Saturday, January 26, 2013

Loose Leafing: The Books or the Reader?

I'm worried about myself.  You see, it's been months since I've really loved a book.  I feel that I'm firmly in the grip of a reading funk.  Even the books that I hope and expect to love are leaving me with a "meh" feeling, and I'm starting to worry that it's me and not the books at all.  Does this ever happen to you where you worry that no matter the quality of the book you read you won't really like it because something is wrong with you as a reader?

I mean, it's not that I'm not still totally in love with the idea of books.  I came back from this week's library book sale with an impressive selection of plunder.  It's not as much as I usually get (I tried to be very picky!), but it's still far more than I probably should have gotten (but look at the shiny books!).  Plus, ever since I got my sparkly new e-reader, I have been totally in the thrall of cheap e-books.  I've already blown an obscene amount of money on Kindle deals two and three bucks at a time to get books that I'm very excited about. 

My enthusiasm for books, in general, is totally untainted, but I'm kind of nervous that all these fantastic books that I'm super-excited about are going to fall flat with me, too, because I just haven't been able to get truly absorbed in and love any stories lately. 

Surely, there may be plenty of reasons for the reading funk and general malaise and my sucking at both living and blogging. 

Exhibit A:

Recently adopted kitten
This is Eenie, formally of Eenie, Meanie, and Mo of the lately adopted porch colony (see Exhibit A1).  Eenie, arguably the friendliest and most adorable of three kittens, is the one surviving member of her litter.  Poor Mo died of feline parvo virus (FPV), and Meanie was really sick with it, too, so we ended up putting her down.  That left Eenie who didn't seem so sick but was.  I vowed as we drove home from the emergency animal hospital that if Eenie lived (which seemed highly unlikely at the time), she would be my very own housecat.  She was sick, but with some medicine and a lot of time and effort, we saved the story of the little kittens from ending in complete tragedy.  She was quarantined to our bathroom for a month over the holidays, so I ended up spending a lot of time there when I was busy doing holiday-ish stuff, too.  Now she is well and getting big and wreaking unexpected havoc throughout our household.
Exhibit B:

Day Job
We are so busy at my day job these days that by the time I get home I have I hard time doing anything that requires conscious thought and even the television puts me right to sleep.  A side effect of this is that after I spend all day typing away on my work PC, I have next to no desire to turn on my computer at home and even less to write a blog post.  (PS, yes, I'm aware that the pictures are really terrible quality.  Alas, my choice was bad pictures or no pictures, and I made my decision.)
Exhibit C:
(Are you kidding?  There's no picture, only shame.)
The Dump
The House
It's a new year, right? And everybody has their thing they want to do better in the new year.  For me, I desperately wanted to be liberated from a lot of extraneous stuff that I have been too busy or too lazy to clean out for a long time.  Hence, when I'm not working or taking care of one or several members of our chaotic menagerie, I'm deep cleaning something that has been neglected for far, far too long.  I rooted out about two boxes and two trash bags full of stuff from just my bedroom alone, not to mention a pile of outdated electronics that require a bit more effort for disposal.  I've gone through my CD collection, my desk junk drawer, the surface of my desk, and, let me tell you, I've barely scratched the surface of what needs doing and what needs thrown or given away, and I feel like I won't feel good until it's done, now that it's been started.
All these things conspire to make it so I rarely open a book for more than ten minutes at a time, and that's no way to read.  I'm deathly afraid that reading this way is wrecking reading for me, but it's reading this way and or not reading at all, and that proposition is even worse.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Hopefully I'm wrong, and the books that I'm reading would have been "meh" for me even under better circumstances, and I'm just not finding the right book for me right now, and one will come along soon and knock me loose from this funk. 

Until then, well, I've got plenty of cleaning to do.  ;-)


  1. Aw so sorry to hear you are suffering through this! Sometimes it happens I think and I definitely think all the other stuff going on in our lives can contribute to it. I hope a book comes along and sweeps you off your feet soon!

  2. Reading slumps are very discouraging and they always tend to hit me in late November- February. I still get reading done, but it's next to impossible to find a book that totally captivates me during that period.

    I think what you've done with Eenie is tremendous and I salute you for adopting her and taking care of her and making her your own.

    Just keep your chin up and remember: NO self-loathing! Read and blog when you want to, not out of any obligation. One day it will start to feel fun again.

  3. Try audiobooks! I recently got into Audible and LOVED it - I highly recommend Warm Bodies! That way as you're cleaning you can listen! It's SO addicting. I finished Warm Bodies (8 hours) in three days because I could NOT push pause! :)

  4. Glad to hear that Eenie is doing well now. Sounds as though that liitle cat is a fighter :-) I often go through stages where all books feel a bit 'meh'. Hopefully you'll find one to change that routine soon.

  5. Good job with all the cleaning out! Sorry your in a reading funk, though. I don't think your current reading conundrum will lead to long-term reading problems for you, though. I think you'll either find a book that you can't put down or you'll get to a point where you have more concentrated time to read again.