Bookish Chat : Escapism though reading!

September 25, 2015 Book review 36

This bookish chat is inspired by the cartoon below and sorry the original source is unknown as it is something I saw on Facebook.  I tried to find it but drew a blank.  But back to the cartoon, it actually makes me feel a bit ranty!  But that’s probably because it hits a bit of sore point for me.  Just because I read doesn’t mean I avoid reality!  And I was wondering does anyone else feel the same?


Escapism Cartoon


I think the main reason that I feel like that is that I don’t read to escape my life.  I like my life thank you very much!  If I didn’t I would set about finding ways to change it and not bury my head in a book.

And I know I get it, this is a joke.  And of course reading can be escapism, as can watching tv or playing computer games.  But I probably feel a bit defensive as I get annoyed with people thinking I read too much.  When I settle down with a book, I do turn out my life for a little bit but I don’t use it to avoid life.  Reading is part of my life, a huge part and it has brought me huge amounts of comfort and pleasure over the years.

I think reading is a perfect way of switching off and allowing your brain to switch gears for a little bit.  But it’s not avoiding reality, it’s more like recharging your batteries so you can do more during the other times.  I find that when I read, I often get inspired to try new things, I find places that I end up visiting and it broadens my mind.  None of those things are avoiding reality, it’s the opposite really, they make me live more.

So I know I’m probably over reacting but I bet you’ve been told you read too much too? Am I right?


Talk to Trish:  Do you read to avoid reality?  How do you feel about the cartoon?




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36 Responses to “Bookish Chat : Escapism though reading!”

  1. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

    I definitely get told I read too much! I wouldn’t all it escaping reality really but I definitely use it as a break. Just to calm me down and settle me if that makes sense. Life can get crazy and hectic and reading just pauses it for me so I can regain myself. Great post!
    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted…Review ~ Softer than Steel

    • trish

      I think we all get told that but who decided what is too much! I use reading as a break too and it definitely calms me down and gives me quiet time.

  2. Red Iza

    I hadn’t seen your blog since it’s been revamped, your banner is absolutely lovely; and so cozy 😉
    The cartoon… doesn’t really irk me because I must confess, escapism is one of the reasons I read books nowadays. However, it’s *not* the only reason I read, I also like to see different points of views about life, reading about different universes, different countries, different cultures : to sum it all in one word, I love to learn ! Reading is a way to maybe escape the dreary reality, but it also opens us up to a whole world in just a few pages. So that’s not being closed up !
    Red Iza recently posted…Review / Mia Marlowe : The madness of Lord Westfall

    • trish

      Thanks Iza, I’m really happy with it all!
      I agree reading opens up far more than it closes off! And I love travelling via my books (and in real life too) and I have learnt so much from books that I can carry over in to my real life.

  3. Lola

    The cartoon doesn’t offend me, I thought it was kinda funny when I first saw it, although I do see your point. The implication that readers don’t do real life and only live in a bookish world is wrong.

    In my case I often used to read as escapism, less so now, but when I was in my teens reading to escape my own worries and troubles was one of the bigger reasons to read.
    I get the feeling of real life being so overwhelming you need a break. And picking up a book and worrying about the characters their problems instead of your own is a nice whay to not have to face your own problems for a while. Although I don’t read to avoid the problem, more to keep myself from worrying about things I can’t do anything about or give my mind a break for a bit.

    On the other hand there are so many more reason to read and I don’t avoid life by reading. I just relax and focus on something else for awhile. When I was little I did got told I read too much now and then, but not as often, more that people thought it was weird I read so many books.
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: Why Do You Review Books?

    • trish

      I have used reading to escape but I don’t like the implication that we only live through books! It’s more that we live more lives via our books! And I love switching off with a book too, they are my biggest form of relaxation and I look forward to my reading time all day.

      I used to be bothered when people told me I read too much. Now I don’t care!

  4. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I like the idea of reading to recharge my batteries…I do that, too. And watch TV for the same reason…or go to the movies. Everything is done to enhance my life, not escape from it, and I have also been told that I read too much! Annoying, right?

    Thanks for the bookish chat!
    Laurel-Rain Snow recently posted…AUTHOR’S HOME PAGE

    • trish

      I definitely think reading enhances my life and I think I’d be in constant meltdown if not for my relaxing daily reading sessions. I thought maybe being an author would save you from being told you read too much!

    • trish

      I think that it’s an awful assumption and it’s a bad message for younger people too. Reading is one of the best hobbies there is and I hate when it’s brought down by negative comments! I’m not saying this cartoon is doing that but it is feeding the myth.

    • trish

      I can see the cartoon is funny on one level and I know I’m probably over reacting to it. But I don’t like feeding the myth that readers have no lives and spend their life hiding behind their books. On the other hand I feel so sorry for non readers, they don’t know what they are missing!

  5. Diamond's Reads

    I think we have all been told we read too much…and yes it’s unfair and annoying! I think what bothers me the most is that 20 years ago when I was young girl I got that response and now, my young student is also pressured with this inner battle because she is starting to like reading and she feels like that will make her a dork or whatever. Yet she cannot read quickly and/or comprehend as she should (because she doesn’t read much) an wants the skills. It’s frustrating to watch and I feel like we should have won this battle already!! It’s been how many years of this stupid stereotype? Will people who read ever be seen as being cool, probably not, which is whatever fine who cares. BUT it bothers me in that it prevents young people from reading or reading more openly and that is just stupid 🙂

    Diamond’s Reads recently posted…Swapoween!!!

