Now, to clarify, this is not a finger-wagging exercise. I’m not about to judge you for these sins. I’m guilty of a lot of them, after all. This is just an opportunity to laugh at ourselves for our bad reading habits. You may notice that Lust is missing off the list and that’s simply because I couldn’t think of an equivalent reader sin that wouldn’t drag the tone of the list down. So, if you can think of one (nothing dirty, please!), please feel free to let me know in the comments.
1 ft – Gluttony – Buying More Books Than You Can Read
Yep, guilty. At least, in my case, I have semi-good intentions. I have a local independent bookshop that I want to keep in business by ordering some books every other week. I also like to order the books for my various reading challenges in advance – and then neglect them for months. And, then, go crazy on Audible sales. Yeah, me and my bank balance are not friends. It’s not just your money that’ll suffer if you buy more books than you have time to read either. Seeing a high TBR pile of shame is depressing. You feel like a bad reader and like you’re wasting your days on pointless things when you could have your nose stuck in a book. Let this get out of hand and you could drive yourself into a bad mental place. So, try to set a budget for your books and remember that you don’t have to get them as soon as they come out. They’ll still be in the shop after payday.
2 ft – Sloth – Letting Your Shelves Become Untidy
Guilty again. I didn’t mean to let my shelves get in a mess. It was in order at one time, I swear! It just became too much hassle to find the right place for my new books every time so I ended up putting my books wherever I had space and wondering why I keep losing track of them. And, why putting my books back in order is such an ordeal that I avoid, which means my shelves get even more messy and the beat goes on. ( should I should probably try to order your books every month or so to keep them in good order and to keep track of them. It’s easy to forget which books I own and which I don’t when they’re in such a mess. I’ve never accidentally bought a book twice but I have the feeling I will if I don’t keep on top of keeping my shelves tidy. Let me know in the comments if you ever did this and what you do to try and keep your books in order.
3 ft – Wrath – Getting Drawn Into Silly Debates/Bandwagon Thinking
Having strong opinions is by no means a bad thing. It only becomes a bad thing when you get too attached to them. So attached to them that you are willing to fight with commenters, followers and even total strangers over them. Now, I’ve never actually done this. I don’t have the nerve for it. I tend to keep quiet if someone says something I don’t agree with and, on the Internet, that’s probably the wisest policy. Where I fell down on, however, was letting other people’s opinions influence me too much. I avoided books that I later came to appreciate because I got drawn on the hate bandwagon. Of course, sometimes that hate is completely justified (see the Twilight series) but it is always worth checking things out for yourself and making up your own mind. Then, when you’re bashing something, you’re at least doing it from an informed standpoint rather than just following on.
4 ft – Envy – Spending Too Much Time Looking At Other People’s Shelfies
Anyone on social media has fallen into this at some point. Every day, on your social media feed of choice, you see an absolutely immaculate set of shelves. Their books are arranged neatly. If they own a series of books, they’re all from the same set with not a single odd one out. There isn’t a movie/TV tie-in edition in sight. Their book-ends/ornaments are on point. They even got their pet to stand still in just the right place. Who are these unnaturally gifted people? How can their shelves look so perfect and mine look so shabby? It’s easy to feel like your shelves aren’t fit to be seen compared to the sparkling shelves you see only. You just have to remind yourself that how your shelves look isn’t important compared to what’s on them. Who cares if you don’t have wall-to-wall bookshelves with all books organised by colour? Who cares if you don’t have wall-to-wall goldleaf decorated hardbacks? Your books are precious for what’s in them, not for how they look on the shelves.
5 ft – Vanity – Buying Books For Their Covers
This is a multi-faceted sin. Either you buy books you haven’t researched properly simply because you liked the cover or it’s a book you’ve already bought but you just wanted that decorative special edition. Yes, having a nice-looking edition of a book you really like is fine. When you’re putting yourself out of pocket to make every book you own looks Instagram-ready, then, you’re going to have problems. There’s a lot to be said for buying ‘ugly’ books. I have a few very old ones that came from a charity shop or similar that I love dearly. Like I said in the previous point, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Never mind if your book is water-stained, dog-eared and with a hideous cover. If the story’s good, that’s all you should care about.
6 ft – Pride – Format Snobbery
I suffered from this one quite badly when it came to eBooks at one time. I was a strict physical books and audiobook connoisseur and I honestly couldn’t tell you why. I didn’t have a Kindle but I have a tablet that supports Kindle which I never used. Then, the pandemic happened and a. I realised that my local bookshops didn’t sell the books I wanted and b. I realised that eBooks were indeed a lot cheaper. So, I swallowed my pride and snobbery and got into eBooks. Now, eBooks are a key part of my reading diet and I’m all the happier for it. It’s often my go-to for graphic novels and for books that aren’t easily available in the UK. We all have our own favoured format but don’t exclude one type of format just because. A wide reading format diet means a wider reading diet and that’s only a good thing.
What’s the biggest reading sin you can think of? Which ones are you guilty of? Let me know in the comments below!
I hope to see you again very soon.