A GIF Response to My Reading Slump

Lately, my reading habits have been very much like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I’ll start a book and find it too something, put it down. Another book, too something else, put it down. For the past two months, this has been me.

Finally I reached max frustration . . .

 

I'm more gentle than this cat when I get frustrated with books.

I’m more gentle than this cat when I get frustrated with books.

. . . and realized I had to write about it.

The Slump hits every year. I read a couple of books a week for the first six, seven months then bam!—there’s a month when I read a couple of books total.

I used to say that I get reader’s block when I need to be writing more, but lately there’s not been much of that, either. Just a lot of Netflix (hi, Lost Girl!) and staring forlornly at the laptop screen trying to will words onto the page or hoping they’ll start appearing of their own volition. (Hint: Fruitless. It doesn’t work that way.)

These days, everything I try to read is

too depressing

too depressing

or

too fantastical

too fantastical

or

too implausible

too implausible

or, of course

Britney hath spoken.

Britney hath spoken.

Even with old favorites, it’s like

So I find myself hopelessly thinking, well, maybe I’ve read all of the books I’m ever going to love. Maybe I read too much and I ate up all the good words. So far, in spite of it all, 2013 has been my best reading year since ’08 (which stands out largely because it was my first year of only reading what I wanted to because it was my first full year out of school). It was liberating to read outside the confines of syllabi and the comprehensive exam reading list.

When I read a bunch of really good books in a row, it’s always hard to keep up the momentum for long. Not that there aren’t thousands of great books to discover. It’s just that doing so seems exceedingly difficult when the amazing ones no longer seem to fall into your lap like delicious manna-rain from the book gods in book heaven.

Chronologically, the list begins at the bottom right and ends at the top left.

Chronologically, the list begins at the bottom right and ends at the top left. There were a couple of exceptions I won’t name-drop.

Until that happens again, I’m following this advice, refusing to settle, and trying to go on with my life. That’s harder than non-readers realize. More dramatically now: When your identity is tied up in books, it’s hard to make sense of yourself when your nose is temporarily unstuck from them.

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