Even though I have been posting my booklists each month, if you have looked at them closely, you’ll notice a lack of any kind of long form prose. I did finish a book of children’s scary stories last month and I thought maybe that meant my ability to read for longer stretches had returned!
Alas, I tried to pick up the latest ‘MurderBot’ novel again and my mind cannot focus. I have read maybe 3 chapters and I’m having a hard time keeping things straight, as my brain starts to chatter about life, news, and whatever else, and eventually I realize my eyes are moving across the page, but nothing is actually being comprehended.
Apparently, I am not one of those people that can escape into a book. I’ve always needed total silence to concentrate on reading for any kind of comprehension. Any music or voices happening around me and my ears tune in to that, quickly taking my mind with it. And I guess voices in my head count too.
Over the past few months, graphic novels have been the best format for me – they tend to be short, fast paced, and decoding both the text AND the images keep my mind a bit more occupied and the thinky thoughts lurking around the edge can’t make it in to disrupt me.
I just wanted to post this to say that no one should feel bad if they are not making a dent in their TBR pile right now. Even a librarian is struggling to read. If you’re struggling, try another format – maybe a graphic novel or comic book, maybe an audiobook, even just short stories. It might not cure your reading slump completely, but it might move you closer to a thing you used to enjoy and might be missing.
I think switching formats helps. Certain types of books are easier for me to access as audiobooks (nonfiction, popular fiction), and I read ebooks much faster, so if it’s something important, I really need to focus. I also try to read challenging stuff at the kitchen table. The chair isn’t uncomfortable, but it makes me sit up straight and focus. (And the lighting is good.) For difficult stuff, I try to take frequent breaks. You’re right – These are hard times! The main thing is to enjoy what you’re reading, regardless of how many books or amount of time you spend reading.
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