Discussions

I Haven’t Read for Pleasure in 11 Months | Do I Regret It?

Fun fact about this post: it was originally supposed to be about how I haven’t read for pleasure in 7 months, but master procrastinator that I am waited 4 months to write this. Props to one of MY GREATEST FRIENDS bc she forced me to get back into blogging!!! If you’re really confused as to why someone would inflict themselves with such self-torture then allow me to direct you here and here.

Why did I do this???

In all honesty, if me one year ago saw this post, I would be completely shocked. In my three years of reading YA literature, I always knew I needed to stop bc it was kinda trashy (ooh savage, ooh-my-opinion) but I never thought I actually had the guts (or lack of sanity) to stop doing something I loved so much.

Now this is going to get kinda deep… but I feel like in today’s world there is soo much emphasis on following and doing what you love. And I agree, to an extent, that we should do what we enjoy bc our life, if we can help it, shouldn’t be miserable – especially if that misery is self-inflicted. But after reading like 25 YA books last summer (the average length being 300 ish pages) it’s safe to say I was feeling exceptionally guilty.

And this is simply because I guess I have different values and higher expectations for myself (which is perfectly fine and btw: it’s SO okay to read fiction as a means of calming down and everything, but in my opinion, 7500 pages of stories over a few months is extreme… and it’s not like I’m a particularly fast reader either). I would have preferred it if I had read half the number of those books and maybe started learning a language or improved my (STILL SHAMEFUL) cooking skills instead.

So since I went to one extreme, I figured I might as well go to the other. I’d been reading YA books for 3 years now and I had slowly been getting more and more fed up with the recycled storylines, way-too-much-annoying-romance, the stereotypes and the completely inaccurate Muslim (especially teenage) representation. I was also just really upset with myself that I had used up so much time reading YA fiction.

How was it????

I have to admit that I HAD WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS. I didn’t think I would have it so soon or so much, but I did. Also, to be honest, I partly found it so hard because I had really gotten into blogging (I was posting pretty much everyday!) and my entire blog was literally centralised around the YA fiction that I read, so I was also experiencing this blog-identity-crisis (which is part of the reason as to why my posts after August were 1) hardly any and 2) so sporadic).

Once school started, it was much easier because I barely had any time. A Levels hit me so hard (everyone told me they would be really hard but for some reason I thought if I just worked really hard they would become easier… which is true… but still very hard). I was also just stressed in general over grades and school (I had been homeschooled the previous few years).

But honestly, since coronavirus lockdown and the world grinding to a heart-stopping halt, now that I actually have time, I’ve invested that time (which I know if I was still wild about YA fiction I wouldn’t have) in things that I’m actually really proud of. For one thing, I’m learning Arabic, and for another – I’ve been reading so much news, listening to so many podcasts and just in general educating myself and I feel so much more intelligent!


So all in all, I’m really happy that I stopped reading YA. I am also totally NOT judging people who read YA – at all (after all, I was there less than a year ago and I feel you ok I really do) – everyone has their own lives and can do whatever they want with them. I just chose to do this because I thought it would truly better my life, and if you think that boycotting YA wouldn’t do that, then totally stay with it.

Thanks for reading this post! Let me know your thoughts and what you might want to hear next from me! πŸ™‚ Speak soon!!!!

14 thoughts on “I Haven’t Read for Pleasure in 11 Months | Do I Regret It?”

  1. Assalam Alaikum, Ruqs! 1) How are you??? 2) This is such a good post and honestly, I’m kind of in a reading crisis right now as well. Since Ramadan ended (I don’t read books in Ramadan) I’ve just realized how much I don’t miss YA and that I would like to read more mature/older content. Bc tbh, YA is just a mess of hormones and annoying cliches 80% of the time and it gets old pretty fast.
    But I don’t want to stop reading it altogether (this genre of messy hormones can be a source of relief at times). I just want to seriously cut down on how much I read it, at least Fantasy for the most part, and I’m not really sure how to. Anyways, this post was really inspirational and I will try! Maybe I’ll finish reading all the ones I have on hold from my library, and then dedicate the rest of this year to reading as little of it as possible…

    Just an idea, but it would be cool to hear about what you have been reading/listening to over these last few months! πŸ™‚ No pressure though, and I hope you’re staying safe ❀✨

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Walaikumasalam! I’m good alhamdullilah, how are you?? Thank you, I’m glad you liked it. Same, I don’t read books in Ramadan either! I

    I totally agree… honestly, it sounds really hard but just try and cut it out altogether, but then every now and again whenever you have a big urge to read some YA, you can treat yourself or read something like a classic which is still really good but less trashy. Lol trust me I still get notifications from my OverDrive about books I had put on hold or recommended that they purchase!!

