I’m just not that into you: Confessions of a Reader

I recently embarked on a long list of books I wanted to read – or at least try – in 2016. I realized that, as a self-professed avid reader, I really should read more. I LOVE READING. So why don’t I read more? Also, I want to improve as a writer and I truly believe that one of the best ways to do that is to read. A lot.

I started off the year pretty well. I read Dracula, The Man in the High Castle, and Fahrenheit 451 within the first three weeks of January. Woohoo! I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Then I picked up The Mists of Avalon from the library. An alternative Arthurian retelling, fantasy, praised by some of my favorite authors – I was excited. 900 pages? NBD, friends, NBD.

200 pages and three weeks later (believe me, it should NOT take me three weeks to read 200 pages. More like three hours), I – I’m just not that into it. And my momentum has screeched to a thudding halt.

And I feel bad. I mean, it’s a good book. I’m just not into it. I can’t put my finger on it. I feel like I should finish it, but….I just can’t bring myself to pick it up. There’s no siren song. No pull to find out where the story goes next. No attachment to the characters.

The worst part is, I feel like the disaffection I feel toward this book is a virus, and it’s infected me. I don’t feel like picking up the copy of Heart of Darkness that I got at the library at the same time. I download samples to my Kindle and delete them after a few pages. Where’s the love? WHERE IS THE LOVE, PEOPLE?

Dracula was soooo good. Phenomenal. The Man in the High Castle was brilliant (but difficult to understand in full…as PKD is wont to be). Fahrenheit 451 was, as expected, exquisite. I love Ray. And PKD. And now, of course, Bram.

I want another book that blows my mind. And damn it if I won’t try every single book on my 80-something-item list to find it. I just…really need to try. I gotta get over this bad relationship I’m in with The Mists of Avalon. There are more fish in the sea.

My heart will go on.

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10 thoughts on “I’m just not that into you: Confessions of a Reader

  1. I find that I get like this with some books, usually with the books that everyone recommends as ‘must reads’. I actually found some great books just by googling a theme, trawling through lists of authors, and picking randomly 🙂

    1. That’s a good method. I think I’m going to have to stick with genuine “classics” – ie books that have stood the test of time or stand out in literary criticism – or only take recommendations from people whose taste I trust!

      1. I think that’s probably the safest option! 🙂 do you find that the ‘classics’ are sometimes a bit of a drag to read?

        1. For me it really depends on the classic. I tried to read Catcher in the Rye and nearly clawed my eyes out in boredom. But Les Miserables, Jane Eyre, Dracula, St Augustine’s Confessions, Dune, all of which I would consider classics, number among my favorite books. I try not to force myself to keep reading something I’m not enthralled by, unless it’s pretty short.

  2. “I want another book that blows my mind.”

    Maybe “Under Heaven” and “River of Stars” by Guy Gavriel Kay could do that. Both are phenomenal – imho. Our serious book-crushes are and always will be, a question of personal preference.

  3. Sometimes you just have to be in the right mood for a certain book. I find that’s true for myself. I just finished and reviewed Mists of Avalon and I noticed that the first part of the book is a bit plodding. Once you get about 1/3 to 1/2 through the book the pace picks up. It’s like an Arthurian soap opera. You just can’t look away from the train wreck. I hope you work up the gumption to tackle it again someday! 🙂

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