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7 things you'll recognise if the book pile beside your bed is your personal Everest

It’s mocking you.

IF YOU REGULARLY find yourself reminding friends and family how avid a reader you were in your younger years, you’re not alone.

Indeed, a vast number of us can draw a correlation between the birth of the iPhone and the advent of social media with our inability to focus on anything screenless for more than ten minutes.

And if your childhood and adolescence were spent regularly devouring the latest offerings from your favourite YA author, it’s likely you suffer from a vague sense of guilt over the teetering bookpile by the side of your bed.

More often used to balance plates of toast and mugs of tea, this pile of fiction, non-fiction and Christmas bestsellers acts as a daily reminder that your love of reading may be confined to the annals of personal history, just like your enthusiasm for rollerblades and your devotion to Britney Spears.

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It is important to note, however, that the mere existence of this bookpile means you haven’t given up.

That, albeit, sad and dusty pile indicates that either your family and friends have been listening, you make regular visits to your local bookshop or you often set yourself reading-related goals.

Unfortunately, it’s also important to note that none of these three things have resulted in the actual completion of a book because, well, Instagram.


Here are just a few things you’ll know if you want to revive your status as a reader, but genuinely fear that ship has sailed.

1. Book Clubs instill fear in you.

On paper, they sound like an amazing idea. Hell, you’re duty-bound to start – and here’s the important thing – actually finish a book, but your (many) past failures on this front have rendered you incapable of signing up.

And quitting a Book Club is not something you need to add to your list of personal defeats.

2. Holidays are your only saving grace.

While you may pack three books, and only make it through one, the sense of achievement you experience cannot be bettered.

In fact, before you even mention the weather on your return home, you casually refer to the novel you ploughed through, poolside.

3. You employ various methods to increase your book consumption.

From removing three-quarters of the pile in an effort to make it seem less daunting, to placing your phone in another room in order to ensure a distraction-free zone, you’ve done it all.

And bless your heart, you regularly bring books on long commutes with the intention of, you know, reading them, only to forget all about this when you realise the coach has wifi.

4. You regularly curse the internet.

When the only phone you rocked was a Nokia 3210, there was no excuse not to soldier on with a book which didn’t initially grab you.

Nowadays, a book needs to capture your attention in the first three words or you’re officially out. You’re not saying this is right, but you are saying it’s a fact of life.

5.  You hark back to days gone by.

People who might not know you well could be under the impression you’re quite the bookworm, and that’s because you’ve done much to perpetuate the idea.

Thanks to your previous love of reading and the regularity with which you frequent book stores, you’re more than familiar with the authors, books and critics currently making a splash, and you milk this for all it’s worth.

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6. When you’re done blaming the internet, you start blaming college.

If you are, or indeed were, an Arts or Humanities student, you’ll have been obliged to wade through your fair share of weighty tomes, with an understanding you would need to retain and regurgitate the information at a later date.

If this isn’t one of the prime reasons you struggle to approach that book pile with any genuine sense of excitement, you don’t know what is.

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7. You find solace in fellow non-readers.

In fact, you consider non-reader an inaccurate description; non-reader suggests you never displayed an interest when actually you were once the Greatest Reader in Ireland, damn it.

You prefer lapsed reader, and you regularly discuss the distinction with other ‘lapsed readers’ and hash out plans to address the issue… as long as it doesn’t involve a Book Club.

About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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