Have you ever felt overwhelmed after looking at your bookshelf and tallying up all the books that you have yet to read? Jesus, there’s still a lot of stuff I need to get through. But I really don’t want to deal with new things right now.
You know. A “blah” feeling. This feeling that stories, that books, that tea, that things you come across in your daily life are just pieces of content to be consumed. The feeling that every new book read is a task checked off your list, rather than a source of joy and enrichment. It doesn’t help that there are so many new books and stories coming out that the act of reading feels like running to stand still — because if you don’t read the Shiny Book That Everyone’s Talking About, you’re missing out on the conversation surrounding The State of Genre Today.
When things feel like that for me, I hide. I bury my head in the sand and take a mental break from reading new books.
Breaks like this take 2 forms for me:
- I read a lot of internet articles instead. Pocket is great for this kind of thing. So is Longreads.
- I read the same tried-and-true books over and over because they’re comfortable and familiar. Lately, The Goblin Emperor has become one of those go-to reads.
I’d say that I’ve been in a reading slump for a good 2 months or so. In that period of time, I’ve finished reading only 2 books. Considering there have been times where I’ve read that same amount in a single week, taking 2 months to do so makes me feel like my brain has turned into molasses. I’ve already reviewed 1 of those 2 books, Ancillary Mercy, a few weeks back. I still have to review the other book, which is The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein.
In the meantime, I’m currently reading The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. It was on my to-read list for a while, but what ultimately tipped me over into reading it was that the prose was astounding in its precision and clarity, and that it was short.
I need short things right now, I think.
The good thing is that The Last Unicorn is turning out to be so enjoyable that I’ll probably finish reading it this evening. And it’s made me excited to read again, which is amazing. I hope that this upswing continues for a bit.
Anyways, I’ve been in a slump, and I hope I’m coming out of it. If you’ve been in a slump too, maybe we can commiserate in the comments.