Making peace with my reading

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Nine books. Until earlier this week this is the number of books I was currently reading, and that anyone visiting my profile would see.

Some might say it’s too much to read in parallel, but I prefer to consider that they’re all stories being concurrently followed along… like many people do with TV and/ or streaming, following many episodes of many shows at a time, except that these are made not of images, but of words.

It’s all tsundoku’s fault, as I like to say.

But nine books at a time was starting to feel, say, a little too overwhelming, even for someone like me. And worst of all, even feeling overwhelmed I just didn’t want to give up on reading any of them. Yeah, for some odd reason that escapes me now, I had totally forgotten about my rule of the three.

But then, while talking to my son this week, I mentioned how three of these nine readings were not entertaining me at all, but, instead, getting on my nerves. The first was a book about learning techniques. The other two, about the Japanese language. From the first one I was hoping to get additional insights for my lifelong learning journey. From the latter books, I was just trying to get hints on Japanese that maybe, hopefully, would make the language stick easier to my mind.

In retrospect, it seems that besides forgetting my rule of the three, I also forgot my principle for what is reading a non-fiction book. So double blame it on me.

I really needed to make peace with my reading because I crossed the point where it stopped being fun or enjoyable, or entertaining.

That’s when my son reminded me of my own rule, the rule of the three. In conjunction with what I consider the definition for “read” in the case of non-fiction books, I wound up reaching two different conclusions.

I had already learned the insights I wanted in the case of the book about learning techniques, so I stopped reading it where I was, and that’s ok. And regarding the books about Japanese, I decided to abandon both — not because I wouldn’t profit from them, but because I wouldn’t profit well enough from them right now, as my knowledge about Japanese language is still minimum. So I’ll return to them in the adequate moment. No pressure.

In the end not only did I like the decisions. I also got happier with reading and picked up Elven Star again — a (very nice) fantasy fiction book I had suspended reading in favor of these three aforementioned non-fictions. Everybody (me, myself and I) wins.

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