Consequences of Reading Too Much

Posted February 11, 2016 / Discussions, Features / 25 Comments

I’ve complained plenty lately about how romance in books has been bugging me. I’ve been more nitpicky about what I like, what annoys me, and what feels too cliché. Even though I’ve enjoyed a lot of the romance-oriented books I’ve read in the past few months, there are elements that make me roll my eyes that never bugged me before. I haven’t read a lot of OTP-level stuff since last year. I had another post drafted about genre burnout and how if I read too many books in the same genre in a row, they blend together and/or burn me out. I need to switch to something else. While listening to my audiobook on the way to work, I started thinking about how this was yet another book where I didn’t feel like I really KNEW the characters that well. What kind of personality did they have? What got them up in the morning? Then I realized… this has been happening a LOT lately. I feel like I’m not connecting with characters. It finally kind of hit me that maybe I’m reading too much and the stories aren’t fully clicking or resonating with me. I’m missing something, getting nitpicky, and maybe even getting a bit bored. Does this happen when you read too much?headerFor me, I’ve noticed about three distinct issues recently when I read a lot of books very quickly. For about a week out of the month of January, I read almost a book per day. I just kept getting addicted to ebook after ebook and before I knew it, I finished yet another. Some of the ~issues~ below definitely happened last year as well, but I’m kind of putting all the pieces together. Here are the top three things I deal with when I’ve been reading just a bit too much..1Yes, my issues with romance. It’s not even like it’s romance novels or contemporary YA only. I just find that books with romance in the plotline have been bugging me a bit. I don’t know if I’m sick of reading similar plot points or tropes because I’ve read SO MANY lately? But, reading too much in general is taking its toll. I’ve read all types of romance lately and none feel like they’re working. To remedy this, I read THE FIXER. It had literally no romance and nothing to bug me, so I loved it! I also read a few more books that were more mystery/thrillers instead of contemporary; it balanced things out a little more. If I read too much, it’s most likely contemporary because they’re so quick. I need to move on to a different genre to switch up and avoid burning myself out.
2This is definitely a new issue I’ve noticed. I sit down to write my review and I think “what did this character like? What were they even like as a person?” and I can’t come up with answers. It’s like all of the characters blend together and I can’t click with anyone anymore. I don’t give myself enough time to read one book, absorb it, and move on to another. All of the characters stay disconnected from me and I don’t give myself enough time to get to know them. I don’t know why I automatically want to blame it on the author, like they didn’t do a good enough job of fleshing them out, when I know it’s probably my issue. I can’t click with every single character I read or fully get to KNOW them if I’m reading too many books each week. Take in, absorb it, get to know the people.3I am definitely the kind of person who rushes into a new book the second I finish one. I don’t know why I do it, because I know I’m not doing myself any favors. I really need to give my brain time to absorb the first book before jumping into another. I have a terrible bookish memory in general, where I barely remember the characters names ten minutes after finishing. Moving onto another book so quickly is never a good idea for that reason! Some plotlines tend to blend together the more I read, because I don’t stop for air in between books. I read two books back-to-back where the main character was a blind princess stuck in a castle/tower. Like, how did that even happen? Despite the fact that I had poor TBR planning, it didn’t help that I read them within minutes of finishing the first one.


I posed my question on Twitter to see how others react when they read too much, or what kind of negative effects it has on them. I got some great answers and advice from everyone. My advice?

If you feel like you’ve been reading too much and are getting burned out,  get back on track by…

  • switching up the genre, if you think that’s the issue
  • listening to an audiobook instead of reading a physical copy
  • stop reading! and try another hobby/binge a new show
  • reading slower and limiting yourself to a certain number of pages per day or week (this only works if you have excellent self-control)
  • lower your Goodreads goal so you have less pressure to read so much

Here’s what everyone else said:

25 responses to “Consequences of Reading Too Much

  1. I can relate to all 3 of these issues, but I can’t stop reading. 🙂 I try to vary my genres and switch between YA and adult fiction. That helps. But I agree sometimes it’s just me overloading and rushing into the next book too soon. Slowing down is so hard because there are so many books I want to read. And I read to relax, so it isn’t always about the story. It’s not like I need another book ASAP, but I do need that quiet time to myself.

