Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weird Reading Moods

All July--really since the 24 Hour Reading Challenge if you want to be nitpicky--I've been in a weird reading mood. It's not that I'm not liking anything. I'm still finding the occasional book that I can't put down. (Living Dead Girl. Paper Towns for example.) But I've also been in a noticeable-to-me funk, this oh-I-have-to-start-reading icky-nagging feeling that is not usually there. I love to read. I have always loved to read. And once I'm actually into a book, then it's not a problem keeping me there. It's just this I don't know quite which book to read, don't know what I'm in the mood for, I really need to read that but I don't really *want* to mood. Do you ever get that feeling? It almost always happens when there are *too many* choices.

Here's a typical night-time ritual:

"Self, what book should I start tonight?"
Go to one of my boxes of 2008 books, shuffle around a few titles. Bring back three or four books.
Sit down on bed.
Pick one up, open it up. Read a few paragraphs.
Put it down.
Pick up another book. Read a few paragraphs.
Put it down.
Pick up another book. Read a few paragraphs.
Put it down.
Pick up all three books, go to box.
Pick up three different books, return to the bed.
"Self, I really *need* to pick a book so I can get it read tonight. Else I won't have anything to review the day-after-tomorrow."
Pick one up, read a few paragraphs.
"Okay, I think this one might work."
Read it through from cover to cover.
Look at clock.
I've got time to start another....what should I read next.
Feel around to see what books are left on bed.
Choose one.
Get disgruntled.
Pick up all the books, return to the boxes.
Look for one that grabs me.
Return with one book.
Read the first two or three chapters.
Decide it's too late to read anymore.
Turn off the light.
Start thinking about what to write in the review for the book I've just finished.
Start thinking about how many books I still have that need to be read and reviewed.
Eventually fall asleep.

If I could just eliminate this new-found indecisiveness, I'd be a lot more productive. And I'd be less frustrated with myself. After all, it's not the fault of the book that I'm in a weird mood. I often go back a day or two or a week later and it is that very book that hooks me.

Still I wish there was something I could do to get out of this odd-little-pattern I've got going and begin to relax more. It's not that I want to read less. It's not that I'm tired of blogging. I still enjoy both. It's the indecisive wondering that occurs between my productive times that is getting to be a dragging and draining recurrence.

So how do YOU deal with these weird reading mood swings and general book-crankiness? Any tips on how to break the cycle?

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jmnlman said...

I either radically switch topics for what I'm reading. Mistry to current events or some heavy nonfiction to light fantasy. Then again sometimes I just can't decide so I give it a day or two and then I can jump back in.

Unknown said...

It makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one that does this! Typically, if I'm indecisive on what to read, I'll watch a movie instead. Then I can usually go back and pick up a book to read.

Or, I'll pick up an old friend - a book I have read numerous times just for the joy of reading it again.

Debi said...

Would it help to take a night or two or three off from reading? I know, I know, that sounds downright scary, doesn't it? But maybe a night or two of just totally vegging out to a pile of movies would actually help bring back a bit of joy to that whole "starting a new book" thing. I guarantee not a single one of us will abandon you if you go a day without a new review!

Unknown said...

I am in that mood too.
Our book club finished Sense and Sensibility then I went on to my book
club online that wasn't too too heavy. Then I wanted to read Cholera for my other book club, and I need to read Eat, Pray, Love and I can't get my self to find any thing. I am starting Barefoot which is a kind of book I have not read in year. CHICK LIT, BEACH READ... But I am not too happy about this. I like you, am in a funk. Hopefully, I will get out of this. You mention about book marks. My problem is I but them and I loose them. And they are just laying around. Maybe I will try what several poster's and you ahve said to put them in a basket.

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

Check out the Guardian book blog on this topic (they call it "reader's block")--lots of suggestions for how to get out of it!