Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, that is hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books and Dani @Literary Lion. It’s a chance to discuss certain topics, share opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.
Posts are written on Fridays, and you can suggest topics using the form that you will find on Rukky’s Contact page.
This week’s Let’s Talk Bookish prompt is
HOW READING AFFECTS MENTAL HEALTH
Kristin @ Lukten Av Trykksverte
In what ways does reading affect your mental health? Does it affect your mental health positively or negatively at certain times, and why? How do you find a balance to keep up with reading while being mindful of your mental health? Do triggers, bookish controversies, and things like that affect your health a lot more than you let on?
In what ways does reading affect your mental health? Does it affect your mental health positively or negatively at certain times, and why?
Reading takes me out of the here and now, relaxing me and transporting me to a place where my cares fall away. Most of the time reading has a positive affect on my mental health, providing a wonderful way to alleviate the stresses of day to day life.
Sometimes when I’ve agreed to arc or beta read but am really not enjoying or “feeling” the book, then the reading experience becomes stress inducing. I will feel guilty that I’m finding excuses not to read the book – or am reading something else – and stressed by the looming deadline of giving feedback. This has been part of why I decided to significantly cut back on arc reading last year.
How do you find a balance to keep up with reading while being mindful of your mental health?
At one point, two years ago, I had an arc book to read every 2 (or if I was lucky) 3 days. This happened even whilst using a calendar to organise my reading. I was having to read beyond enjoyment and, at times, wasn’t really absorbing the story. Instead my focus was on just getting to the end as quickly as possible. Unsurprisingly this eventually led to reading burn out.
These days I try my hardest to have about 1 arc book a week, at most. Yes I might miss out on an amazing story, but this way I get the maximum enjoyment from those books that I do arc read.
Do triggers, bookish controversies, and things like that affect your health a lot more than you let on?
No. There aren’t many things in books that trigger me – other than terrible writing! Even those that do don’t tend to have a lasting effect, once I’ve ranted on my Goodreads review of the book and vented my spleen I’m usually already onto the next book.
I have had my fingers burned by taking sides on a (for anyone other than the authors involved) fairly minor book dispute. I was on the arc team for one of the authors and believed her half truths and lies, later discovering that the claims of plagiarism she made were totally unfounded. Despite not having really done more than believe this person and offer them words of support, I still felt very guilty for not having done due diligence before making my mind up. As a result I now try to avoid those situations that seem to occur, sadly, far too frequently in romancelandia.