    Sure, I’ll see what I can come up with. I hope everything’s going well with you and your family as well! Thank you so much for such a lovely comment πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. AsSalaam alaykum warahmtuLlah
    I believe a person’s reading taste evolve as they grow in life, and that is not necessarily a reflection of age. Good for you that you are taking control of what you allow into your mind, for isn’t that essentially what books are for?

    I remember taking a hiatus from fiction that lasted several years. It allowed me to explore my love for reading history and biographies.

    My love affair with fiction was rekindled on an unplanned book shopping that ended in me buying complete works of Jane Austen and Arthur Conan Doyle.

    These days, I’m more enthusiastic in my appreciation for fiction, hoping to read and write stories about Muslims striving to live their lives on the Deen, stories I hope will live long after I’m dead…
    So take your time. Read what adds value to your life. The options are much more diverse than YA, or even fiction, offers.
    All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Asalamualaikum Ruqs πŸ™ƒ
    It’s been so long πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ’–

    I can’t tell you how proud I am that you made this decision! If we don’t take control of out own lives and do what’s best for us, then who will? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

    Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with reading YA, but looking at it from the perspective of wasting time and the content, it’s such a waste! ☹️

    Like sometimes I feel guilty for reading the books I do because I could be doing so much more with the time I’m using to devour books! πŸ™ˆ

    I don’t read fiction in Ramadan so I had a stack of Islamic books and honestly I felt so good reading enjoyable literature that actually benefited me 🀩

    The thing is, it’s such an effort and sacrifice for me to choose worthwhile literature over a novel which I can waste time with…but like…in an enjoyable way. You get my struggle? 😩😩

    And then there’s admitting that I waste time by reading books and…🀧

    But iA I want to prioritize literature other than fiction because there’s SO MUCH more that I can actually use my time and empower myself with! πŸ™Œ

    How did your A-Levels go? πŸ™ƒ

    YOU STARTED LEARNING ARABIC??? Oh my days I’m so happy 🀩🀩!!! Feel free to email me for help if you need any πŸ’β€β™€οΈ

    Doesn’t it feel amazing to do educational stuff??! I love reading up on factual topics and staying informed about current affairs, something that alot of people my age find unenjoyable πŸ˜‚

    As Rukky said above, I’d love to know what you’ve been reading and listening to πŸ˜„

    Looking forward to your future posts πŸ’β€β™€οΈ
    Stay safe πŸ˜½πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Walaikumasalam warahamtullah,
    Oh haha, classics are truly amazing and I have continued to read them whilst studying English literature.

    So do I… I’ve always wanted to – I just need to find a way to go about it without encountering writer’s block or be an absolute perfectionist and never finish it.

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Walaikumasalam!! Ahh, I’ve missed you my long-time, good friend πŸ™‚ πŸ’“

    I completely feel your struggle!!! (and also what Islamic books did you read in Ramadan or what was your stack because you can never have enough Islamic books??)

    I totally agree with you. I guess it also is to do with what you spend time relaxing with, you know? I still waste time when I relax, like I do watch TV and stuff… but I just feel like books take longer than that, because a TV episode is like 20-30 mins, and then reading 300 pages of a book… you get me? I also spend more time with my family now, and also studying πŸ™ˆ

    Inshallah you can!!! I believe in you!!! πŸ’œ

    Haha I have one year of a levels left – the most stressful year of my life to come 😭 thank you for asking though! ☺️

    YESSS I did!!! I’ve been learning Arabic on and off for the past… yeah, forever, and now I’m trying to commit to this one course – idk if you’ve heard of it, it’s called “Shariah Programme” and it has a different approach to Arabic that is supposed to be a lot more beneficial than just learning vocabulary (which is what I’ve been doing the past 5 years lol). Awww thanks!!! Email me your email πŸ™‚

    Yesss I love it!!! It makes you feel so in control of your life and just on top of everything. its great 😁

    If you guys are interested, I could do a post just on my thoughts with the current talk on racism and everything 😊 I know everyone’s talking about it, and if you’re interested in my thoughts then I would love to share them!

    Take care!!! πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

    Like

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