Once in a while, I’ll hit a kind of snag in my reading. I am generally a voracious reader. I have 4 or 5 books going at the same time and usually have no trouble at all reading a line of one while in the kitchen, some chapters in the living room then going to bed and reading whatever is there, all with equal pleasure.
But then one day I’ll look through every book available to me and feel completely uninterested in any of them. I’ll read a paragraph then pause to check out my cuticles, read another few lines and check my phone, read a bit more then try another book. Over the years, I’ve come to recognize these signs as pointing to a dip in my ever changing depressive world. It makes sense – when I’m feeling down it’s hard to get excited about anything. Reading asks for much more of a commitment of resources than watching Star Trek (the Next Generation) or scrolling through some media feed, so I get it. I try to take the hint and take care of myself these days, which includes a whole range of things, from more exercise to more ice cream.
Sometimes, though, I don’t see it coming, just find myself without the urge to read. Then I start judging myself (since I’m the easiest one to blame). I tell myself that maybe the books are too literature-like, that maybe I’m lazy and just want to read fluffy novels. I tell myself I’m a terrible person to have so many books out of the library and not even read them. I tell myself how judgey I am of other people who watch a lot of TV.
Something like this has been going on for about a week in my house, and I was really giving myself the business tonight. I opened and read one paragraph from five different books before I found one that seemed like maybe I could read through dinner.
An hour later I found myself with an empty plate and my foot asleep from sitting on top of it. I hadn’t moved an inch since I started. The book completely took over my brain and I knew I would try to finish it tonight.
Apparently I forgot the other reason for a sudden disinterest in books, which is having books that I don’t connect with (yet). Which isn’t to say I never will, just not right now. Tonight’s book totally pulled me in and reminded me of how much I love the written word.