Running a book blog and studying MA Writing means that you burn through books a little faster than you normally would. Or at least you try to. I know there are people on Goodreads who have already completed their Reading Challenge and are on book 140. I have equal amounts of respect and envy for those people. I’m not sure how they do it, or if they even sleep at all. For me, one book every four days is probably more realistic. Unless it’s a tome like the A Song of Ice and Fire books, and then I take a little longer to read them because I’ve tried rushing through them and honestly I lost track of the characters I was supposed to be keeping an eye on.
The fact is, some books require your time and there’s nothing wrong with taking it slow. I’ve been behind on book reviews for a while now. I always mean to take notes when I’m reading but work, or university or my inability to remember to do things lets me down, and by the time I get around to writing a review I’m three books ahead and it can be that much harder to write a review that is considered and thoughtful when there are other stories overlapping with it in your mind.
So, when I got around to reading my copy of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, I decided to savour it. It took me a month to read it all, and you can see from its battered exterior that it’s travelled around with me a fair bit. At first I was a little anxious. I hadn’t realised but I was racing against my Goodreads Challenge of reading 40 books, enjoying being 8 books ahead of schedule. Then I started to drop back until I was just 2 books ahead. I was feeling the pressure to read it just to review it and I realised that that compulsion had probably stopped me enjoying the last few books I had read as much as I could have. Breaking that pattern though, I’ve started to relax into reading again, noticing a brilliant sentence or a punchy piece of dialogue. And I’m glad I did, because Outlander is so vibrant, the language so rich and the plot so intriguing that I definitely would have missed out if I’d binge-read it.
So take your time, take a week, take a month, take two. There’s no rush.