7.25.2006

What do you do when you’re in the reading doldrums?

You know the feeling: You’re dying to get lost in a new read, have an author haul you by the roots of your hair into a universe far away from your own, find an un-put-downable tome that you keep at hand the way some people carry cell phones, lest you find yourself with a spare minute and nowhere in the vicinity of your dog-eared page-turner. But, lately, you pick up one book and it doesn’t quite grab you. You pick up another and lose interest after a few pages. You try another and the language or characters or plot don’t reel you in beyond page 3 or 4.

It seems a number of litbloggers are having a hard time focusing on or sustaining interest in what they’re reading. Maybe the heat wave is making bloggereaders sluggish. Maybe it’s midsummer burnout.

So I put it to you, readers: What do you do when you’re in the reading doldrums? Do you turn to a particular author or genre to gently jolt you back into a renewed passion for the written word? Do you switch media altogether, watching TV or movies for a while? What about pulling a beloved classic off the shelf? Maybe you grit your teeth and finish something, anything, just to keep going? Or do you simply put away books for a while?

6 comments:

AC said...

Oooh, I hate that! It seems I go through it often these days, unfortunately. I do a combination of the things you mention -- reread (if only in parts), veg in front of the TV (how I discovered The Colbert Report), and work on this puzzle we've had going for a few months now.

One thing that usually helps, though, is to pick up something completely different. I was reading a lot of books that were similar stylistically, and after my latest burnout, I kept going through my books, but couldn't stick with anything. As I was reshelving, I picked up M. Duras and read the first paragraph -- it was very different, just what I needed. Short books are good for literary rejuvination, too. They're like book-espresso.

Dorothy W. said...

Like AC, I might pick up a crossword puzzle, or read something I'm familiar with -- often Jane Austen. I try to find something high interest. Or I might spend tons of time reading blogs :) There's nothing like a good blogpost to inspire me to read.

Stefanie said...

I read book reviews and magazines and try to find a book that is fast-paced plot focused.

The doldrums really stink. Hope you get over yours soon.

LK said...

Lucky for me, I'm not really in the doldrums -- just been reading a lot of bloggers who are and thought it was an interesting question to put out there.

As for me, an old favorite (sometimes even a children's book) or poetry will reinvigorate my brain.

litlove said...

I usually find it's because I'm trying to read things I ought to read and I'm really in the mood for something different. That being said, for me it's also about patience. If I'm not enjoying reading, its because I've got greedy and am wanting a book to happen to me too quickly. Remember all the things you ought to be doing rather than reading - unclogging drains, the weekly shop, the ironing... the book soon looks a lot better!

Lesley said...

I do like the others, and switch to another genre or just take a break, even if it's a day or two, and watch TV or more likely, browse and read other people's book blogs, which is how I found you!