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this newsy has quickly become my comfort read. also that piece on grief - so special & so important 💌

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Such a great read, thank you!

This line, "I am easily over-stimulated, I have a racing brain, and reading takes me out of myself. It is my self-care, my meditation, my way to find an equilibrium in order to face the world" really spoke to me. I feel the same; reading is my sanctuary, my escape. And I bloody love it 💕

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Really appreciate this openness! It reminds me of Oliver Burkeman, who asks "What are you going to fail at in this season?" - by answering the question, we're acknowledging we can't do everything and need a clear sense of what we're saying 'no' to. This question made me so uncomfortable to answer, because we are always trying to do it all!

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Oh yes yes yes. I relate so much - reading is like breathing to me. There is also no “before” time. I just never don’t have a book on the go, or on my mind. And as for reading, I’m all about pockets of time too - especially at work. I read on my lunch breaks pretty much every day. Sometimes, too, reading is responsibility as I have a book podcast I need to prep for, but even so I find time before work and before bed. I don’t have kids, and I have a short commute so that helps. I also have a wonderful husband who cooks for me and tbh on the weeks he works night shifts, if he hasn’t pre-cooked something then I am also a heater-upper in favour of reading or recording a podcast or some other commitment.

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Just wanted to say YES to all of this. I was nodding, nodding, nodding. I am also very much A Reader, and some of it counts as work but a lot of it is just because that's what I want to make time for. I'm going to save this link for the next time someone asks me this question. Great piece. Thanks for sharing it.

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Great read. I think we love to pretend the person who reads hundreds of books a year, has a great social life, has nailed the art of cooking, is fit as a fiddle etc etc are all the same person and not snippets of individual people we admire. Can I ask - how do you approach books you don’t enjoy? Do you persevere or put down? Do you have a rule for how many pages you’ll commit before deciding to give up?

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Nov 28, 2023·edited Nov 28, 2023Liked by Pandora Sykes

I came across this post thanks to another person sharing it on my Substack home screen. I'm so thankful I read it! I've always had lots of hang-ups about reading as I unforunately absorbed a LOT of socialization that reading regularly would be me a "very good girl" and/or "a very smart girl." But I've been working hard the last few years on being kinder to myself about my current reading habits + aspirational reading habits.

Like, I read alot of emails/texts/social media captions for my day job (sales), so OF COURSE I lean into other hobbies in my spare time! Reading online articles, email newsletters, and beautiful Substacks on my lunch break DO COUNT as reading! Even if I read 2-3 pages of a book one day, I READ A BOOK THAT DAY!

I also realized that, because I live in quite a busy household (4 kids!), it's up to me to find QUIET moments to read "successfully." So I recently bought some reclining patio chairs that make reading in my backyard so much more pleasant when I want some quiet time away from the husband and kids doing their thing. And the fresh air n' sunshine is such a wonderful bonus!

Lastly, I've worked hard the last few years to find a weekly fitness rhythm that works for my life. "Routines" can be too rigid, but the word "rhythm" helps me be more flexible as the weekly demands present themselves. All THAT work has helped me understand the "progress over perfection" mindset when it comes to building new habits. Everything, anything, something is truly better than nothing!

Anyways, thanks for the completely unpretentious and approachable way in which you explain your reading habits! Appreciate your transparency and grace so much <3

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Pandora!!! I'm a religious HL fan and was delighted to stumble on your Substack today. Absolutely loved this. Thank you. I always found myself envious of you (and anyone else who is an avid reader) for gobbling up books. I go through phases of reading, but when I finish a book I always think to myself 'damn, I'm the shit.' and won't shut up to people about how "I was reading last night" in this weird moral-high-ground-seeking way. It's SO weird. Why are we like this?? Lol. Anyway looking forward to reading more of your archive <3

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I will now send this article to every person who asks me from here on how do I read so much. Thank you.

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For me substack is my social media replacement and I feel so much more nourished for it so thank you for a great read.

I too find reading a way to quiet my racing mind. I know I can find time to read because when it’s a good book I’m glued to it and I finish it in no time but I’n the first to complain that my kids get in the way!

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Loved this. It's so easy to feel guilty about not finding the time to do the things you 'should'. Shall heed the 'going to bed at the same time as the kids to read' advice as that sounds nothing short of magic!

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The moralizing of reading over other forms of leisure (especially social media) is such an interesting point. Why is it that scrolling Tiktok feels great in the moment but then also that its rotting your brain, in a way that reading even a 'trashy' novel doesn't?

Elif Batuman was talking about this the other day and had a theory that it was to do with books having a singular voice and perspective, vs social media having a million different voices so not giving you time to fully see one perspective through. An interesting theory but I don't think totally explains it!

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Loved this! And, I will forever ask if the high low is coming back! 🙃

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I cannot express how much I relate to this. Especially as someone who has suffered with insomnia!! Also I find people always get embarrassed about their reading tastes whereas I’ve always deeply felt like it doesn’t matter for one second what you choose to read as long as you’re enjoying it. The worse feeling is doing something because you feel like you have to in order to keep up when there’s so much more joyous ways we could be spending our time! Thank you for writing this Pandora 🌹

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People ask me exactly the same thing about cooking- because I love it?! And for reading, well I do that to warrant being horizontal in bed ♥️

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Fascinating how you fit in all of that reading. I do lots of audiobooks walking the dog, doing the dishes, etc, and it's helped me read twice as many books as I was.

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