What I’m Really Doing When I’m Reading

Aside from being a notorious book polygamist and a moody reader, I am also a distracted reader. This explains why I’m 17 books behind schedule for my Goodreads Reading Challenge. That and Dragon Age: Inquisition, other blogs, and the sudden desire to binge-watch episodes of Supernatural on Netflix every time my hand touches a book. Unlike many passionate readers though, I have a hard time getting sucked in to the world between the pages because I have an attention span of a gnat. This is what I’m really doing when I’m reading:


I am a curious person, so I frequently look up people, places, and ideas on Wikipedia. Reading only fuels my curiosity. When I was reading the Carnival at Bray, I spent a lot of time gazing at photographs of Ireland, which prompted my Wandering through Ireland post. Now, I’m reading Percy Jackson the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, and I find myself researching Greek mythology. I haven’t studied Greek mythology since high school, so I’m a little rusty, and while Riordan does an amazing job at conveying the mythology in his writing, I still cannot quench the thirst for more knowledge about the subject. (Digression: I’m pretty sure I’m a Ravenpuff).

Browsing instagram

I’ve had the instagram app on my phone for about two years, but I never really used it until I discovered book bloggers had instagram accounts too. Now I find myself flicking through the #bookstagram and #currentlyreading tags between chapters. I also browse the #booksandtea tag (so meta) even though I actually post under the #booksandcoffee tag more often.

Thinking about work

One of the biggest challenges I face when reading is my inability to completely forget about work. It’s such a buzz kill! Nothing ruins a feast in the Great Hall with Harry, Hermione, and Ron like the sudden realization that I forgot to reach out to a customer about their billing concerns. Almost immediately, I grab for my phone to e-mail myself a reminder, and then of course I have to check instagram again because my feed has new content.


I always keep a notebook nearby in case I feel compelled to write down a thought about the book I’m reading or a passage that resonated with me, but instead I find myself brainstorming. Most of the time I’m jotting down a list of blog post ideas, which I intend to publish one day, but you know…procrastination. Sometimes I even get an inkling of a story idea, and I jot those down too. Of course, I intend to write about those one day, but you know…procrastination.


It’s possible to be too cozy when reading a book, which is why I prefer reading on the couch instead of in bed. As soon as I sink into my pillow top mattress and surround myself with pillows and blankets, I start to nod off. I’m lucky if I can even make it through a full chapter.

Chasing Fargo away from my tea

Both Fargo and I love mint tea. I think it’s soothing, but it also keeps me alert. Fargo thinks it’s liquid catnip. He stalks and paws at my mugs of mint tea, so I have to  constantly push him away, toss around toys, or let him chase me around the living room.

Cleaning my apartment

Nu-uh! I’m not even lying, mom! When I have the apartment to myself on Saturday mornings, I reward myself with a chapter of a book each time I complete a chore. It’s a great system! Unfortunately, it’s not applicable to laundry.

Are you an easily distracted reader, or can you tune out the rest of the world and immerse yourself in a book?