Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Malaise

This winter is truly trying to kill me. It hasn't been above freezing in weeks and it's snowed almost every other day. I woke up to a surprise three inches of snow this morning. It is slowly killing my will to live and certainly killing my will to enjoy everything. The video game series I was merrily plowing through before Christmas? Basically abandoned. The scarf I was trying to learn how to knit? Forgotten. The TV shows I love? I haven't even seen the last two episodes of Sleepy Hollow. And books? Today is January 29th and I haven't finished a real novel yet. What is the source of my book ennui?

I do most of my book reading on my commute to and from work. I work an hour away from where I live, so I have a lot of time on the train to devote to reading and it helps me blow through books like crazy. Last year it was relatively cold, so I made sure I bought special touchscreen gloves so I could use my Kindle Paperwhite and my iPhone without having to submit to the chill. This year, I just sit on the train in a cold-induced stupor, exhausted and freezing and incredibly pissed off that it snowed again and I have to wear two pairs of socks in my boots. I've been putting in some quality time with my iPod, listening to podcasts and playlists, but it definitely isn't reading and reading is the greatest joy in my life.

Even though I haven't been reading doesn't mean I haven't been buying. By my count, I've purchased six paper books and eight e-books just this month (aside - holy shit, I buy so many books). Some are by a few of my favorite authors or continuations of series that I adore. And yet, I can't bring myself to pick any of them up. The excitement, awe and dread I held for my to-be-read list has disappeared and left me numb. It's weird and frustrating. I just received Delilah S. Dawson's Wicked After Midnight yesterday and I should be almost finished it by now, but I instead just gently placed it on top of the pile. I've been carrying Rachel Bach's Fortune's Pawn in my work bag for weeks and I haven't expended the energy to crack it open yet. There are a whole slew of adorable, fanciful cheap e-books languishing on my Kindle, ignored and gathering metaphorical, digital dust. The only thing that has been going well is my Harry Potter re-read because I refuse to let myself sleep before I've read a chapter.

I love reading. The thing everyone knows about me is that I read. I was introduced to a new coworker today as "this is Meghan, she reads books". I mean, if I wrote a biography it would be called "Meghan B: I Came, I Saw, I Read". Books ARE me. They're my friends, they're my valentines, they're basically the best thing I've got going in my life. Not reading is making me feel guilty as hell and incredibly anxious. So what the hell?

Yesterday my iPod was almost out of juice, so I pulled out my Kindle and sunk into a short story I had been avoiding and, let me tell you, it was so good. It felt good to lose myself in the story and revisit characters I adore. It didn't last though, as my ride home was stupidly cold (a high of 12 degrees!) and I was again back to the petulant and frozen desire to not remove my gloved hands from my pockets for love or money.

I think I'm cursed. Did anyone curse me recently?

So how do you shake yourself out of reading ennui?
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3 comments:

  1. So how do you shake yourself out of reading ennui?

    Easy. When I am getting ennui reading genre, I pick up some history. (I always have a history book or ten to read). This always works.

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  2. I have to reread an old favorite when I get like this. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley is my go to reading slump book.

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  3. I don't understand. Not read? This has never happened to me. I've had genre ennui, I suppose. I'll OD on a particular genre and have to switch it up, but I don't think I've ever passed a day without reading for pleasure. Though I have shuffled through my new reading pile looking at all the shiny new books and thought *pfffft* and reached for an old favourite, a la Jessie. I also often have multiple books on the go at one time and will switch between them.
    Hmmm, I could do with a re-read of The Blue Sword... I haven't read that in ages. And Hero and the Crown. Oh, and Beauty... and I should get back to work.

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