine with this. The grass is not greener on the other side. We can only do what we can do. We are quite literally (if depressingly) Only Human and whilst there may be a book on my shelf by that title still waiting to be read, IT’S FINE. We’ve got this. Or, at least, we’ve got tea.

Image result for disney gifs

Reading fast is not a measure of our quality or worth as a book blogger (or booktuber, or bookstagrammer, etc, and so on, blah-di-blah). If you look closely, everyone is claiming they’re not good enough and can’t read fast enough.

Image result for disney gifs

To that I say, SHUSH. We’re all good enough. If you read 20+ books a month then jesus bloody christ, hats off to you. You’re doing an amazing job and probably having an amazing time visiting all those worlds. I will always be envious of your reading abilities, but I will never beat myself up for not meeting that high standard. For it is not my standard.

Image result for disney gifs

If you’re reading 10+ books a month that’s still freaking awesome and still hats off to you. That is a lot of pages to conquer along with the rest of your life, which is something we must (unfortunately) participate in.

Image result for disney gifs

But if you’re like me and in a normal month (you know, one of those when you didn’t spend every spare second trying to read one more page) and you happily read 4 books, or less, a month (or maybe you read one a year): we. are. still. AWESOME. We are still putting aside time for ourselves to enjoy something we love. No matter how impressive or not it looks to others.

Image result for disney gifs

The pressure of reading more is ridiculous (but a fun challenge). It’s a complicated, convoluted contradiction that’s a part of being a reader. Because I don’t know about you but having started a new, full-time job complete with sluggish commute to and fro, finishing even one book a month is an achievement to be proud of.

Image result for disney gifs

I think it’s all time that we acknowledge that you only have a precious few moments to be with your current read each day and to whiz through 400 pages each week is something that not many people in the world do.

Image result for disney gifs

There was no stipulation, no contract, at the beginning of this blogging journey where we committed to a quota. No. We committed to sharing our love of books, big or small, with the world.

Image result for disney gifs

The pressure of being sent ARCs at a higher rate than what you can read them is definitely a tricky element to this problem. I have a small bookcase of unread ARCs, which is, undeniably, a bad thing. But they’re mostly unsolicited. So hey, look, if the publishers are happy to send these to you and you talk about them, post pictures of them and so on, but don’t read them for a while, that’s okay.

Image result for disney gifs

Just read the ones you requested. That’s important.

Us Booksnails take the scenic route through the bookdom. We enjoy the worlds, savour the pages and make lasting friendships with characters. Which is lame, sure, but just between us: we’re actually really cool.

Image result for disney gifs

One thing I find value in, is enjoying the content I create. I am not very consistent right now, but people enjoy my book reviews which are the backbone to my blog and everything that followed. YOU seem to enjoy what I have to say, all one-thousand of you and HECK yeah I’m proud to say that. Because it took me a slow four years to scrounge up one-thousand followers. I’m all about that slow lane because I truly feel I have more self-value in what I do because I don’t get any reward out of it. I don’t get millions of followers, I don’t get the satisfaction from finishing so many books. I do it, because I love it. And because I want to share it with you.

Related image

That’s enough.

So next time you look at your TBR and think fuck I’m so behind everyone else, take a deep breath and tell yourself you’re doing great. If you took a 6-month reading break, who cares? We’re allowed to take a vacation from something that honestly is like a job. But THAT’S OKAY. Because damn, it’s a job we love doing. And we do it for free, in the wee hours and out of a lot of love.

Image result for disney gifs

Let’s stop being so harsh on ourselves and enjoy each book as we come to it, yeah?

Image result for disney gifs


So, tell me down below, what are you proud of that you achieved in your reading life recently?

For me? I’m proud that I let myself take a break whilst I got used to my new job. I’m proud that I didn’t stress myself out by pressuring myself to keep up whilst I was too busy. I’m proud that I was able to step back when I needed to.


Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~

Instagram

20 thoughts on “Why it’s Okay to be a Slow Reader | #BookSnail

  1. Oh, this is such a great post! I follow quite a few bloggers who it seems like they read 15 – 30 books a month, and I feel like such a slacker, sitting here with my 8 – 10 books. I have to remind myself that, realistically, I read however much I can/feel like it at the moment. But also, I know a lot of people where reading 8 – 10 books a month feels like a miracle stretch. Reading 50 – 100 books a year like I do? That’s unheard of by a lot of people I know, who are lucky to read 10. I think it’s important (but so hard) to remember not to compare yourself to others. Besides, reading is for fun and not competition, right?

    I love the backstory behind the name! Nothing wrong with being a booksnail. I like to think of myself more as a bookdragon, as I tend to collect too many books that I haven’t read yet, lounge around all day on them, and thoroughly roast anyone who suggests I might need fewer books. Pffft, as if that’s even a thing.

    Congrats on your new job! This post was so great and a much-needed reminder. I’m proud of starting to find a little more of a balance between reading, blogging, and the other 10,000 demands on my time where I can keep up with things on a regular basis. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so hard not to get sucked into comparing, right? I think we all can do with little reminders here and there that whatever amount of reading we’re doing is great.

      Haha yes! Being a bookdragon is the ultimate way to be, really! Collecting books is such a real addiction 😂

      Thank you ❤️❤️ balance is so important, so well done!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing post! I feel like I could read easily 10+ books a month, considering I do have so many spare time for it. As you say in your post, it’s used a lot for other things which are book related and not book related.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOVED this post Kirstie!!! I loved getting the backstory of how your handle came to be.

    I am also a “doer” and have a hard time sitting still. Audiobooks have really changed my life! I now listen to 40-ish audiobooks per year while I am doing things like cleaning house, laundry, and running my children to all their activities.

    For me personally, I read between 100 and 120 books per year. How? It’s not that I am a speed reader, but rather that I hardly watch any TV or movies. I’ve never been a huge TV/movie watcher. I would rather be reading. Obviously because of this I am able to read more books.

    At the end of the day, any reading at all is better than no reading. If you read 12 books a year, or if you read 100, you are still reading more than those that don’t read. #Winning

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amanda ❤️ audiobooks are LIFE right? I definitely have made up some numbers by listening to those in my spare time (except right now I’m stuck on Outlander five and IT IS SO Long). I’m not much of a movie watch either (it saves so much time, right?) my biggest time sucks are writing my books, this blog, and then filming/editing for YouTube and taking photos for insta. Haha talk about doing too much 😅😅

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kirstie!!!! Ohmygosh, this POST. I felt like you were talking to me the entire time and like…a weight was lifted off of my shoulders and I could finally *breathe*; like somehow the universe gave me permission through your blog post to believe everything you said and know it’s okay to only read 4-6 books a month, like I usually do. It’s okay to read what we want to read and enjoy it and we don’t have to succumb to this pressure.

    Thank you so much for writing this. I needed to read it and I appreciate you taking the time and offering your brilliant insight. It really meant the world. ❤

    (Also, your GIF game is always ON POINT.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nicole I’m so glad to hear that! Reading is all about your love for it, don’t let you pressure YOURSELF into reading more than you can. I think the most important thing is making sure you enjoy what you read, and remember to DNF things that just aren’t for you. Seeing as our pace is slower than others, we’re allowed to be more picky :p

      Thanks ❤ Gifs are life XD

      Liked by 1 person

  5. YES! I mean I do read probably pretty fast but I actually feel really stressed and pressured by it a lot more than I should?! I think the pressure to read + blog (plus do all the life things and write even if one is a writer!) can get absolutely mad trying to fit it all in. 🙈So totally agree with you here and how important it is to just enjoy ourselves. Also no matter how much we read, there’s always double the amount on the TBR right?! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s