I Don’t Read Anymore

Millinials don't read

I can’t remember the last time I finished a book. I was an insatiable reader as a child and it followed me into young adulthood for a spell. But my interest in fiction waned as a grown up and I’ve read very little fiction in the last decade.

 

And so for awhile non-fiction became my fuel. I wanted to know more about a hundred things. Theology, farming, knitting, parenting, you name it. I poured over blogs and rang up an Amazon bill filling my library.

 

Now? I can hardly stand to pick up a book. No, perhaps worse than that. I’m painfully apathetic.

 

The very honest truth, for better or worse, is that I’ve become immune to words. And social media is largely to blame. I have drowned in the poetry of opinions and now they no longer affect me much. My eyes glaze over when I see a brilliant editorial piece. I scan past it, throw it on the appropriate pile.

 

Poverty – glaze.

Church – glaze.

Parenting – glaze.

 

Bloggers go on trips to impoverished countries and share ebony and ivory pictures of tiny hand holding and I don’t even bother to click the link.

 

I scan my newsfeed (when I bother, which isn’t often anymore) and Buzzfeed is about the only thing that sparks my interest.

 

I suppose there are a handful of reasons that I’m so uninspired by the inspiring anymore.

 

I’m a millennial with ADD who just wants to be entertained. I don’t want to read your poem, I just want to watch reruns of The Office. The Office makes me happy. The Office captures the beauty and awkwardness of everyday life like few blogs or books do.

 

I got off the train. And left the station. The Opinion Express got exhausting and I was tired of traveling it’s lines. Meh. I just want to pour a drink and watch Downton Abbey. Boring is the new fascinating.

 

I stare at words enough for work. After doing that for hours a day I’m not interested in staring at new words. Particularly words I’m indifferent about. If I do pick up reading again it’ll probably be to return to my childhood love of fiction. Because, again, I pretty much just want to be entertained. Because burnt out millennial.

 

And, frankly, I refuse to feel guilty. As I’ve said before, I’m done with guilt. It’s a game that has no place in Christianity. So instead of beating myself up and trying to feign interest in the written word I will simply accept the fact that life ebbs and flows. Seasons come and seasons go and this is a season of my life that doesn’t lend itself to reading. I am certain that one day that will change.

 

In the mean time, I will watch Grey’s Anatomy and read Buzzfeed and live a perfectly satisfied life.

 

So there.

 

 

Do you read much these days?

 

-Jessica

Comments

  1. I think we got old. 30 just drained us. LOL – the only reading I do now is for college. And I read the bare minimum, scanning articles so I can whip up a research paper.

    Maybe it is the effect of the information revolution? Everything is at our fingertips and so we’ve become overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time?
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  2. Oh yes. I have to read, or I dry up. I had years – mostly when raising children – when my own reading was minimal, as I read so much to my sons. But oh, how I missed losing myself in a book. I started cataloguing all I read about fifteen years ago, and blogging reviews, for my own benefit as much as anything, and that inspired me to read more. I now aim for about 100 books per year, a mixture of fiction, some teenage fiction to re-read, some Christian books, some psychology, some biography, some random… I only managed to finish 70 books last year and felt the poorer for it. Too much time online is detrimental to reading, but it’s like eating too much sugar or junk food.. in the end, I have to return to the good stuff to feel human again. It’s not a question of right or wrong; I know people who haven’t read a single book since high school. But for me, it’s a necessity.
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  3. “Seasons come and seasons go ” – that exactly it. And it is OK. I have gone through these seasons as well, and am with you in the glaze over parenting, education, etc. And there was a time where that wasn’t so, and right now it take too much *energy* to put my mind to some of these. However, I believe if we did an inventory of people over the years we’d find the same ebb a flow in them as well.
    Like you said, seasons. My Minnesota aunt wrote me about a visiter to their church from Africa. He asked them “Why are all the trees dying?” We live where we get a season of snow but this year we are dangerously barren. No snow – and it is sad to see all the yellow grass and naked trees without their winter blanket. Naturally, if you were unaccustomed to a snowy season you would worry and fret like our visitor from Africa. But we know the trees aren’t dead.
    This isn’t the end of the bloom. This isn’t the end of your story, and where the future may look different than in the public domain, it will still be green with growth and flower with interest. In it’s time. So enjoy winter. And I hope you have a warm winter blanket to snuggle under. :-)

  4. Danielle Hull says:

    I tend to read non-fiction by necessity (homeschooling, parenting, Bible, devotionals). I say that one of the dreams for the future that my husband and I have is reading for pleasure. Right now, I’m on my third fiction book in a week, and that’s a problem. I get too absorbed and block out reality: kids, hubby, house. It’s as much of an escape as being online! And if it’s a very emotional book, I can get caught up in those emotions, too. So, no, I don’t usually read fiction, but I am on a streak. But it may not be a good thing.

  5. I went through a no-reading funk for a little while too, & you know what brought me back? Harry Potter. =) After I finished all 7 books (finally!) I was reminded how much I enjoyed reading & that took me to other fiction books (before Harry I was ALL non-fiction ALL the time). One thing that has helped me is listening to audiobooks via audible…which I only pick the easiest ones or the ones that really call out to me…so that I’ll keep going. life is busy. I generally find that I feel better after a night of reading vs. a night of Grey’s reruns even though I always want Grey’s over reading…I keep having to remind myself which brings the most joy. But it it’s opposite for you – you do you, baby girl!
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