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Anatomy of a Reading Slump

January 19, 2016

I spent last week in a reading slump.

Perhaps, more accurately, a reading grump.

I finished reading Sherlock Holmes. And the winter winds howled and blew. I was surly and easily mentally jangled. I hated things. I picked up books, read a few pages, and put them down. I scowled and moped. My library desk smile felt a little desperate. I couldn’t find a book I liked. I whined at friends on Gchat and Twitter. (Thanks to Emma and Lisa for trying to jolly me through with reminders of good rereads.) I was in a funk.

David Bowie died, and I was sad, but I felt weird about how sad and thrown I was, because I wasn’t the hugest of Bowie fans. The wind was frigid. I whined. I poked at books on my e-reader read a few pages and grumbled at them. Alan Rickman died, and I was absolutely gutted. But I felt like I had a better claim to that sadness. Blow Dry is one of my favorite movies ever. I started reading a library book that came in on my holds list. I put it down and couldn’t remember why I’d put it on my list. I couldn’t even find anything to enjoy hate-reading and complaining about!

It was the winter of my bookish discontent. I wanted a space opera. No, I wanted a historical fiction. But ugh no not the 19th century. Or World War II. I wanted a space opera but the library didn’t have that one. I wanted foodie lit but, shut up Anthony Bourdain. I didn’t want any of the books in the TBR pile that’s still taller than me, or the titles that have been lingering around on my Kindle for 3 years and two different device incarnations. I must have read three pages of at least eight different books. I kept putting them aside, knowing that I was in too cranky a mood to enjoy a book that I would love, once I got over myself and out of my mood.

I am really, really glad I set myself

I was whiny and impossible and I felt betrayed. I needed a good book to help soothe the crabby mood that not having a good book had gotten me into.

Yes, my book-snit ended. And it took less than a week to blow over.

Many thanks to Lisa for recommending The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison, a baroque fantasy novel with lots of strange multisyllabic names, intricate social customs and a point of view character who made a good guide because he was just as perplexed as I was. That worked. I stayed up late reading it.

Given how much fun I just had writing a recap of my whiny reading slump, I should have written this rant and posted it earlier in the week. Maybe I would have gotten myself over my book snit faster. Not entirely sure what I’m going to read next, but I appear to have shaken free of the feeling that my bookshelf has nothing to wear.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 19, 2016 11:44 pm

    Slumps are gruesome. I try to keep an assortment of books on hand to avoid the slumpy-grumpies.

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