Why Reading Breaks Are a Good Idea

http://literarylion.ca/the-pros-and-cons-of-book-blogging-lets-talk-bookish/Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

Do you ever take breaks from reading?

I do! But they are never planned breaks. I am not someone who reads every day, but I usually read at least five days a week. My reading is very much based on mood and I am not someone who does well with having my reading scheduled. I am always in awe of people who plan their monthly reading down to the page, but I think that would make reading more like a chore for me. I have never told myself that I was going to take a reading break for a set amount of time- it just happens organically and I don’t fight it.

What causes you to take a reading break and how long are they typically?

So many things can get in the way of my reading time. Life happens, stress happens, TV show binges happen. There was a time in my early twenties where I went on a year-long reading break. These days, I usually don’t go longer than three or four days without reading. I think that all comes down to the comfort that reading provides for me. I know there are some people who cannot read a page when they have a lot on their mind, but I turn to books when I need a mental break.

That isn’t to say that I do not fall into reading slumps, I definitely do. My mood reading can make it difficult to find the right book to read at a certain time. I never want to force myself to read, so I won’t, but it can be frustrating.

When would you recommend reading breaks to others?

Whenever you feel like it is necessary! Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore, and if it does start to feel that way I think it is important to take a break from it and reflect on why it has changed for you. I know that bloggers can feel pressure to read, which can take some of the enjoyment out of it. I have been thinking about writing a post about how to keep reading fun, and I am hoping to post that soon.

Do you think reading breaks help you to read more in the long run?

I think they can. When you are not in the mood to read but try to push through, it can take you much longer to finish a book than it would if you were in a different head space. Even if taking breaks means you read less, I still think that it is an important thing to do if you feel like it is necessary. I am all for quality reading over quantity. If you read two books in a month that were amazing and you really took your time with and enjoyed, I think that is better than reading ten books that you forced yourself to read and didn’t enjoy to the fullest.

Once again, I do think that blogging and the book community in general can make it seems as though reading is a competition, and I think that narrative needs to change. It starts with looking at your own reading life and what you want from it. This is definitely something I have been reflecting on for myself with 2021 on the horizon.

37 thoughts on “Why Reading Breaks Are a Good Idea

  1. I have never taken a deliberate break from reading, nor have I ever had to force myself to read. It’s just a foreign idea to me. Reading is like breathing for me. It’s what I do. Now that’s not to say that I don’t occasionally find particular books that I find myself struggling to read. But that’s a different topic isn’t it? Anyway I get it that reading isn’t this way for many others but it has been a lifelong companion for me. I also am baffled by the competitive mindset about what and how much people read. I just read what I want. I like to use goodreads.com to log my reading but that’s mainly for my own reference since I re-read alot.

  2. Praise the bit about the reading competition ! I feel quite lazy when I see people reading 10+ books a month but I don’t actually consider their situation is different than mine 😂 It’s good to remember why we read in the first place !

  3. A good discussion. My reading breaks are never planned either, it’s always when I’m in a slump or have some major life event going on. Sometimes it also occurs when I go on a Sims 4 binge, haha. I think reading breaks are definitely necessary to avoid reader burnout. It’s hard to admit that though because of all the books there are that we all still want to read 😂

  4. I admire people who have a set TBR each month and can stick to a reading schedule that’s great if it works for them but I have tried reading to a set TBR and had a go at Goodreads reading challenge but it didn’t work for me reading became a chore and it wasn’t enjoyable anymore. It felt exhausting trying to keep up and I disliked that feeling so now I just read when I want to. I don’t think readers should worry about how many books other people have read either. It’s not a competition. Life happens. Do what feels right for you.
    You shouldn’t feel guilty and my advice to get out of a reading slump is maybe switching to short reads or audiobooks for a while may help. Taking a reading break is ok😊 I make time to read even when life gets hectic or difficult. Even if it’s just a chapter in a day. I have always found it helps my mental health. I know this isn’t the same for everybody but that’s ok too.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a reading break…..but I have experienced different seasons of reading throughout my life. When I was teaching all reading happened in the summer and during winter and spring breaks!
    I juggle genres and I’m a mood reader so I guess that’s the fuel that keeps me going! Binge watching a series on Netflix occasionally interferes with my reading! Good discussion Kristin!

    1. I think seasons of reading is a great way of putting it. During university, I rarely read for fun except during the summer.

      I relate to the mood reader issues. Also, the TV series binges. I just finished The Queen’s Gambit, which was incredible. I now want to read all the historical fiction.

  6. Would love to read your post about how to keep reading fun. Ever since I began posting reviews regularly to my blog, I do feel like I can’t take a break from reading else I won’t have anything to post. That’s not how reading should be! Takes all the fun out of it.

  7. I do read everyday, but there are definitely days/periods were I read way less then ‘normal’ days!


  8. I really love this prompt! I definitely take breaks from reading — I never want to FEEL force to read. I think that’s why I don’t accept ARCs as much anymore — too much pressure.

    TV and video games tend to make me take a break ha-ha! And if I’m really stressed out. Stress either makes me read more or run away ha-ha!

    I also went on a year reading slump! I actually started this blog because of that slump … thank gosh it seemed to help!

    I really loved reading more about your reading style and other things you do! Great post!

    1. Cutting down on the number of eARCs I request has been the best thing for my reading life.

      There are so many great shows out there that are distractions for me. Most recently it was The Queen’s Gambit. So fantastic! I’ve always been playing more Among Us than I would like!

      Love that starting a blog helped with your reading slump!

  9. I’ve been on a reading slump on and off since college. I usually keep really busy with working multiple jobs, volunteering, and other tasks. However I try to make reading a priority at bedtime but I usually end up listening to podcasts instead. I find that if I make myself checkout a book from the library that usually helps me get back into it.

      1. Do you have any good ones you’d recommend? I love the golden ratio podcast and following their Snapchat and Twitter feed. But Stuff they don’t want you to know and 99% invisible are other favorites of mine. Wondery makes great series.

  10. I’m the same in that my breaks tend to happen organically, and I don’t usually not read for more than a few days. It can be beneficial though just to take a few days to do something else, like binge watch a show, or play a video game, because I agree the book community can sometimes make reading seem like a competition, and it can take the fun out of it. But for the most part reading is my idea of relaxation, so I use it more as a break from other things.
    Great post!

  11. this is super interesting; I’ve never thought about taking reading breaks, because I just read whenever I feel like it and I often get reading slumps that function as breaks. Maybe I should give purposeful reading breaks a try!

Leave a Reply