Binge-Reading

Binge-watching TV show series became a “thing” with new TV streaming capabilities.  But I recently had a week of binge-reading and wondered…. Is this good for me or not?  Is it a harmless pleasure or a harmful addiction?

Googling the pros & cons of binging helped me both feel better about my binging on reading this book series, as well as highlighted the watch-outs.  Binging (whether watching or reading) can be addictive.

Binge watching or binge reading:

  • Allows pure enjoyment to take over as you immerse yourself in another time and place. You fall into the world of make-believe and away from stress of today’s world. It’s helpful in following long-term plot lines.  It can boost the pleasure of solitude time. It works best when you like the characters, regardless of literary merit. Of all possible addictive behaviors, it’s probably one of the best. 
  • Can leave you feeling dazed and in need of exercise. You can begin to neglect other aspects of your life – sleeping, relationships.  Sitting for extended periods of time is just not good for the body! Can lead to feeling of guilt for wasting time.

I’m re-reading a book series from the beginning. I’ve always wanted to, as I love the characters.  I’m finding real pleasure in seeing the relationship’s beginnings, when I know that they will flourish and shift.   It’s also intriguing to see how the world has changed.  It’s a futuristic series and the author began writing the books in 1995. There is reference to technology, which today is considered obsolete, although in 1995 it didn’t yet exist.  As it’s set in NYC, they talk about the Twin Towers. It is not detracting from the story, but it’s interesting.  A bit like remembering the original Star Trek with its doors that opened automatically and hand-held scanners being so futuristic.

To avoid the watch-outs of binging, I’m trying to not read into the early morning hours (I was and loss of sleep was getting to me!), trying to get up and move a bit more with mini-breaks (and not just to go get a snack), and trying to not neglect other aspects of my life (making sure I’m still doing crafting and chatting with folks).  I’m moving a bit more into a regular reading mode versus a binge reading mode, but still staying with the series.

Do you binge read?  Binge watch?

Picture credit – an attempt at another cork craft. I am certainly not great at painting faces!

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18 thoughts on “Binge-Reading

  1. Hello Pat. I have binge watched a few series, but it’s been a long time since we stayed up past our normal bedtime to watch another episode, like we did when we were watching Breaking Bad or Dexter. I have read through an entire book in a couple of days, but not necessarily a series…and not recently. My thought is it’s fine to binge watch or read on occasion, but like anything else, if you can’t stop or the rest of your life suffers, you may have an addiction.

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    1. Christie, I was letting life suffer! So I am trying to be more balanced. I can say, it was helpful to have a series with characters I love to give me some escapism this past week. We had to evacuate for the hurricane, which was predicted to hit our area bad. It shifted path and the eye hit 100 miles south. We were still in the zone, but did not get the storm surge predicted. We are back home and no damage to our property, but the whole week was harrowing and off routine.

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  2. I like to start a series and watch a few a night. We usually watch about 4 of a series and stop. We’ve watched the Crown, the Queen’s Gambit, some of Curb your enthusiasm, and many more in that manner. I do like being able to keep the story line going and being able to keep watching when they leave you with a bit of a cliff hanger. It’s a lot like watching a movie, just a couple of hours, usually in the evening.
    I do have a tendency to start and finish a book very quickly, especially if it’s really good, but I haven’t read a series in a long time.
    And I think you cork art is really cute! Enjoy those crafts! It’s good to keep the hands and mind moving!

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    1. For some reason I rarely get caught up in watching TV. There have been a few exceptions, but I found in most cases I stopped liking the characters along the way. My challenge now is to not get so caught up in this series (where I do love the characters) that I ignore other things… like crafting, blogging, and cooking dinners. Although, having a series of books to lose myself in was helpful this week. The escapism did help with the anxiety!

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  3. I don’t think I’m a true binge watcher but we have been known to watch three or four episodes of a show at night. Right now, we’re going back and watching the first seasons of Master Chef. I did get through Breaking Bad pretty quickly when I first retired. I love having the chance to watch “just one more episode” if I feel like it. My first summer of retirement, I read all the time. Not a series, but all the Patricia Cornwall books I hadn’t read in order. I’m doing that now with a David Baldacci series and I love being able to go straight to the next book. I love your snowmen!!!

