Growing up, I loved reading. I spent all of my free time reading.
My ideal Friday nights were going to Barnes and Noble roaming the bookshelves, filling my arms with as many books as I could. I convinced my parents that I needed them all in order to survive. However, as I grew up and school became harder and harder, my love for reading started to diminish.
Reading became a chore because of all the reading that I had to do for school. My brain became fried from all of it. It was hard to ever read for fun.
Another impediment to reading was the introduction to fanfiction in my life. The first fanfiction I ever read was based on the Chloe King show on ABC, particularly the character Alek. I read fanfiction because I wanted to see happiness for the character Aleyc. It later spiraled to reading it because it gave me instant gratification that regular books couldn't give me.
Fanfiction allows you to expand characters that you already love with storylines filled with usual tropes.
Instead of having to read 200 or 500 pages, you can read one-shots that give you all the fluff moments you love from books without having to read a physical or digital book. Another thing that I find comforting from fanfiction is that allows for me to read more stories on characters I love from TV and other books that I read from when I was a kid.
The problem that I also found with regular books is having to struggle through the introduction to then realize that I don't like the story or the characters.
With fanfiction that is long, I am able to get a short snapshot of the story and if I don't like it, I can just exit out of the tab. I tried to reignite my love for reading during quarantine. I did this by rereading one of my favorite books — Percy Jackson. As my life started getting busier, I have resorted back to Fanfiction because of how much easier it is for me to get into the story.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter the format of reading I like. Reading should be done for enjoyment when doing it as a pastime.
Nothing you do for fun should feel like a chore or something you dread doing. It should easy and carefree. I truly hope that one day I get fully get back that love for reading that I used to have. Until then, I'll just be on my phone scrolling through Archive of our own.