I believe everyone appreciates books in a different way. I also believe we can all enjoy books in a variety of ways, and that’s okay. There is no one right way to read a book. There is no one right type of book to read. And there is no one in this world that should make you feel guilty about what or how you like to read. Let’s get started with the 10 reading habits you shouldn’t be ashamed of.
1. Reading more than one book at a time.
I used to have a friend that would shame me for reading more than one book at a time. It’s something I’ve done since I was little, and it’s the way I best enjoy books. I don’t like feeling constricted by books, so being able to read more than one at a time is actually something really special to me. I think it’s a superhero skill to be able to read more than one book a time — to keep storylines in place and not get confused or muddled — so keep rocking that skill and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.
2. Renting books from the library.
It’s okay to rent books from the library and not own all the books in the world. I’ve read more in the last six months with my library card than I ever did when I was buying books. I actually read the books I take out on loan, and I actually enjoy what I’m reading because I’m not forcing myself to read stuff that’s been on my shelf. And by using the library, you are supporting the local community and authors.
3. Not reading “enough.”
Social media has made people feel bad about a lot of things, and for me, it’s actually made me stress about my reading habits. I will never be the person that reads 100 books in a year. I’m a relatively slow reader, and I only read physical books — audiobooks are just not my jam, and that’s okay. So, when you see that people have read 50 or 75 books by THIS point in the year, don’t feel bad. Any amount of reading is a good amount of reading. One page a day or 50 pages, you’re still reading.
4. Reading “trash” books.
Just like there is no “right” amount of reading, there is no “right” type of book to read. A lot of people think they need to be reading non-fiction or classic literature, when really just reading is what matters! Read young adult fiction or memoirs or classic literature. Whatever you like reading, read that. Read all of it, and enjoy it, and find other people who enjoy it so you can talk to them about it because that’s one of the best things about reading — sharing it with other people.
5. Not finishing the chapter before moving on to other things.
If you didn’t know, apparently a lot of people HAVE to finish a chapter before putting their book down to do something else. It’s okay if that’s not you. It’s okay if you can put a book down in the middle of the page and pick it right back up two hours later.
6. Preferring new books to old.
Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time in old bookstores when I visit a new city, but I honestly don’t go to the used book stores in my town all that often. I guess I’d rather read books than search in a store to buy them. And that’s okay. Sometimes I feel like I’m not a real reader because I don’t crave time in a used bookstore, but that’s really not the case. What makes you a reader is not the books you buy but the books you read.
7. Judging books by their covers.
Let’s just admit it — we all judge books by their covers. Covers are actually incredibly important for marketing purposes, and it’s a fascinating art form. So pick the book for the cover — you never know what might be inside.
8. Not liking a cult-favorite.
My name is Kim, and I hated Outlander. There, I said it. I didn’t like a book that everyone LOVES and a TV show that everyone loves even more. Another blogger I read recently admitted that she didn’t like Jane Austen books, and it gave me the courage to admit just to myself that there are a lot of cult-favorite books that I just don’t like. So, don’t feel like you’re wrong because you don’t like something that everyone else loves. Maybe you see something no one else does or maybe it’s just not your cup of tea, and that’s okay.
9. Liking the movie more than the book.
Surprise! Sometimes this happens! Or, sometimes you like them differently. This happened for me with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I loved both the book and the movie for totally different reasons. Don’t get me wrong, 99 percent of the time, I prefer the book, but sometimes, sometimes, the movie can be just as good if not better.
10. Listening to audiobooks and using an e-reader.
Personally, I don’t do these things because I don’t enjoy them. But those are my preferences. If you love popping your headphones in and listening to an audiobook while you take a walk, go for it. If you don’t want to worry about lugging around four books on a trip, enjoy that e-reader. Just because other people don’t like to consume their books that way doesn’t mean it’s the “wrong” way to read.
The point is, any reading is good reading.