In Defense Of My “Reading Too Much”

People often say to me that I “read too much.” They normally say this to me after they notice that I carry a different book every couple of days or catch me reading a book when I come be doing something else. Now, I am actually totally okay with people telling me this. Mostly because it allows me to launch off on a speech about why I love reading and how good the book I am currently reading is.

But, I am starting to feel as if some people are sort of looking down on me, as if they think I have a life that is boring, have no social life, and/or just wasting my time. While I am not really angry or sad about this, I do feel like I need to vent my feelings and defend my fellow bookish people. And since I have a nifty, little blog, I decided to do just that!

First, I must ask how someone can read too much? What is the amount of time that I must spend reading for me to be reading too much? I mean, if you are enjoying it and it isn’t bad for you, then you really can’t have too much of it. If anything, you can really only readย more because there are all these books out there in the world.

Reading is a practice that people like me enjoy, just like how other people may enjoy video games, sports, television, and many other sorts of things. And really, reading is thing that should be valued (just like all those other things should be valued).

Oh, and about the stereotype that readers are anti-social… Where did that stereotype come from? I mean, I am a very sociable person and spend lots of time with my friends, even if I “read too much,”, and I am pretty sure other readers do to. Besides, if someone prefers reading instead of socializing, that really shouldn’t be frowned upon.

Another thing I want to say is that I do not consider the time I spend reading wasted time. I love reading and love the bookish that comes with it. I have read so many amazing stories and met so many great people. I don’t regret all the time I spent reading at all.

Also, there is evidence that reading literature makes us smarter and nicerย (thanks, Christina, for the link!). There is evidence that reading does affect you as a person and can make you more understanding of other people and more able to perceive the world through their eyes. ย Which, in my opinion, is seriously awesome and very true.

So, all I really ask is that people stop automatically judging and assuming things about people who they believe to “read too much.” I don’t judge people who don’t like reading or just don’t read very much. Remember, reading is a hobby that should be valued. And if you are also a bookworm…

Keep reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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25 thoughts on “In Defense Of My “Reading Too Much”

  1. Great ideas here, Lottie. There are so many worse things out there than reading – drugs, video games, excessive eating, etc. Of course we should all have moderation in our lives but you’re right that it’s difficult to quantify what counts as “too much reading.” Besides, reading in itself is just a wonderful activity and I’m sure we could all write post after post about why it’s just that superb. All in all I agree with you 100%!

  2. “You read too much!” Every time I hear that, I think of the books still waiting on my shelf, my 1000 page long TBR list! I mean, compared to some people, maybe, sure, but it’s still not enough… And then when I think of all the books people recommend me, all the books all the other bloggers have read; it kind of proves that there’s no such thing as too many books! Someone’s always read more than you!!

  3. Preach! My own mother thinks I ‘read too much’ and sometimes I just want to knock some sense in to her. I hate that people think I don’t do anything else with my life, that all I do is read. And what’s worse is when they think reading leisurely is unproductive. I want to tell them that I’ve learned much more about people by reading a book than they did when they were being more ‘social.’

  4. Ah there is no such thing as reading too much. In a sense everything is a waste of time. The most sensible thing seems to spend whatever time you have on this planet with doing what you love most. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. How can someone put a time limit on something they love to do? Sometimes it feels like people think you fill in the empty gap in your life by reading.. I have a wonderful life and I have friends, but reading completes me. It’s not like I have no life or that I’m boring, it’s just something I like to do. So, keep your head up and let them talk. It’s no use to explain it.

  6. The funny thing is, no one’s who has ever me that I read too much has followed that up with a suggestion of what they think I should be doing instead. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You have so many great points here, though! First, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading, and nothing wrong with being introverted–if that’s what the speakers assume your obsessive reading means. Also, of course it’s good for your intellect! There are so many studies showing that reading improves writing, vocabulary, ability to think creative, ability to read faster, etc. It’s something that should be encouraged, not discouraged!

    Really, though, I think some people who say you read “too much” just don’t find reading fun themselves and are honestly, if misguidedly, trying to prod you find a more “interesting” hobby. On the flip side, though, I sure other people would not be amused if you implied their hobbies were boring and that they play hockey or practice their singing “too much.” Just explain you enjoy reading as much as they enjoy doing something else. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Pingback: Reading Too Much? Never! | A Small Press Life

  8. You definitely can’t read too much. People don’t really say that to me any more. Probably because I overwhelm them with enthusiasm about the latest book that I’m reading. People have learned to accept that that’s the way I am. We have a mutual understanding; they don’t criticise my reading and I don’t criticise their booze-ups or love of sports.

  9. Amen! My friends always ask me how I manage to finish a book so fast, and with it, comes that “look”. Well, it’s really simple, it’s not like I have over free time, I just use most of it to read instead of watching movies or using the internet. I don’t know why people think like that, but oh well..

    I mean, it’s totally acceptable that someone sits alone typing on their cell phones, but when a book is concerned, it’s considered anti social? The world is weird..

  10. Pingback: Bookish Recap: September 1st – 7th | A Bookish Heart

  11. I don’t care what anyone says even if I am antisocial and my cousins say I read too much, I DON’T CARE. If you are going to tell me that I read too much I gotta ask…what do YOU do in your free time? Sit around doing nothing productive? Seriously, I just take it as a compliment instead of an insult no matter how anyone is judging me. I’m happy that my group of friends are book lovers and fangirl and I am happy they understand very much. ^^

    It angers me so much that people think reading is not awesome or watching anime/reading manga is lame. *Sigh* I feel bad for them they can’t experience this wholly experience that the ones who do get.

  12. “Mostly because it allows me to launch off on a speech about why I love reading and how good the book I am currently reading is.” <– Awesome. I usually just give the person the stink-eye and continue reading lol.

    "I mean, if you are enjoying it and it isnโ€™t bad for you, then you really canโ€™t have too much of it." <– You know, especially when it makes you smarter lol. My parents often say I read too much, but I point out how they would tell me to read as a kid. I point out how reading is actually good for you. Much better than playing video games or watching television. It should be valued, yes.

    The stereotype about readers being anti-social is I think similar to the one about introverts being anti-social. It's something that needs to get addressed. People frown upon other readers because there's this Extraversion Ideal. You're not constantly trying to be outgoing, to be OUT there? Oh, well, you must be antisocial or a dork or a nerd or insert-other-stereotype-meant-to-make-you-feel-bad. (Side note: have you ever read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking? This reminds me of it.).

    Heh. I'd say it depends on the book whether I think the time I spent reading was wasted time ;).

    No problem about the link! ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved that article.

    You don't judge people who don't like to read? Eh. ๐Ÿ˜‰ lol I do just a little. Not that I think they're bad people, but that I find it automatically harder to relate to them. Bookworms unite!

  13. I know how you feel. Sometimes I think my husband feels that I read too much, but I just can’t help myself! Pff. There are plenty of people who “watch too much TV” but we don’t go around snubbing our noses at them! (Or do we?)

    Carry on with your bookish love, Lottie. We all support you. โค

  14. “I love reading and love the bookish that comes with it. I have read so many amazing stories and met so many great people. I donโ€™t regret all the time I spent reading at all.” – YES. 1000% agreed with every words.

  15. Pingback: Cognitive benefits of reading | peakmemory

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