Thursday, August 21, 2014

What Bugs Me Most When I'm Reading

As a reader, what REALLY bugs you while you're reading? What is one thing that just makes it so HARD for you to concentrate and focus on the story in front of you? What totally ruins the idea of getting lost in the pages for you?

Is it when people talk to you while you're reading? Or is it when that blasted motorcycle zooms by BEING SO OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD? Or maybe it isn't anything to do with your surroundings, maybe it's simply that you just CANNOT get into the book for some unknown reason.

And dude, I feel you. I really, really do. But while I really hate when people talk to me while I'm reading and when motorcycles interrupt my precious silence and those awkward moments when I just can't get into a book, there is nothing that takes me out of a story faster than thinking as a reviewer while I'm reading.

And what I mean by that - what I mean by "thinking as a reviewer while reading" - is:
  • thinking about what to rate the book
  • thinking about what possible points - positive and negative - I should mentally jot down so I can include it in my review
  • worrying about whether or not I SHOULD in fact write those points down in case I forget it
Sometimes, I just can't help but wonder if I would still be worrying about these things had I not started book blogging and reviewing.

Probably not.

I can't say this with certainty though because it's been a while since I've known the life of not blogging (was that even a thing? what did I even do back then?) but from the little bits that I do remember, I'm fairly sure that I never had to worry about what to rate a book before. Or worry about remembering every single reaction I have while reading the book.

And I miss not having to think about those things when I'm reading. I miss the days when I would just read for the joy of it, even if I can't remember much of what that was like any more.

Perhaps it's stupid for me to spend time wishing for the past. I should just accept that this is natural, right? That this "new" way of being a bit more critical when reading and being a bit more attentive to the details is just a natural result of blogging and reviewing books for two years now. I mean, blogging is such a big part of my life so why wouldn't it play such a big part when it comes to reading? It should be a no-brainer, totally obvious that yes, OF COURSE, how you read will evolve.

But... I can't help it. I can't help wanting to relive what it was like to read without having to worry about reviewing the book afterwards. And there SHOULD be a switch in my mind that I can just turn on and off whenever I want - like on, when I want to be in reviewer mode but then off when I just want to read leisurely without thinking about reviewing - but there isn't. Blogging is so ingrained in me now that I'm ALWAYS in reviewer mode. And again, maybe it is really pointless for me to be griping about this because perhaps the only way I can counter this is to just wish that I never started blogging and reviewing. Because I'm sure this is something that we all can relate to. Becoming more critical while we read is something that is supposed to happen the more we blog.

Sometimes though, I feel like it's getting in the way of my enjoyment for books. I feel like I can't ever get into a book fully because there's that switch in my brain that's perpetually stuck on ON that makes me hyper aware of what I'm reading and then, to over-analyze what I've just read so I can remember to potentially include it in a review.

Thinking "as a reviewer" is good when it comes to writing reviews. But I'm still struggling to see if it's good when it comes to me just wanting to read leisurely, without thoughts of reviews and ratings. Maybe it IS just natural and I should accept that and move on.

What do you think? Do you find thinking "as a reviewer" ever come between your enjoyment for a book? Are you like me and sometimes find yourself wishing for the days before blogging when reading was so free? Or have you accepted this as something that was bound to happen and moved on? Or maybe this doesn't bug you at all? Tell me in the comments below! I want to know what you think!

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