    • trish

      Isn’t that just so sad. I really thought that reading had become cooler as a hobby but obviously not. I hope she wins that inner battle as she really is at that make or break stage and we both know just how much she stands to gain if she falls in love with reading.

      Hope college is going well 🙂 Have you any time for reading Classics?! I have yet to start my next one and I think I might to back to Austen for this one.

      And yes I love my design and you are right Paper Hearts were involved. The designer was Anna Moore, Paper Hearts did the coding and the illustration is by Julianna Swaney and she is the same illustrator that Paper Hearts used too. I couldn’t be happier with how it came came together.

  6. Christy

    I think it’s silly because I know as a reader, that it’s not necessarily true. However, I think people who don’t read often think this is what it’s about for readers, like we’re all introverts avoiding people and reality. That gets annoying, because I’ve been a reader since I was little and I’m so not like that.
    Christy recently posted…Scandal Never Sleeps by Shayla Black & Lexi Blake

    • trish

      That stereotype is just so annoying! And I am quiet but I don’t avoid people. And I definitely don’t avoid life with my books.

  7. SweetMarie83

    I finally made it here to see your new blog design! It’s so beautiful, Trish, I love it. 🙂

    I do read to unwind and switch gears, but I suppose there’s a bit of escapism in it for me. I like my life, but it’s not currently all that exciting, so I like to read about people doing different things, falling in love, having adventures, travelling, etc. Between writing full-time, having anxiety, and basically being a hermit, reading is a way to shut off my very loud brain and imagine something different. So it’s a bit different for me, I guess! It’s interesting seeing your take on it, and the others in the comments. I guess I’m also really lucky because I’ve never been told I read too much. I’d definitely take offense to that!
    SweetMarie83 recently posted…Review: Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

    • trish

      Thanks Marie, I’m so happy with my new design too.

      I think we all read as a way of relaxing but there is a big difference in doing that and in reading to avoid life and people. I think anyway! I know I need to shut my brain down too and books are by far the best way of doing that for me. I find if I watch TV, for example, that isn’t the complete switch off that I need but with a book, it’s a total distraction.

      But again it’s just a fun distraction and not my complete life. And I’m glad you don’t get told you read too much! I bet being an author helps with that.

    • trish

      I love the idea of all 3 of you reading away! And yes I probably got over sensitive just because I’m used to defending reading as a hobby!

      And now that you mention imagination, I know mine is a lot better just because I read. It’s just another one of the fantastic perks of reading.

  8. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas

    I read for two reasons because I really enjoy it and because I do seek escape quite bit. I’ve already been a reader and probably always will be, simply because I like doing it. However, I have both depression and anxiety, so escape from outside triggers and being trapped in my own head is absolutely necessary. I read to enjoy myself and to stay sane. So the cartoon does make sense to me.
    I have been told I read too much, and I disregard those people because that’s one complaint I’ve never understood. You can’t “read too much”, it’s one of the greatest sources of learning and enjoyment in human history.
    Michelle @ In Libris Veritas recently posted…Reading & Ranting: Bedtime Booktag

    • trish

      I get that reading is an escape and I use it as that too. But I don’t ONLY read, I do lots of other things in my life too and the idea that I hate my life and have to escape it with a book just irks me!
      And I’m with you, you can’t read too much! 😀

  9. Shaina

    Great points! I think it all depends on where you are in life. I wrote a post about how some things I went through in childhood had me hiding in my books, and they were like life preservers in the sea of insanity that was my home life. These days, I don’t read to escape quite as often (in fact, sometimes I’m reading very heavy things, fiction and nonfiction alike, and that definitely is NOT escaping!).
    Shaina recently posted…The Real Good Roundup, Issue #3: The Best Posts I’ve Read Lately

    • trish

      I have at times used books to escape too, when I was going through infertility treatment, I definitely blocked out the world with my books. But that was a temporary phrase and I think most people get through hard times by using some form of distraction. The idea that people who read though use books to avoid people and life just bugs me! We can do life and books 😀

  10. Elizabeth

    People used to tell me I read too much, but now that I am physically disabled and get around to as many things, people say, “It’s good you read so much since you’re home all day,” as if it’s OK now that I can’t do more physical things. As if it were just a time filler!

    • trish

      I’d be biting my tongue to stop lashing back with a sharp retort! I’m sure there are loads of things that you enjoy doing and reading books is just one of them.

  11. Bookworm Brandee

    *grins* Great post, Trish. I get a little annoyed when people (*ahem* hubs) alludes to the fact that maybe I read a little too much? What? There’s no such thing. Right? 😀 I do read to recharge…I read because I’m an addict, honestly, and if I don’t get to read I go through withdrawals and am cranky. I *don’t* read to avoid reality…although I have been known to forget about making dinner a time or two because I was so enthralled with a book. 😉
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…That’s What HE Said #38 ~ Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #17

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