Ok. Let’s not be cocky here. This is not about me telling people to read more.
You can do what you like for all I care.
What this is about, however, is my own reading journey, overcoming the self-judgement of not being “well-read” and embracing books in my own way.
I used to love reading books when I was little, in a very stereotypical “build-a-fort and-hide-with-your-books-for-days” kind of way. I read what interested me which varied more than my exes excuses for his behaviour.
The poison is in the “should“.
Despite a uni degree, I am not particularly well-educated, there are massive leaps in the things I “should know” and I have been playing catch up for most of my adult life.
There seems to be a particular focus on things we should do, should listen to, should watch and should read. E.g. one of my biggest pet peeves are people who think they know “good music” (… like fuck right off!). Good music is what sparks joy. Periodt.
Just like I listen to my Sugarbabes album on repeat, my reading drive is fuelled by my interests. I can get through the driest texts if it’s a topic I care about and, equally, take years for the book by the “newest and most phenomenal writer”. The “should” can’t determine my genuine interest and only by shaking it off, I am able to truly enjoy the pleasures of reading.