The Freedom to Read Without Guilt

June 3, 2014     Ren     Discussion, Personal

In which Ren gets excited about being able to read ALL THE BOOKS.

My exams are finished!

I am finally free from all scholarly commitments.

I can enjoy the summer😀. 

I CAN READ WHATEVER I WANT!

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‘No more exams?!’

I had my last exam last Thursday. As a reward to myself I went out to my local bookshop to buy some books, as you do when you are a book addict. While I was there I got to pick up my preorder of City of Heavenly Fire. City of Heavenly Fire had officially been released in the UK on the Wednesday but the stock was not delivered to my local Waterstones until Thursday. In hindsight I’m glad the book wasn’t available until after my final exam because otherwise I would have been so tempted to read it when I should have been revising.

When I have exams I cannot afford to read for pleasure. Some people can balance the two but I can’t. I’ve let myself get carried away with reading a book for pleasure during exam season before and it became a constant battle between the two in my mind. I felt guilty whenever I opened the book, but not guilty enough to put it down. I simply had to know what happened next. This year I didn’t want to go through that again. Reading for pleasure should be pleasurable. So I waited.

My exam went okay, I think. It was about literature and law (‘law as literature’ and ‘law in literature’) which meant I could discuss texts like A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and The Trial by Franz Kafka. I enjoyed learning the material in general but I don’t know if I wrote about it very well. I had some time leftover during the exam so I quickly doodled a little Sherlock Holmes on the rough paper side of the exam booklet. If only I got marks for my doodling skills! It was a masterpiece, I swear.

But all of that exam stuff is behind me now. It’s so liberating to know I can read what I want whenever I want. I don’t have to feel guilty about reading books purely for entertainment. This month I want to mix things up a bit and re-read old favourites as well as approach some new books. Re-reading books is quite comforting for me because I get to go back to old friends and familiar places. I can go through the highs and the lows of the story all over again and see how its effect on me has changed (or stayed the same). I was super stressed out by exams so I’m hoping these books will be just what I need to make me feel happy and relaxed again😀. As for the new books I want to read, well, I’ve been waiting a long time to get to some of them them because I wanted them to be a reward for finishing my exams. I needed them to be my incentive to try hard. I hope the wait will make my enjoyment of them sweeter.

These are the books I’m thinking of re-reading this month:

  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • Loveless (1-11) by Yun Kouga (volume 12 is coming out soon, I must prepare!)

These are the new books I want to dive into this month:

  • City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

I’m interested to know how many books I can read when I have no other commitments on my plate (apart from making sure my puppy a) doesn’t bother squirrels and b) stops wombling in the garden. Seriously, she can find rubbish ANYWHERE).

 Have you ever had to force yourself to not read for pleasure? Was it easy to get back into reading books for fun afterwards? 

About Ren

possibly a dragon but probably human || actually a pigeon || blogs about books & anime || infj || lawful neutral

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