The Seven Deadly Sins of Reading

20/05/2015 Lists, Reading 16

The Seven Deadly Sins of ReadingAs a general rule, us readers are a pretty well behaved lot – after all, we’d really much rather be reading! But there are a few sins that bookworms are apt to commit, and so I thought I’d do a little post about the ‘Seven Deadly Sins of Reading’. I didn’t realise when I started writing this that there’s actually a tag kind of like this, but I’m doing it a little differently!

So here’s the reading sins I have committed:

  • Gluttony: Buying books is my drug – I’m addicted to buying them and usually I don’t wait until I have finished one set of purchases before buying another lot. As a result I have quite a lot of books that I haven’t yet read, which is certainly a sin!
  • Greed: I’ll admit it: I’m a greedy bookworm. As aforementioned, I want books, lots of books, millions of books, even if it takes me forever to get round to reading them. I just like buying them! I’ll also rarely get rid of any of my books even if I haven’t read them in years (although, as I discussed in this post I did have a pretty big clear out a month or two back!) – I just hoard them. I’m basically Smaug the dragon, sitting on stacks of books and jealously guarding them.
  • Lust: I’ll admit it: if there’s a book I want but will have to pay extra for a nicer edition of it, I’ll pay the extra. It’s purely superficial, but I really would rather have the more attractive looking book! Shallow, I know, but what’s a bookworm to do!
  • Sloth: I’ll admit to occasionally being a lazy reader, and putting off books I want to read but know will be hard going, in favour of something lighter and a lot fluffier that I can zip through in a day. For example, I have read and enjoyed a couple of Thomas Hardy books (Far From The Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbervilles) and would like to read more, but considering getting through one of his pretty lengthy, wordy books will take me a while, I’ve kind of ended up putting it off and putting it off.
  • Wrath: Yes, books can incur my wrath! Sometimes in a good way, as in ‘WHY DO YOU KEEP KILLING OFF MY FAVOURITE CHARACTERS GEORGE R.R. MARTIN!’, and sometimes in a bad way, as in ‘that’s totally not what that character would have done in that situation, you stupid, stupid author!”
  • Envy: My ‘book envy’ works in two ways: the first will be me seeing someone else reading a book and then want to read it too, or reading a book and being jealous of a character. That may sound sad, but who wouldn’t want to go to Hogwarts? And those characters who have it all figured out, and/or are really outgoing and assertive (the opposite of me!)? Don’t you just wish you could be like them sometimes?
  • Pride: The book world can on occasion be a little snobby, and I’ll admit if I were going to read something in a public place, I’d much rather be caught reading something a little more high-brow, like a classic, or the latest Man Booker Prize Winner, as opposed to, say, The Hunger Games. Bad I know – you should just read what you want to read, but I think a lot of readers probably feel this way from time to time, especially if you have ever studied English Literature and have been in a room surrounded by extremely ‘well-read’ people (whatever the hell that means!). YA in particular seems to get classified as ‘childish’ by non-readers, or ‘high-brow’ readers, but personally I read a massive variety of genres, from literary fiction to high fantasy, to YA, and I should be proud to read whatever I want to read!

So what about you? Have you committed any of these reading sins?

16 Responses to “The Seven Deadly Sins of Reading”

  1. Killian

    These are all so true and I’m definitely guilty of a good few of them. For example, if I’m ever in a bookshop I have a compulsion to buy something. I cannot go for a browse in a bookshop if I have money because I’ll definitely walk out with a book or two.

    The only one in which we’re different is Lust. If there are two copies of a book, I will ALWAYS go for the cheaper one, even if it’s beat to crap and looks like shit. I don’t know what that says about me.

    Also, I love that you included the fact that GRRM constantly kills off your favourites characters as a positive. I always find that the appeal in that is always very difficult to explain to non-ASOIAF fans.

    • Laura

      That’s definitely true. I guess in theory an author killing off your favourite characters is bad, but I like that it gives the books an ‘anything can happen’ feel. Usually in books you know that the hero is probably going to be alright, no matter how dire the situation, but ASOIAF isn’t like that which I love (although it is hard to explain to people who haven’t read the series)!

  2. Ardelia

    I love this! I’m guilty of all of them. I have so many books from my BA and MA that I’m just holding on to. I really don’t want to get rid of them. When I think about it, I’m like, “You know, I’ll never read Arthur Mervyn or Piers Plowman again. Why do I still have them?” And then I counter with, “Because some day I might want to read them, and then I’ll have to go get them from the library. If the library even HAS them.”

    They just sit on my bookshelves, collecting dust. But they kind of have sentimental value to them, too. They helped me get through grad school….and I may also be a book hoarder. 😉

    • Laura

      I’m like that with the books I bought for university as well. I got rid of quite a few of them when I had my clear out but there are a couple of anthologies that I have kept because a. they were really expensive, and b. because they remind me of uni, and I really enjoyed my course! 🙂

  3. Kathleen

    I would say gluttony where ir up through a while series by ignoring everything around me or :gasp: skipping to the end since I can’t wait to find out and am afraid it will end badly. Which is really ironic when I think about it.

    • Laura

      I have actually done that too where I’ve peeked at the last few pages to find out what happens. I don’t know why I want to ruin it for myself, but I can’t help it!

  4. Hermione Daguin

    Lol, I’m guilty of all these sins. I have so many books in both my elibrary and my little library at home. At one point I had to delete my google books app from everything I have so I would stop buying more.
    It didn’t last long since I installed it back after a few days. I have so many books looking at me everyday but I never have enough time to read all of them. Even if I do, I buy five more books for each one I read.

    • Laura

      I always buy books with the best intentions, but as you say, there just isn’t time to read all the books you want to read! The pile just grows and grows.

  5. Gail

    I enjoyed this post so much, thank you for writing this! I’m guilty of committing gluttony and lust. I keep buying books that stay in my bookshelf (for more than a year sometimes!) until I remember to read them. Also, books that have better covers are my weakness; I found a cheaper version of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window, but I already fell in love with the pricier one. I know they’re the same, but the other cover looked so much nicer!

    • Laura

      I always try and tell myself ‘they’re exactly the same’ when I’m debating between the nicer book cover or the cheaper one too, and it doesn’t work for me either. The pretty cover always wins! 🙂

  6. nordie

    ha! interesting and thoughtful post format, so well done there!

    And yes, I am guilty of some, if not all of them!

  7. Chuck Bartok

    I love your “7 Deadly Sins”
    My friend has been finally publishing his short stories (they will be paper-backed soon) but he is also posting audios.
    I find audios an method for me to enjoy literature as my eyes are fading. Finding out there are a ot of us that way.
    Your thoughts

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