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twirling pages

the on and off (and on) relationship with reading

June 18, 2017

i grew up in libraries, consuming a steady diet of ink and paper, and was always that girl sitting against the wall reading during gym. suffice to say, i was in love with words, and i am without a doubt that many of you could say the same.
i was that girl who was enrolled in a separate afterschool program in elementary school, but instead of boarding the bus, i stayed in the library (and was sent to the principal’s office once the program reported me “missing”. this happened four times before the school librarian figured that whenever i walked in after school, it was best to shoo me out).
the nancy drew section in the library was the most familiar environment–the yellow spines, some old some new, staring out at me, blue words printed down the spine detailing every one of a redhead’s misadventures. if my mom ever lost my in the library, she knew where to find me.
i fell in love with stories before i knew how to read. i would flip through picture books, point at each drawing, and create my own made up fantasies. the ugly duckling was a particular favorite.

i created a book blog when i was 12 years old on a whim. and i thought “wow, imagine me doing this until i’m 20”. and while it occurred to me that maybe one day i would stop blogging as so many before me had, i never thought about the possibiity that maybe books would become no longer precious. i never thought that i would choose a different pastime over reading. i never realized i could fall out of love with reading–despite the thousands of people who had laughed and told me that they had been readers once upon a time, that they hadn’t touched a book that wasn’t required since high school.
i thought “never. not me.” because books had always been dear to me. they had always been more than just words. they had raised me, they had shown me the best and worst the world had to offer (young adult is good with that–showing the best and the worst). unfathomable, impossible, ridiculous, the idea of not reading every weekdayhourminute.

but high school happened and with high school not only came a mountain of work, but there was interact, there was art, there was national art honor society, there was student council, there was international club. there was me realizing that oh. this hanging-out-with-friends-thing is pretty nice. and even though i realized what was happening, i started to pull away from books.
in 2014 i read 250-300 books. in 2015? about 100. and in 2016? less than 30.
this is the part where you’re like nicole what the heck why are you on a book blog talking about how you don’t like reading anymore?.

okay, let me explain.

there’s this thing about books. they’re kind of addicting. and though my reading slowed, it never really stopped. i still devoured stories–sometimes i did it in one sitting, but far and in between, other times it took me a month to read one book. but if there’s anything young adult has taught me especially is that a great love doesn’t disappear. and my love for stories is most definitely a great love. and now it’s the summer before senior year, and time is aplenty, and i’ve drifted towards these stories of great adventures and tragic romances once again. i almost forgot how emotional one can get while reading. i almost forgot how real these characters are and how deeply you feel every heartbreak and triumph etched into these papers.

so here i am, starting to get back into the groove of reading, of blogging, of feeling ALL THE EMOTIONS and loving ALL THE CHARACTERS and shipping ALL THE ROMANCES. books just kind of have that way of reeling you back in again.Β 

(also pls rec me more books ty)


Nicole Wang

nicole is a night sky obsessed girl who laughs loudly and dances badly. she grew up in libraries and bookstores and spends her free time reading, doodling on her walls, and dragging her friends out of their house to hang out with her.

  • Same feels. No matter how much we ‘neglect’ our reading time, books will always be there waiting for us. The wonder of books is that it’s timeless. πŸ™‚

  • I can so relate to struggling with blogging while in high school! I have one year left…and tbh I’m STILL figuring out how to make it all work. I think one of the best things I ever did was sit down and tell myself “no you don’t actually like rewatching old tv shows on Netflix instead of reading”. Wish me luck next school year!!!

  • Em

    This summed it up perfectly, and is so true. It was a major shock to realise I was 20+ books behind on my Goodreads reading challenge, and I just started up a blog so I am trying to balance that too, but I am glad that I can at least read and all the stress of the year hasn’t taken away from my love of books.