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    1. Thanks about the snowmen. It was an attempt to use corks in a different craft.

      I’m with you on going straight into another book in a series. It’s actually been helpful as the author does reference back to previous books and it’s fresh in my mind.

      And I recall binge watching True Blood a few years back, and binge-reading the books it was based on almost simultaneously. There were a number of times we had to fight ourselves to not watch “just one more episode’ and go to bed!

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  4. I haven’t read a book series in a long time, but I occasionally binge-watch shows. I just finished ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ on Netflix. I hope you have a few books lined up for this week. Looks like a rainy one. Fingers crossed that Ian won’t bring more than that to your area. Stay safe.

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    1. Hi Pat, I just saw the evacuation notice for your area. Having been through this a few times, I know how you must be feeling. Sending positive thoughts your way and hoping for a successful outcome for everyone in Ian’s path. I hope you have safely evacuated at this point. Be safe.

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      1. Suzanne, It was a harrowing week. Packing up to evacuate was a very different feeling. We’d had evacuation situations previously, but it was never our only & primary house. My anxiety was high, and I’m still recovering from that even though we are home and everything is fine – no damage at all. I look at the photos of Ft Meyers Beach and think, that could have been us. Ironically we evacuated to Orlando (closest hotel we could get with a pet), and then the hurricane went right through there – lost power in the hotel, but that felt like a minor inconvenience in the scope of things. I hope you made it through safely as well. It was quite a broad path of destruction! Right now, I’m just trying to get back into routine, which helps me feel settled.

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      2. Pat, I would have contacted you privately, but I did not see a ‘contact me’ option on your blog. Anyway, thanks for getting back to me here. I am glad your story had a good ending. We had a little wind, some rain, and the threat of a tornado, but nothing serious. The destruction in Ft. Myers and Sanibel is heartbreaking.

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  5. Good question. I don’t binge watch or read anything. I cannot sit still that long I guess. Plus for me the joy in TV shows or books is savoring the story, not consuming it in one gulp. Probably makes me an outlier, yet again.

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  6. Hi Pat – I’ve been binge reading over the last 6mths while I’ve been more limited in my activities. I’ve re-read the entire JD Robb series (40+ books) and most of Nora Roberts other books. Then I started on Urban Fantasy – light, easy, and they all come in multi-book series. It’s a very pleasant way to kill an hour or two (or three) while it’s been cold and wet here. Fortunately I’m not a TV binger – so one weakness is allowable IMHO.

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    1. Leanne, Oh my… I’m re-reading the JD Robb series, too! She has over 50 books now as I just bought the last 2 that are in paperback (55 is only in hardcover here atm) …but I’m holding off reading them as I re-read from the beginning. I just finished book 14. I’ve read a number of Nora Roberts series multiple times as well. Can you give me a Urban Fantasy author to try?

      I read quite a bit this week as we managed through a hurricane. We had no power, so reading was primary activity! I was glad I had this series – I’ve always loved the characters and it’s fun to re-look at the beginnings of the relationships I know will get deeper.

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  7. Yes, I confess, I’ve binge watched a few shows, esp. during Covid, like “Breaking Bad” and several others. I’ve also binge read a few authors, mostly mystery writers like Michael Connelly, Tana French and Philip Kerr. Now you know: My tastes aren’t that high-brow.

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    1. Tom, my reading taste is definitely not high-brow either! I do like a good mystery so will need to explore those authors a bit more. I’m sure I’ve read Michael Connelly but not the other two.

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  8. I think your snowmen are adorable!! We don’t binge watch. I can’t sit for long enough with my back. I don’t “binge” read regularly but occasionally a good book will keep me reading long past “the I will just read to the end of this chapter” statement! It’s good to love a series and go back. I just did that with the Anne or Green Gables books.

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    1. Bernie, I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables but it’s been on my radar as I’ve thought about reading some of the classics I never read. I’ll need to bump it up on my list!

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