books, The pile

Readers Block

I’ve come to a bit of a standstill.  This happens to me sometimes and it’s one of the reasons why I have such a large to-read pile.  Despite the pile(s) of books awaiting my attention, I just don’t fancy reading any of them.  If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll have noticed that last week’s What I Read list was somewhat low on new books – and it’s all because I’m having one of these moments.  I stare at the shelf of books waiting to be read and I can’t work up any enthusiasm for any of them. There are two usual outcomes to this – either I buy more books that I do fancy, or I go on a re-reading jag.

I don’t know what brings on these little moments, except that I’ve always been a re-reader and I have old friends that I can come back to again and again. But this is the third year that I’ve done the Goodreads Reading Challenge and I have a strict rule that I don’t count books I’ve already read towards the total – even if I haven’t already added them to my shelf.  This means I spend a lot of time reading new stuff, and less time reading old favourites – as I’m always trying to beat last year’s total.  In 2012 I read 202 books, last year I read 260 – and although I doubt I’ll better that this year, The Boy keeps asking me how I’m getting on and I get all competitive about it.  When I beat my 2012 total last year, he got all superior about it because I’d read fewer pages than the year before (there was a higher concentration of short stories in there than normal) so I kept going until I beat the pages total as well.

Ten days ago I hit 100 books for the year (my first target) meaning I’m on target to do 200 books again and I think this might be what’s triggered my current bout of malaise. So, I’m re-reading the Phryne Fisher books – which were my big discovery of 2013 – so I can enjoy them afresh and block out the memory of the second series of TV adaptations (which are the inspiration for a post about TV versions of books that I’m currently working on).  I also haven’t re-read Laurie Graham’s Gone With the Windsors for a while (I usually read it at least twice a year) so I bumped her latest paperback to the top of the to-read pile (The Liar’s Daughter) and I’m planning on getting GWTW out again after Phryne.

I think another factor maybe tiredness.  I’ve done a lot of hours at work over the past month and although it wants to read, my brain doesn’t want to contemplate anything new or taxing.  Well, I’m hoping that a lighter week at work because of a heavy weekend and an upcoming wedding will deal with the fatigue and get me back into the zone because I know that despite what I think at the moment, that pile of books is bound to be full of interesting books and new favourites.

The final factor (that I can think of anyway) is Titus Groan.  I started reading this damn book in January and it is lingering on.  The trouble is that it hasn’t really grabbed me and there is so much other stuff waiting to be read that I can ignore it.  Now you’d think that I’d take this as a sign and give up, but I’m a stubborn old thing and I hate admitting defeat, so this weekend just gone I took it with me to London (where I was staying for the weekend for work) to try to force myself to finish it.  I read another 75 pages, but then I got too tired to concentrate on it and I went back to Phryne.  I keep telling myself that I just need a bit more sleep and then I’ll get down to it and it’ll be fine – despite all evidence from the lingerers on the to-read pile that this is not the case.  Watch this space.

Do you have any tips for getting back your reading mojo?  Post them in the comments below.

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