    If you haven’t already, you should read Strange the Dreamer. For shorter books I would recommend the All For The Game series by Nora Sakavic or Everything I Never Told you by Celeste Ng. Those are some of my favourite reads of the year so far and hopefully, you will enjoy them!

  • Tarryn B

    This is so normal, I promise you! You’ll take a reading sabbatical, then fall in love all over again, it will be an ebb and flow… Just go with it πŸ™‚ I agree with Strange the Dreamer – give it a read! I’m busy with it now and you really can’t go wrong with Laini Taylor!

  • this post was soo….flowy? Like it just so worked? I don’t know what I mean but I basically I like how I read this post, how this post reads? I DON’T KNOW, it’s NICE??

    ANYWAYS, I somewhat get you mean? I mean my love for book don’t disappear even though at imes i have to stop reading and do what i need to get done. sometimes this is weeks, and sadly months. but books always welcome you back warmly, and once you get back into the swing of reading, you wonder why you ever left.

    This was such a Meringue-ish post like so light and awesome and IT SUMS EVERYTHING UP PEFRECTLY

  • I totally relate to this. I’ve experienced the steady decrease of books read in a year, the anxiety about losing my love of reading, only to realize it was just a phase passing through, and deep down I know I’ll always love books. I was nervous about breaking from reading and blogging when I went away to college this year, but I read a book when I got home for the summer, and it lead to another and another… and now I’m full blown back into everything I forgot I loved so much about books and blogging and the community!

    As for book recs – WORDS IN DEEP BLUE BY CATH CROWLEY! It may also help you remember why you love books and reading so much! πŸ™‚

  • I think everyone can relate to this post. Most readers find a point where they stopped reading. maybe not completely but it really slowed down because reading is time consuming and it can require effort after a long day. When you’re reading a lot for school normally you kind of just want to lose yourself in TV not reading another book. I’m glad to hear the love for reading isn’t gone. I think for many it’s about finding the right time to pick it back up… and also finding the right book to remind you why reading is so great.

  • TaraM

    i absolutley relate to this. (and i adored the way this post was written, it flowed perfectly) for a while i thought it was just a reading slump, but i am seeing that as the years go by i read less and less because of life and SCHOOL. And although i have school and other extra curricular things to do, i still TRY to blog and read and honestly it’s just really hard, but i know that deep down my love for reading is still there, i just need to remember that.

  • Such a relatable post! I was a massive reader in high-school and I did okay even at Uni, but after that I had a period of 2-3 years of not reading. At all! I got a job, lived on my own and reading did not seem like an adult priority. But two years ago I decided that this madness needs to stop. I decided to read 30 minutes daily and slowly, I got back into my old reading routine. I still don`t read as much as I used to, but I`m OK with that.


  • Natalie

    I’ve always adored reading, much like you, during school I was always there with my nose in a book, devouring stories whenever and wherever I could. By Year 4 I was reading around 5 years above my age grade, and that love has never gone away – not for long anyway. Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed and saddened by the idea that perhaps I’ve spent time reading so much books, and reading about adventures that maybe I’ve missed out on some of my own along the way and so then I get myself into a slump and bum myself out so much that I don’t even want to look at a book – but I always know for sure that as soon as I’m ready to rekindle that fire the stories will always be there. Also time is a huge issue. Throughout the entire year I just had at Uni (it was only first year too, which doesn’t count for anything) I read around five books total, and now that it’s summer break I’m nearing my twenty-fifth book in two months. I’m glad you’ve found your groove again, and I hope it stays with you!

  • mockingjay1018

    Same, it got harder for me to read when I didn’t have easy access to the library when I was younger. However, I still love books, hence why I’m an English major. But it’s gotten harder for me to read books for fun because I’m tired from reading so many books in so little time for class, plus there’s work, other college stuff, and personal issues to deal with. But, I have some free time now, so I’m slowly trying to get into the habit of reading more again.
    Any tips on getting back into the habit of reading again?

    – Stacy | my little talks