When Reading Feels Like Homework

I wrote something on Medium yesterday about how I still am not back to my old reading habits an how I let other things distract me.

Part of my problem this week is that I am trying to finish my book club book before we meet tonight. I did not choose the book. I probably would not have read the book if not for book club.

This can be a good thing. It makes me read out of my comfort zone. It can introduce me to authors and books I didn’t know I would love. It can make me learn something.

It can also be a bad thing in that it makes something that should be enjoyable feel like homework. That’s where I’m at this week. I’m not loving the chosen book.

The book is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I know people love the book. That’s probably why it was chosen as this month’s book. I just find it long and boring. There are bright spots here and there, but not enough of them for me to want to keep reading. But, I keep reading.

I keep reading because I don’t want to be in a discussion about a book I didn’t finish. I keep reading because I have never not finished reading a book for any of my various book clubs throughout the years. I keep reading because I always do my homework.

But, homework sucks. I want to do anything but finish my homework. It will take a lot of willpower to finish the book before tonight. I might have finally reached the point where I don’t have the willpower to finish my work.

Am I alone in this? Do book clubs sometimes make you feel like reading is work instead of fun? Should I stop worrying about finishing my homework and just go to “class” unprepared?


20 thoughts on “When Reading Feels Like Homework

  1. Generally I get to choose books for my work book clubs and to play it safe, I choose books that I have already read. To read the book for the second time for book club feels like homework to me because I want to read something for fun, for myself.

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    1. I did that last month when it was my turn to pick the book for my community book club. I was struggling to find a book that was available at the library so I chose an older book I had already read.

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  2. Yes. I’m reading Alice in Wonderland for book club and I do feel like I’m reading an assignment. I know people love it but it’s drudgery to me. 75% of the time I’m fine with book club choices, but sometimes bleh

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  3. When there’s a random selection of genres read, it can go both ways – help you find new authors and genres to enjoy, or make it feel like hard work. The new potential book club I’ve spotted advertises the type of books they read – and it’s my preferred type – so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. So long as people make an effort to read the book, I don’t actually mind if they don’t finish it because it’s not their thing. I just got worn down by book club members who’d regularly not bother to even pick up other people’s selections, while expecting theirs always to be read.

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  4. One of my book clubs read this book right after the pandemic started and other than feeling like we could all relate to being trapped in place at the time we all disliked the book and were trying to figure out why in the world it is rated so highly everywhere.

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  5. I’m one of those people who loved this book. I think a contributing factor was listening to it, rather than reading it, but I really liked it and think I would have even if I read it. I don’t belong to book clubs because I don’t want to have to analyze what I’m reading. I read purely for my own pleasure, so if I’m not liking a book I thought I would like, I just quit reading it. I’ve been doing that a lot lately with classics that I know I read eons ago and don’t remember. I find them tedious, so I quit.

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  6. Reading his first novel, Rules of Civility helps before tackling Gentleman In Moscow. Yes, it’s a bit slow at times but a fascinating read. ” All The Light You Cannot See” is another great read. If you really want to give your book club an ass whooping, pick ” Look Homeward Angel” by Thomas Wolfe. They will need a Valium after that one.

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