The inadequacy of not having read enough

Feeling inadequate for not having read enough is actually a problem more common for voracious readers rather than those who barely read. Those who barely read either don’t care, or consider reading a book a year height of achievement. I envy them that illusion. For those of us who do love reading, however, are painfully aware of just how much we haven’t read.

There never seems to be, and never will be, enough time to read everything you want to read. I don’t know how many books I’ve read in my life, but since I started keeping a list (from July 27, 2009), I have finished 382 books at the time of writing this (on October 16, 2013). This would include some re-reads too.

Merely 382 books. That’s fewer books than the number of unread books I currently own. 

It can be overwhelming, this feeling of inadequacy, and knowing that you will never get there. Wherever “there” maybe. So what’s the solution?

  • Appreciate the reading time you have now.
  • Be a discerning reader. I’m not saying you should be a snob about it, but read what you want to read, not what everyone says you should read.
  • If a book is boring your brains out, chuck it aside, and move onto something else. There are far too many books to waste your time on something that doesn’t work for you.
  • Savour the books you read. It’s not just about quantity. Reading is an experience, and unless you fully enjoy it,  you might as well not bother.
  • When you finish one book, pick up the next book, and keep going (or if you are like me, multiple books at a time). But one page at a time, continue on your reading journey.

What about you? Do you ever feel like you just can’t read as much as you want to? What do you do about it?