Discussion: Reading PressureI want to talk about pressure we put on ourselves when it comes to reading. This is not about blogging or reviewing, just reading.
I've previously talked about how I feel really bad about the fact that I don't read classics. I would love to read some of the classics in English Lit, but I really struggle to understand the language. Put them on TV, and I'm there, but in book form, I just can't get my head around it, and it annoys the hell out of me.
This is something I have come to accept though. I will be getting Sparks Notes versions or similar at some point and educate myself, but until then, I've accepted my limitations. What's bothering me at the moment right now, though, is the pressure I'm putting on myself to read diverse books.
Hold on, wait, let me explain...
#WeNeedDiverseBooks has become a big things lately, and I'm completely behind it, 100%. I really support the need for their to be books where everyone is represented, I am all for it. What I have trouble with is this thing I say to myself; "If you're all for diverse books, you should be reading the diverse books!"
Regular readers of my blog will know that in some areas, I already do this. I read a fair amount of LGBTQ YA, and have done for over two years now as I seek it out. Last year I took part in Mental Health Awareness Month, which brought other diverse novels to my attention, and although I'm not reading them as regularly, I do keep my eye out for them. However, working at a bookshop, I discover quite a lot of books, and will be browsing new stock, and think, "Oh, a diverse book! This is awesome!", but then as I read more of the blurb, my thoughts can become, "This doesn't really sound like my cup of tea, I really don't think I would enjoy this... but it's a diverse book, I really should read it."
That isn't on. I know it's coming from me and nowhere else, but it bugs me nonetheless. I can support diverse books, but not read all of them, right? As long as I'm reading the ones I do like the sound of, there should be no problem. But the guilt! It becomes almost blogging pressure; I should read this so I can review it and highlight it as a diverse book. But I really don't want to! And then I feel bad, and it doesn't really go away.
I'm deciding to let it go now. I promise you, dear readers, that if I come across a diverse book I like the sound of, I will read it and review it. But I won't be reading the ones I don't like the sound of, just as I wouldn't read any other kind of story I didn't like the sound of. Perhaps I'll mention them in some way. I don't really like doing highlighting posts anymore, but perhaps I'll tweet the titles and links to goodreads, or maybe I'll include them in the Weekly Recap section of my First Class Post posts. This is ok by you all, right? As long as the books are getting out there, then that's what counts, right?
I will end this post by sharing some of the diverse books I've come across recently. (Actually, as I'm going through these, there are two I'd actually like to read! But two I won't.) Click each image to be taken to the book's corresponding Goodreads page.
What do you guys think of reading pressure? Do you have a similar problem; are there any books you feel pressure from yourself to read? Why? Share with me the pressure and guilt (if there is any!), and maybe, with me, allow yourself to let it go.