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I Haven’t Read Anything Since Moving In

Read Books, 2010-2015

And it has been four weeks. I thought I’ll be able to pick up something after a week, after arranging my books, after finally settling in. Still, almost a month later, nothing. Granted, I had a lot of things going on for the past couple of weeks (particularly social activities with old friends). But I should have been able to read at least one story from the collection that is still in my currently reading shelf, right? To be fair, I read four short stories for our July book club discussion. And that’s it. Nothing from my shelf.

So this is how I arranged my books. I grouped them into two divisions: read and unread. Read books are stacked by the year I last read them. Unread books are shelved alphabetically by the author’s last name. Looking at the read books is like studying a bar graph of my reading progress. The two tallest stacks are 2011 and 2012. 2016, not shown in the image, is just a quarter of one of those two years, and it’s already past the middle of the year. I look at the unread books and nothing catches my fantasy. I just like staring at them. There’s no pull.

I’m also behind on my podcasts. In fact, I had to unsubscribe from a couple of them just so I could stop getting overwhelmed with new episodes. It’s not just books that I’m not caring about these days. You can just look at the state of this blog for further evidence. Also, I don’t listen to new music. I don’t check out what’s showing in the mall theaters. I play games but only with mild engagement. I just scroll through my newsfeed, and I only do so when unread posts reach a staggering amount. Work is still work. There’s a generic disinterest that’s hanging over me.

Today, I had nothing to do. I thought of getting into the Man Booker bandwagon by reading the only longlisted book I have a copy of (The Sellout by Paul Beatty). But whenever I have nothing to do, my body craves sleep. And I always give in. I don’t like sleeping when it’s not yet time to sleep because I think it’s a waste of time. But upon waking up from a nice sleep, I always thank it for its sweetness. Then immediately, upon full wakefulness, I curse myself for sleeping.

I don’t know what to do about this. Should I even do anything? Should I give myself more time to settle in? I’m such a lousy reader. This is the nth time I talked about my reading ruts. It makes me feel like reading is not something that I naturally love, and that it’s just a time filler that I trained myself to enjoy because of its multiple returns. There’s something sad in that thought but it shouldn’t make me any less of a reader or a person, right?

Anyway, you’ll hear from me when I get back into things.

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“How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it's just words.”

14 Comments

  1. Hm, I can understand someone going through a dip in their reading where nothing seems to grab their interest. I that case I’d say just ignore everything you have on the to read pile and go to the bookshop and find something that ignites you. But your comment “reading is not something that I naturally love, and that it’s just a time filler” seems a more deep issue. Maybe it’s time to consider where reading fits into your life – and if it’s not you then don’t force it

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  2. You forgot to include “It makes me feel like” in your quote lol. It’s one of those thoughts that consume me when I don’t feel like reading. I feel that I just have to find the right book to get things rolling again. Maybe The Sellout?

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  3. Monique says

    I’ve grouped my books into 3: read, to-read, and favorites. The favorites are those displayed prominently on the shelf.

    If I don’t get to read a lot these days (I mean compared to when I had zero travel time to and from work) it’s because I try to compensate for lack of sleep. Am still getting used to the new routine and sadly, it eats up a lot of my reading time. If I do get some reading done, it’s because I try my best to make time for it, and not because I feel that I have to. I actually miss the quiet time alone, and the comfort that reading gives. Don’t you miss that?

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    • Monique says

      I bought a book light nga, for commute time na inaabot ako ng gabi sa shuttle. Hay.

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  4. You’ll read when you’re ready, don’t stress about it. And as for podcasts I agree I did a big cull a few months ago and have felt better about not having so many backing up on my phone.

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  5. I feel this way about reading sometimes. I think, maybe I’m just a fraudulent liker/lover of books. What I do: re-read any David Sedaris or any DFW until the right one comes along. Tapos, buy more books. Hoarding sometimes helps me through tough times.

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    • I thought the right one came along after reading a McEwan novel, then the reading interest just faded. Instantly. Currently, I’m doing audiobooks. They seem to work, so far.

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