The Inadequacy of Not Having Read Enough


image by Dolly Garland


This 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 a 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 less books than the amount of unread books I currently own. My Kaizen Reading Challenge alone consists of 225 books and it doesn’t even include all the new books I discover every day that I would really like to read.

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 offers you nothing but boredom.
  • Savour them. 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? 


2 Responses to “The Inadequacy of Not Having Read Enough”

  1. Bakari Chavanu October 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm # Reply

    Dolly, I’ve been a reader for most of my adult life, and during and after college for a while I would manage to read about 30 books a year. I always wanted to read twice that amount, but other activities kept getting in the way. Since the emergence of the Internet and the demands of my job, I barely get 12 books read per year. The Kindle app on my iPad contains over 100 sample books I would love to get around to reading, but the only way that is going to happen is that I devote at least one day per week to nothing but reading — no Internet, no job-related activities, and ignore family responsibilities (LOL). That being said, you might find it worthwhile to join a book club where you can read and discuss books with other people. And though you might not read as many books as you would like, I think you will end up appreciating the literary discussions far more than how many books you actually read.

    • Dolly Garland October 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm # Reply


      Welcome to Kaizen Reading, and thank you for taking the time to comment. It’s interesting about perspective when it comes to numbers. I read on average about 90 books per year, and it still does not feel enough.

      I don’t particularly like book-clubs as their reading choices are generally not my choices. However, I do like discussing books, and sometimes, I am able to do that with people in “real life.”

      But that’s why I’m starting this new “commonplace book” project. You can read about this here, the latest 2 posts (part of a 3-post series) are already available on Kaizen Reading.

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