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There is a part of me that feels like I am tempting fate by even thinking about writing this post because I am in a good reading place right now. Seriously, I am 3 books ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge according to that fun little orange bar that tells me these things. But there is a part of me that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s been nearly 2 months, it has to happen at some point and I need to be prepared for it.
I am talking about reading slumps (if the title hadn’t given it away). Now they always suck regardless of whenever they hit, but this year in particular I found out that they can be caused by something that I never even imagined possible. Usually they happen because nothing holds my attention for longer than a nanosecond. Or because I have done so much reading that my brain is like ‘no stop this now, focus on something else’. I suffered from that a lot at uni. 2 books a week is hard sometimes. Especially when they all seem to insist on being over 300 pages and essays also exist.
But this year I have discovered that there is new way the reading slump can lurk in the peripheral of my life.
From the possibility.
I have listed all the books that I intend to read this year. The number is 40. I’m sure you’ve seen be talking about it on here since the beginning of the year. I entered 2016 with a reading game plan. One that I plan on seeing through this year. This means that I have a list of all the possible worlds that have been created by smarter minds than mine just waiting for me in their (mostly) new covers. I have an idea of all the possibilities open to me and that in itself is causing my brain to want to short circuit and just give up reading altogether.
I actually can’t look at the whole list for my reading challenge because there are books on there that I have forgotten are even on there (Pynchon I am looking at you) and when I remember just how many there are I start to freak out and declare to myself that there is no way I can do that much reading. There are books on there that have hundreds and hundreds of pages (hey look at that OVER 600 pages one…Neil Gaiman I wanna have a word with you about that) and then there are some that aren’t even that long but feel like they could somehow be the book that I trip and fall into a slump with (again Pynchon, I am looking at you). And there are just so many. The list seems never ending.
I mean obviously it will end. I have (almost) 31 books left to read as of right now. The end is closer than it was back at the beginning of the year, but I’m playing to the fact that I am on a roll right now. In the wrong way.
I’m reading the books that I really want to read and have been excited for for ages, but that means that I am neglecting the ones that I know are gonna take it out of me are still coming and it leaves this reading slump as an oddly omnipresent thing. I mean Moby Dick filled me with dread in 2012. That hasn’t changed 4 years later. I hear the things about it and then I see the size of the thing and remember how I wanted to pull my hair out from the root when I read the first 200 pages back then and it feels me with a ‘NO! never pick up a book again’ feeling.
Which is ridiculous. I can see that. But it’s this thing that I have noticed I am aware of now. It’s this thing that I am trying to prepare myself against. It’s turned elements of reading into some kind of battleground.
It’s gotten weird.
And made the words ‘reading slump’ into the Great Big Bad. I have had reading slumps before and yes they suck, but I have always found my way out of them (usually with Rainbow Rowell, and guess what she has a short story coming out for World Book Day, so I can blitz through that when the time comes). They’re manageable. Kinda.
(I am choosing to ignore the fact that I have hit walls with at least five of the books on this year’s list before and just left them unfinished for actual years. I am choosing to blame that on the fact that I was at uni and I had to make executive decisions about books, if they weren’t gonna be used for coursework or exams then I kinda didn’t need to finish them…)
But currently the Great Big Bad is nothing but a tiny little blip somewhere on the horizon. I’m thinking 4 books ahead at all times. Writing it down and everything (I would like to know when I adopted that trait from R…the list making thing). It makes things seem less terrifying than the number 40 (actually 31).
I am also far too into The Girl on the Train at the moment (who the hell knows when that review is coming, not until at least mid March I don’t think…) to even entertain this crazy maybe problem any longer so I am signing off for the day.
Parentheses count: 11. See you tomorrow!
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