    Kate @ Mom's Radius recently posted: Book Review: In Real Life (YA)
    • Same here! Haha I will never stop reading and probably would have a terrible time slowing down too 😉 I think switching genres is huge. I like switching up each book as I read because it enables me to keep the stories separate.

  2. I can relate to this as well. I know that if I read too many serious books or too many dystopian books in a row, I suffer a major case of genre burnout. I have only had to take a total break from reading a couple of times. Mainly, I try switching up the genres. Something else that helps me is to reread an old favorite, something that you know you love. That can help with the burnout. I do hope it passes soon!

    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted: BOOK REVIEW: Front Lines (Soldier Girl #1) by Michael Grant
  3. I am experiencing this with YA right now. I read so many last year that I got burned out and feel annoyed by all the YA books I try to read. I’ve been reading a lot of romance and chick-lit and it’s been helping 🙂

  4. I personally am not the type of person who can read too much. I’m a slow reader and when I get busy, I pretty much don’t read at all. I certainly don’t read nearly as much as I want to. In other words, I’ve not experienced what you’re talking about, but I am so sorry that you experience it! I see someone else suggested switching genres, which is absolutely an excellent idea. To add to that, I’d suggest switching up the type of reading material (i.e. in between novels maybe try reading a short story or something), I don’t know, just a thought! Interesting discussion!

    Lefty Book Lover recently posted: Top Ten OTPs
  5. Great topic, Lauren! I’m like you, I jump into more books after I read others, and I barely have time to kinda absorb the previous book’s information in? But yeah, I find it hard to remember specific books now, and the events that happened, unless they were truly memorable. I’ll probably just remember the main problem, and forget all the other characters >.<

  6. This is so relateable! When I read too much, I usually experience all of this three things, and it usually lead into a leading slump! It’s just, when you’re addicted to one kind of story, you just can’t get enough of it right? You just keep reading books after books about that certain story, it’s hard to stop, and all of sudden you just get sick of it, and the plot and the characters blurred together. For me, the best cure is to stop reading at all, and just binge watch a tv show. That always works 😀

    Tasya recently posted: The OTP Book Tag
  7. I’ve definitely had the genre burnout happen to me before! It’s why I try to be careful, and to strike a balance between reading all the books that appeal to me in a genre and taking breaks in between. It usually helps to have one read of a different genre every so often inserted in between the rest 😉

  8. I do find that when I read too much, I don’t know what to read next, or what I enjoy most, or why I bothered with reading, and then it spirals and just gets shit. However, I tend to take breaks for myself instead of them being forced, or read books I KNOW I will love, or do the opposite and go out of the box and zone because even if I end up hating something, it’s a different emotion to blugh, you know? Loved this post Lauren! 🙂

    Amanda @ Nellie and Co. recently posted: Why You Need To Quit Comparing Yourself To Others
  9. I don’t read as fast as you because I have a short attention span. I can only read for a little while before I get bored and wander off to do something else. But I definitely have experienced genre burnout. I tend to read one genre exclusively for YEARS until I get sick of it and move on to something else. I’ve read adult romance, adult romantic suspense/mystery, true crime, and now I’m into YA, which isn’t a genre, but…I went through my YA dystopia period and now I’m reading YA contemporary. I do switch it up a little and read some YA mystery, YA horror, a little NA, and I still read the occasional YA dystopia. I’m actually finding myself reaching for more middle grade lately. I seem to be regressing.

    Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA recently posted: Money Matters: January 2016
  10. I totally know what you mean! I’ve found lately that I’m almost NEVER surprised by plot twists in YA literature, and I think it’s because I read so much. It’s sort of a bittersweet problem, because I never want to stop reading, but the more I read the higher expectations I have!

  11. Great post! I’ve had periods where I read a lot and that does lead to burn out. I try not to do this too often, but sometimes, like during the summer months, it’s easy to do. When the inevitable burnout follows I just take some time off of reading and clear my head a bit 🙂

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