Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reading Slump of '10

I've hit a slump.  A reading slump, that is.  I haven't cracked open a fun book to enjoy in well over two weeks, and my non-reading state leaves me feeling a bit ... slumpy.  I want to read, I want to get my 'joie de lire' on, but I just haven't.  Why is that?  Why is it that someone, like me, who enjoys reading so much doesn't do it all the time?

Above is a picture of an actual slump (taken from the Giant's Causeway website).  Notice ridges in the hillside that show the ground is collapsing beneath itself and causing somewhat of a landslide.  Thus, the metaphorical slump of a downward spiral where things collapse and pull the slumped person down.  *Sigh*

As I'm writing this, I'm sitting in my big, comfy chair with my laptop perched on my lap.  I'm wistfully staring at the small bookcase beside my chair, which holds the three books I'm currently reading and my Kindle (which stores the other two books I'm reading).  Just writing that sentence makes me wonder if part of my problem is that I started too many books at once and now feel overwhelmed with the thought of getting through them all.  But, no, that can't be it because I've read had times in the past where I've had more than five books cracked open during the same time frame.

I want to read, so why don't I?  I know I can provide a short-term answer.  At this very moment, I can't let myself get caught up into a book because I'm taking a short break from grading and getting prepped for courses and meetings that will take place later on today.  In fact, I blame my schedule for my not picking up a book to read--plainly put, every time I sit down and have the mental capacity to read, I am reading something that's not for personal enjoyment.  Instead, I am reading something I have to read.  Maybe it's the fact that I have a job that requires me to read that pulls me away from my personal reading time.

I want to blame all sorts of external things for my lack of reading, yet I know it all boils down to me: I go through periods in my life where I will be super-dedicated to something and then periods where I can't get myself to do that very thing I had been so wrapped up in for weeks/months.  I'll read book after book for a few weeks and then not pick up a book for a while.  I'll do crosswords every day for a few weeks and then not even want to look at a crossword for a month.  I don't like that all-or-nothing feeling and wish I could have a bit of moderation in my life while still being productive, but that just doesn't seem to be me.

Normally, I wouldn't be so concerned about my reading slump.  But now that I've started a reading blog, I feel like I'm letting somebody out there down when I miss a posting or don't have anything inspired to say about books because I'm not currently wrapped up in one or two or three.  Then again, I can't be so pompous to assume that my readers have their lives on hold because I haven't posted.  Still ... I feel a sense of duty to be regular in my posting because I hope there are readers on the other end wanting to find a new post on my blog.

I've missed two postings in the past five days, and I'm going to be honest--I will also miss tomorrow's post.  I'm working on something for Friday, so if all goes well, I'll be back on track.  I'm also scheduling in 30 minutes of reading for tonight.  I don't feel like reading for fun should have to be scheduled, but I'm worried that if I don't push myself to get back into the reading habit, it may be another couple weeks before I get back into reading.

Are any of you out there like me?  Do you have reading slumps, too?  If so, how do you get over them?

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