The Freedom to Read Without Guilt

In which Ren gets excited about being able to read ALL THE BOOKS.

My exams are finished!

I am finally free from all scholarly commitments.

I can enjoy the summer :D. 



‘No more exams?!’

I had my last exam last Thursday. As a reward to myself I went out to my local bookshop to buy some books, as you do when you are a book addict. While I was there I got to pick up my preorder of City of Heavenly Fire. City of Heavenly Fire had officially been released in the UK on the Wednesday but the stock was not delivered to my local Waterstones until Thursday. In hindsight I’m glad the book wasn’t available until after my final exam because otherwise I would have been so tempted to read it when I should have been revising.

When I have exams I cannot afford to read for pleasure. Some people can balance the two but I can’t. I’ve let myself get carried away with reading a book for pleasure during exam season before and it became a constant battle between the two in my mind. I felt guilty whenever I opened the book, but not guilty enough to put it down. I simply had to know what happened next. This year I didn’t want to go through that again. Reading for pleasure should be pleasurable. So I waited.

My exam went okay, I think. It was about literature and law (‘law as literature’ and ‘law in literature’) which meant I could discuss texts like A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and The Trial by Franz Kafka. I enjoyed learning the material in general but I don’t know if I wrote about it very well. I had some time leftover during the exam so I quickly doodled a little Sherlock Holmes on the rough paper side of the exam booklet. If only I got marks for my doodling skills! It was a masterpiece, I swear.

But all of that exam stuff is behind me now. It’s so liberating to know I can read what I want whenever I want. I don’t have to feel guilty about reading books purely for entertainment. This month I want to mix things up a bit and re-read old favourites as well as approach some new books. Re-reading books is quite comforting for me because I get to go back to old friends and familiar places. I can go through the highs and the lows of the story all over again and see how its effect on me has changed (or stayed the same). I was super stressed out by exams so I’m hoping these books will be just what I need to make me feel happy and relaxed again :D. As for the new books I want to read, well, I’ve been waiting a long time to get to some of them them because I wanted them to be a reward for finishing my exams. I needed them to be my incentive to try hard. I hope the wait will make my enjoyment of them sweeter.

These are the books I’m thinking of re-reading this month:

  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • Loveless (1-11) by Yun Kouga (volume 12 is coming out soon, I must prepare!)

These are the new books I want to dive into this month:

  • City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

I’m interested to know how many books I can read when I have no other commitments on my plate (apart from making sure my puppy a) doesn’t bother squirrels and b) stops wombling in the garden. Seriously, she can find rubbish ANYWHERE).

 Have you ever had to force yourself to not read for pleasure? Was it easy to get back into reading books for fun afterwards? 



7 responses to “The Freedom to Read Without Guilt

    • Thank you, Cayce 😀 I love Loveless so much ❤ I just wish there was more of it because there are so many things I want to know about the story!!

      Neil Gaiman is fab. FACT.

  1. Heh, I usually end up winging it when it comes to final exams 😛 I mean, this year’s Geometry test was the only test I REALLY studied for because me+math=doom. (I ended up getting a C on the test, WHICH MAKES ME SO HAPPY ^_^ And I got A’s and B’s on all my other tests!) Anyways… I have had to force myself to not read for pleasure and, like you, when I slip up and start reading a book, I can’t stop but still feel really guilty. It kind of puts a damper on the whole reading experience, which is sad 😦 But hey, when you are done with having to (attempt) force yourself not to read, ALL THE BAD FEELINGS GO AWAY AND THERE IS ONLY MAGIC!

    Oh, and I just got Unravel Me 😀 I didn’t much like Shatter Me, but I’ve heard from trusted bloggy friends that the series does get better, since the characters become more developed and the author gains more skill. And apparently Warner becomes very swoon-worthy? I can’t really see that since Warner came off as an obsessive wacko in Shatter Me, but we’ll see. I will still refuse to ship him with Juliette, though, no matter what!

    P.S. I’m sure you did awesome on your exams 🙂

    P.P.S. YOU HAVE A PUPPY? Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! What’s her name?

    • You get awesome grades! I can understand the maths thing. The one time I actually managed to do well on my maths test my teacher was so astonished that he told everyone elses parents about it at parent’s evening (which was horrifically embarrassing).
      I’m feeling the magic of bookish freedom right now. It’s kinda overwhelming, in a good way.
      I’m about a third of the way through Shatter Me. I like how the writing style is very poetic so I’ve been enjoying that aspect. I think you can tell it is a new author who is experimenting with ways to write which is cool. But I need a funny character to arrive because Juliette’s in such a horrible situation and I need some lightness somewhere. I don’t like either of the boys particularly, at the moment. I’ve got Unravel Me on my shelf so I look forward to seeing how Mafi’s writing develops. It was a bit difficult for me to get a copy of the books so I’m hoping that the series will collectively become a favourite by the time I finish the whole lot.
      My puppy is called Willow and she is beautiful but absolutely strange. She tried to brush my hair with her paws this morning. It’s her first birthday next month. I’m gonna get her so many presents!

      Image and video hosting by TinyPic

      • Aww! On my last birthday, my mom got me a book of all these little messages she wrote. All whole page was dedicated to my struggles in math and how she was still proud of me >_:D And happy early birthday to Willow ❤

        But seriously… I really want to steal her.

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