I’ve been talking about this for what feels like forever. Months, at least, though realistically, it’s probably been about a full year. What am I alluding to? My reading SLUMP, capitalization necessary. I am in a slump, a funk, a whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I want to want to read so badly, but most everything I pick up goes about 50 pages, or so and then back down.
I don’t really want to commit the time to read that I used to. Nowadays, if I have two hours of uninterrupted time, I settle down to cross stitch or knit. I still don’t watch much TV, but I’m not reading. I used to be the bane of my boyfriend’s existence if I didn’t get to read at least a little bit every day.
Recently, I’ve gone days, even a solid week without so much as looking at a book, and content just the same. My favorite way to go to sleep was nodding off between words on the page while I got those last few pages in before sleep. My books sit on my shelves in another room, far away from me.
But it’s changing. I think I’m getting better. I think I might be falling back in love with reading again. And it’s glorious.
So, let me tell you how this came to be, at least I think.
When I got back from BEA, one of the most amazing experiences of my life, I had a lovely pile of ARCs to read. Most that I really wanted to read. So I put myself on a schedule to try and read those beauties prior to publishing. And I think this was a mistake on my part. As I’ve mentioned ad nauseum, I’m not reading like I used to. And keeping to a pretty strict schedule is daunting. A truly failing plan because by July, I was already lagging. I still have yet to read more than two of my BEA books. Wow, is that depressing.
So then, early August rolled around. And it was time for Bout of Books 11. I decided to stop all of the books I was reading and pick up something else to set as my solitary goal. But I stared at all of my books and couldn’t decide. So I got Danny to choose my book for me. I told him he could pick anything on my shelf that was bigger than 350 pages (I wanted somewhat of a challenge if I was going to read just one book for the read-a-thon). He grabbed Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson and I was excited because I’d heard such good things. My heart was hoping he would choose a fantasy book as that was my mood, but I was pleased with the choice. Well, Bout of Books came and went. And I read 93 pages total. I put the book down after Tuesday. It was good. I was starting to get into it, really. But it just wasn’t what my subconscious was after. I wanted high-impact and intensity from the get go. And one just isn’t going to get that from a contemporary book. Not the heart-pumping excitement and immediate satisfaction that an epic fantasy can deliver.
It’s been so long since I was sucked into a book and that rattles me to my bones. I don’t like it. I don’t enjoy the fact that reading isn’t near as important to me anymore. I don’t like that I’m still collecting books without reading. I love my crafting but now that fall is upon us, sitting down with a big cup of coffee, snuggled into blankets and a comfy sweatshirt with a good book sounds so amazing that I’m almost desperate for my reading slump to find it’s end.
Desperate enough that I tried again. And this time, I let my own subconscious make decisions. I walked into my office, faced the shelves and stacks of books before me and grabbed the first (well, second) book that called me. I admit, the first book I grabbed was Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, a well-loved, highly recommended monster of a fantasy, standing at over 1,000 pages. That is too big for the first book I’ve actually read in over two months (disregarding audiobooks). I picked up The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. Timely, because the movie is in production and the sequel is due for release on Tuesday, September 16th.
I was sucked in by the first paragraph. Seriously, y’all, this is what I’ve wanted for ages. I wanted to forgo all of my responsibilities and settle in to read. Of course, I would pick this book up twenty minutes before I had to leave for class, but the point is, my heart beats a little harder when I think I have some time to spare for reading. I get excited and butterflies in my stomach again.
I haven’t finished it yet. And you may wonder why, considering I started reading it over a week ago. The reason for that is due to a challenge I signed up to participate in where each week we are charged with reading a book that fits a certain category. It’s a challenge on GoodReads and the first category called was historical fiction. So I’ve been reading The Lion and the Rose by Kate Quinn, a beloved favorite author and series (I reviewed the first in this duo logy, The Serpent and the Pearl, last November). And I’m almost two hundred pages in! I commit to reading a little bit every day. With this being a 450 page adult book, it’s slow going, but I’m reading… daily. I make time for it. Not only that, but when I’m crafting, I’m wishing I was reading. (Confession: When I’m reading, I’m still wishing I was crafting but still!).
So, I’m not cured… but I’m getting better. I’m reading a little bit every day, even if it is just a little bit. The darkness is getting grayer and beginning to dissipate. My reading future could be full of all of the words and pages. I’m falling back in love with reading.
(The irony here by including this particular gif is not lost on me.)