My passion for my entire life, even before I could read, was books. I remember flipping through my mother’s cookbooks, looking at the pictures, wanting to know the name of this and know the name of that. (In fact, a cookbook was my first adult book read. And I still read them as I did then – cover to cover, as if it were a novel, taking in every single word.) I remember staring up at the may bookcases we had FULL of all kinds of books, excited that one day I would be able to devour every word on every page – and I did end up reading quite a few of them in my lifetime, though the books themselves have gone on to other loving homes over the years. I would sneak down in the middle of the night to read my dad’s fancy copy of Lord of the Rings, hide under the Christmas tree with whatever book I was enjoying at the moment using the lights on the tree to read, and yes I was one of those kids who had a flashlight hidden under my bed so I could read after bedtime (and my mom probably not only knew what I was doing, but would have encouraged me to read had I not been sneaking in extra time to do so). My allowance, my money from my first job, my birthday and Christmas money, it was all spent on books. Or something having to do with books, like bookmarks.
Books were my everything. Bored – read a book. A few extra minutes here or there – read a book. Happy – read a book. Angry – read a book. Sad – read a book……. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. I never left the house without a book. And I still don’t, though now it’s my Kindle that accompanies me everywhere.
But the last several years, things have been different. I still love books, I still purchase books, I still live for books… but not for reading.
And I can’t tell you why.
I guess I could blame COVID and the depression that came with that, or my anger over what the world is today, but this lack of an interest in reading started, sadly, years before that. I’ve given reasons, analyzed reasons, but they are all just excuses because the reality is that I don’t know what happened or why I stopped reading like I did.
I’ve tried forcing myself to sit down and read this or read that, but the reality is, most of the books I pick up have bored me so much that I just fall asleep. No matter where it is that I am attempting to read it. Sometimes even in public places. It’s gotten so bad that I don’t even bother picking it up any more, and have several books that I began but never finished.
Is it me? Is it the book? Is it the subject/story?
It’s even more depressing when I go to Goodreads and see that other people are flying through their stack of books and I am trudging, at best. (It feels like walking through a waist deep river of sludge. I’m getting nowhere and I know it.)
And it only gets worse when I come here and realize that, except for one post (a review of a short story collection by Armand Rosamilia), I haven’t written here since August of last year. And it was a post, kind of like this, full of excuses on why I haven’t written in awhile.
To be honest, it’s not because I don’t have anything to say. I have hundreds of topics I want to talk about – book related, TV related (c’mon – we’ve ALL been watching way too much TV through this time), even a few games – but I find myself not doing it, afraid to admit that I have hardly read anything over the last few months… years…
Not being able to read… it’s like losing a part of me. Like an arm or leg. Something that inhibits me from living the life that I want to live, the life that I long for. But I can’t seem to do anything about it. Minus a hand full of books that just really gripped me or books that I have been waiting so long for I just HAD to read them, everything else just sits there on my Kindle, staring at me, and the emails in my inbox, they just remind me of what a terrible book blogger I have become.
I’m not giving up, though, so please don’t give up on me. I have a review that I am writing today – a REVIEW!! I’m so excited!! – and a few more that I hope to be able to finish reading and review over the next week or so. (One is by an author whose works I really enjoy, one is the third part in a cozy mystery series, the first two being stories I really liked.) And I’m going to get to work on that list of blog posts I’ve intended to write for forever now haha.
4 thoughts on “Where Did My Love of Reading Go?”
I’ve been there. I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, but I have had times when I just didn’t feel the desire. Days would go by without me cracking or a book, or when I did, I’d read very few pages. It passes.
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I’m so glad to hear that it passes. That leaves me hopeful. Thanks.
While we all tend to compare ourselves to others, this only leads to frustration and often depression. If reading is what you love, take your time and savor it. You don’t have to race through books. I’m a slow reader too. Yes, I can skim and get the gist of things in a cursory way, but if I want to enjoy a book, I take my time and subvocalize it as I read.
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This is true. Thanks for the advice.