Twelve days ago I finished my last book, I already had my next one lined up waiting to be read. Water for Elephants immediately went in my handbag ready for the next morning’s commute. However, I find myself nearly two weeks later carrying round an unopened book. I think I’m suffering reader’s block.
In January I set myself the target of reading 60 books this year, the figure wasn’t just randomly picked from the air. Last year I managed to read 53 and it seemed reasonable to me that I could fit in another 7 books. I’m recording all of this on Goodreads, and their clever little app allows me to regularly check how I’m doing, am I ahead of schedule? Or slowly lagging behind?
Five months into this personal challenge I’m crashing badly, I forgot something really important at the very start, this was going to be a marathon not a sprint. The physical activity of reading can be tiring and straining on the eyes but I think I’ve also underestimated the emotional journey that reading takes you on. To have joined so many adventures since January to experience such highs, lows, fears, happiness it takes it toll on the mind and body.
Having found myself in a reader’s block, understanding how I got here, how do I get out?
Below is a list of ways, some have been recommended by friends, some I’ve picked up from other bloggers and some have just come to me in a moment of enlightenment and helped me a long my way. Which one will work this time, who knows but I hope it comes soon or I’ll never reach the magical number of 60!
1) Make sure the book I’m looking to start next fits with my current mood, no one is ever going to come out of reader’s block by reading War and Peace
2) Try listening to audio books or radio dramas, begin to once again enjoy escaping to another world to another person’s life
3) Go back and re-read an old favourite, we all have those weathered books on our shelves, the well-thumbed, red wine stained treasures that we can read at any time, in any place, even with reader’s block!
4) Go to a very boring presentation, conference, workshop – you’ll soon find yourself fighting the urge to read like Richard fights the urge to tell Judy to shut up*
*At this point I should declare my dislike for Richard and Judy. They are not now nor ever will be an authority on books for me.
5) And if all else fails, join a book club, there is nothing like the “friendly” pressure of the club’s matriarch to force you to read.
I of course will not be doing number 5 – I think I’d rather read Twilight followed by Dan Brown’s new book before I would even contemplate joining a book club, but hey that’s just me.