Slump

imagesI’m not reading much lately. This is disturbing. I have always defined myself as a reader, so if I’m not reading, what am I? (Okay, don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question, but you know what I mean.)

It’s not that I don’t have time. Sometimes I don’t, true, but generally I am able to find half an hour a day minimum to pick up a book or magazine and read it. I’m a fast reader. I’m an efficient reader. I really like to read. Why can I not find the time now?

I seem to have lost interest in reading. I haven’t been to the library for months. My daily newspaper often goes unread after a cursory examination in the morning as I eat my breakfast yoghurt and fruit. The monthly arrival of my Marie-Claire magazine from France doesn’t excite me as it used to, and right now there are two months worth of Marie-Claires sitting on my bedside table, all forlorn and unread. This is unusual behaviour for me.

I just don’t understand. How can I not want to read??? There’s nothing particularly stressful happening in my life right now that could be overwhelming me and occupying my every waking moment. I’m living in my head just as much as I ever did, thinking and pondering and reflecting about the minutae of my life as usual. But I’m not thinking about reading.

Even the reading I’m supposed to do for work has fallen by the wayside. Fortunately, that’s not affecting my teaching very much right now. It’s May, after all, and there’s not a whole lot of new information that I am expected to be familiar with at this time of year. But even the small amount that I do have to read, I’ve only given it a quick once-over. And left it all in a gradually increasing pile on my desk. I rearrange the pile a couple of times a week, but I do not actually sit down to read and absorb anything in it. Some example for my students, aren’t I – and I’m supposed to be a bit of a reading specialist!

The weather can’t be a contributing factor to my non-reading either: it’s not been consistently Spring-like around here this year. Some warm, sunny days, yes, but more rainy, cloudy, cool days. Exactly the kind of days where I used to love to curl up with a favourite book – but I haven’t done that.

About the only thing I’m reading is email and blogs, and I think that’s only because they’re short, sweet, and I can click them on and off at a whim. And I must confess that if one of my favourite blogs has a post that I deem too long, I stop reading. And sometimes lately “too long” is more than three paragraphs. How lame is that???

Has anybody else ever experienced this sudden lack of will to read? Has anybody got any bright ideas to help get me enjoying reading again? This non-reading stuff isn’t me, it’s somebody else. Help me find myself again!

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8 responses to “Slump

  1. Justme – Is that what it’s coming down to? Choosing between reading and the Intarwebs? Oh, the horror …

  2. I went through a LONG phase of not reading much (about 18 months) having previously been someone who would read 6 books a week. Not sure what caused it exactly, but it was definately linked to excessive time on the internet! Recently I have started reading again though. Not as much as I did, but a normal kind of amount. But now I can’t keep up with my Blog reading! Maybe you will start reading again when you go on holiday? Especially if you don’t take your laptop!

  3. I don’t know any of you anymore. How can you not feel like reading? Magazines & newspapers, okay — it’s always the same stuff over and over anyway. Maybe you think you’ve run out of books to read? Do you tend to stick to a genre/style? Perhaps it’s time to try something completely new? Have you read the Peter Mayle books? I always go re-read one of those when I feel like there’s nothing new to read. Or another type of biography. Or just something completely out of your realm of stuff you usually read.

    • VioletSky – I’ve never enjoyed short stories in the past, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

      XUP – That’s another good idea. Maybe I just read so much for so long that my brain wants to take a break or try something completely new. Re-reading old favourites is probably a good way to rekindle the love. “Outlander” series, here I come!

  4. Or start reading short stories.
    Mavis Gallant’s new collection looks good.

  5. VioletSky – You may have a point about the shortened attention span due to reading short posts in blogs. I wonder if I should stop reading so many blogs?

    Jazz – You’re right. I shouldn’t stress about it, because doing that certainly doesn’t make me want to read any more either.

  6. I’m still reading as much as I can – unfortunately not as much as I’d like.

    I think you’re probably just a little burned out. Go with it, it’ll come back.

  7. This is me. The new and unimproved me. I try to stop reading blogs by turning off the computer… but it hasn’t made me want to pick up a book. For the past 10 months I have taken 1 of 3 partially read books with me whenever I go for a walk (meaning to the coffeeshop) but I manage only a page or so, before deciding I’d rather stare out the window or flip through a magazine full of pictures. Maybe my attention span has shortened due to reading short posted blogs?