reading critically vs reading for fun

Hello everyone! It’s been a little over a week since my last post- although it feels like it’s been months!

I have settled into my dorm room at school, and I finally feel like things have gone back to normal. Obviously I am in a different setting, and the classes are totally different from high school, but I got into a normal routine and made some good friends.

Blogging should be back to a normal schedule now!

Anyways, today’s post is about something that I have been thinking about for quite a while now. I realized that there are three different ways that I read books- either critically, for fun, or a mix of both.

Critical:

I read critically mainly when I read books for school. Most of the time I don’t love the books I read for school, so I end up just reading them for the analytical part.

I am naturally a very critical reader, so this is something I do regardless of what I’m reading. I often take notes, and I write annotations in the margins of my books.

When I rate books that I read critically, they typically tend to get a lower score because I think about all the different aspects of the book- from the writing style, to the character development, world building, and sentence structure.

Fun:

On the other hand, I tend to read for fun when I am feeling very drained or stressed out. I usually pick up contemporaries when I am in the mood for just fun reading.

These books are a lot more easy going for me, and I usually fly through them pretty quickly. I don’t need to focus too much or think too hard while reading, which makes it an easy read. I love reading books for fun because it reminds me of how much I enjoy reading, and it helps it not turn into a chore.

These books tend to have a higher rating, because I just focus on my overall enjoyment, rather than all of the little details.

Both:

Finally, I read both critically and for fun at the same time- this is usually for ARCs and other books I plan to review. I want to read them for fun because I bought them for enjoyment purposes, but I also want to give a thorough and thoughtful review for you guys or the publishing company!

These book ratings tend to go either way- either high, low, or in the middle. I mix my feelings with the critical aspects of the book, so it really just depends on the book!

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Can you relate to any of these? Let me know in the comments how you read, whether it’s any of these or a different way!

Xo, Jess

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6 thoughts on “reading critically vs reading for fun

  1. ah starting college! how exciting/stressful. hope it’s all going well for you! it sounds like you’re thriving tbh.

    i also find that lately – in the last few years, probably both because i started reviewing more often and started reading books seriously for school – i’ve been reading the books i pick up critically way more often! every once in a while i’ll turn my brain off and just read for the fun of it, but that’s pretty rare. such an interesting post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi :) as a literature student, I find that the analytical side now comes first for me, whatever I’m reading. So long as I can find something to intrigue me (whether that’s the drive of character and plot, which I always used to enjoy most from my casual reading, or a potential structural or theoretical aspect), I can stay interested. I find myself wanting to write essays about books I don’t like, as well as books I do. In terms of taking notes, this really depends. If I’m having trouble following the narrative I’ll write brief chapter summaries, and if I know I’ll be writing an essay on that text later, I’ll pick out quotations as I go to save me searching back later, but if I’m gripped by the prose, I won’t stop to find a pencil, or even grab a bookmark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely understand! Especially now in school, I definitely find myself reading more of my books very critically! I still want to enjoy what I am reading though, because reading has always been a hobby I enjoy, so I don’t want to lose that side of it! However, I write in almost all of my books, so I have to disagree there! If I find the prose to be very gripping, I need to pull away to grab a pen.

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