There’s something a bit off in one of my most treasured relationships. I can’t describe it, but lately we haven’t been connecting at all. We sit down together as we always have, but somehow don’t engage. My mind wanders, and before long I’m thinking about my “to do” list, or the grocery shopping, or worrying over a tough passage in a Mozart Sonata. Several times, I’ve been forced to simply walk away.
Books and I aren’t getting along well.
Don’t laugh- reading is a relationship with me. I count on the fictional world to help me escape from the dreary real world and entertain me with the antics of interesting characters. I expect poetry to elevate my senses, soothe my spirit, ignite my intellect. I come to non-fiction to inspire my muse and feed my creativity. Lately, none of this has been happening with any of my books. My book journal for the month of October is completely bare ~I’ve finished nothing.
However, here’s what I’ve started and put aside in the last two weeks~The Lay of the Land, Still Summer, Keeping the World Away, Body Surfing, and The Jane Austen Book Club. These may be perfectly fine books, but every time I sat down to read I kept losing my place in the middle of a page, or going back to re-read the last three paragraphs because my mind hadn’t registered a thing. Finally, disappointed in the book (and in myself) I placed each one back in the “to be returned” pile of my library stack.
I don’t take my relationships lightly, and the one I have with books is no exception. Giving up on one is hard. There was a point in my reading life when I refused to do it, and would struggle through most anything until the end. Now, though, there really are simply too many books and too little time. If a book and I aren’t enjoying one another after about 50 pages, we part company.
But it doesn’t happen often, certainly not with five books in a row as it has this month.
I suppose reading relationships go throught difficult periods like human relationships. Sometimes we simply fail to give each other what is needed. For whatever reason, we don’t find the sustenance, the comfort, the insight that’s required. But during those strained times, there is definitely something missing from life, and I feel bereft and lonely.
Today, I’m off to the library to bring home a new collection of possibilites.
Wish me luck.
How about you? How are things in your reading life?