I am in the middle of Reader’s Block. Which is extremely annoying considering I have all of one, maybe two, hours a week during which to read. Minuscule time screams for a real page turner. Not a book that taunts me from the coffee table. My current book sits there, with its familiar cover, staring up at me whenever I am in the room. I even left it in my gym bag for a few days just to get it out of sight. But it wouldn’t stay out of my mind. I know that I need to read it. I need to write a review here. I also would like to finish the damn thing, just in case it gets any better. I feel guilty leaving pages unread.
It isn’t really the book’s fault. Oh sure, the main character grates on my nerves, but the writing style interests me, to the point where I have dog-eared lots and lots of pages marking passages I favor. While the book isn’t exactly one that I am drawn to right now, I’m not sure that any book could create that feeling.
I contemplated switching over to one of my two favorites for a re-read. That always gets me out of a reading rut. Visiting with an old friend. Exploring details overlooked previously. Falling in love all over again with the author. Becoming the characters. Wanting to have a week-long discussion about the book with anyone who will listen. But when I went to get up and get one of them off the shelf, I was overwhelmed by malaise. Nah. Not in the mood. Not even for my dessert in the world of literature.
I’m beginning to wonder if I am reverting back to my old reading disorder. Years ago, I used to lead a life void of daily reading. I would go months and months without even thinking about a book. And then, out of the blue, I would crave them. I couldn’t think of anything other than what book to read, when I could go get it and where I would decide to read. I would get road rage on my way to the library, anxious to find that book. Then I would dive in and read straight through until I couldn’t keep my eyelids propped open any longer. When I finished I would have to go right back to Page One and start all over because I read through it so fast I skimmed half the plot. I would then continue on this book binge for weeks, even months, at a time. Swapping out one book for another. Sometimes reading several titles at once. And then one day, after finishing a satisfying read, I would close the jacket, set it down, and return my nose to the world of the living. I wouldn’t want anything to do with books for another long stretch of time.
The last time I stayed off the books, it went like that for several years. When that dry spell came to pass, I reigned in my desire to go hog wild and instead learned to read like I did as a child. I read something most every day, with patience and interest. And I talked to others about the stories I discovered rather than just moving along to the next set of pages. Books became more meaningful to me as a result, and I sought out this incredible world of book bloggers.
I believe I am recovered, and not about to relapse into my binge/purge reading habit. I think I’m just in the midst of a mild case of Reader’s Block and that once I allow myself to sit and read without feeling guilty over all of the other things I should be doing, I’ll pull myself out of it. I need to give myself permission to read for the sake of reading again. To know that it is just as important to re-charge my mind as it is to get the chores done, to get my work assignments done, to get my blogging in and to get my family entertained.
Now if only my current read’s character would stop being so annoying, maybe I could get over my Reader’s Block more quickly.