With video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, it’s become popular to watch a whole television series at once, instead of waiting for a new episode each week. The term for this is now “binge watching” and I admit that I do it myself sometimes, like when Netflix releases an entire season right at the start of a weekend. (I know that I’m clearing my calendar for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life in November!) But the other day, one of my friends asked a thought-provoking question: is there an equivalent for “binge reading?”
I would say absolutely yes—I’ve been doing this my whole life, long before there was a name for it. Back in those carefree days of childhood, I loved to go to the library, check out an entire series of books at once, and sit down to do (almost) nothing but read for a weekend or a vacation. As an adult, I have less free time to read a lot, but I still make the time for a good “binge read” every now and then—and sometimes I don’t get to pick when it happens.
Sometimes a book just grabs me and I can’t put it down. This happened to me a few months ago when I discovered the Towers Trilogy (Radiant, Defiant, and Towers Fall) by Karina Sumner-Smith. I was only about two-thirds of the way through the first book when I went online and ordered the other two books, because I knew I had to know the rest of the story. Fortunately, I was traveling at the time, and sitting on an airplane or in the airport was the perfect time to pick up a book.
Ebooks make it even easier to binge read because you don’t have to wait for the next book—you can just click a button and download it in seconds! Sometimes, you can get an entire series at once in a “box set” which is awesome, especially when they’re on sale. And I admit that I have at least one subscription which lets me read an unlimited number of books for one monthly fee. Sometimes it’s reassuring to know that I’ll never run out of books to read . . . but on the other hand, sometimes it feels overwhelming. How will I ever find time to read all of these books?
We have a lot of options for entertainment in our modern world: there’s an endless stream of movies, television shows, video games, websites, music, and more, all competing for our attention. We only have so much free time that we can spend on enjoying the things we love, and I know that a lot of people simply stop reading after they finish school because they’d rather watch TV or do something else for entertainment. And I feel sorry for them because they don’t know the joy that comes from getting lost in a book world.
And for those of us who still love to read, I think this is the best era ever for reading. We have so many choices, whether we like ebooks, print, or both! It’s so easy to get books, whether new or old, and you can always find great recommendations from reviews on Goodreads and blogs. So binge read away!