On reading slumps

Reading slumps are always a sad experience. I personally always slump for the first couple of months of the year, it can take me until March or April to really get going with my reading.

I’m having a slump at the moment. It’s frustrating, because one of the things I was looking forward to about finishing my degree was having the time to read for pleasure. I’ve always managed to fit a reasonable amount of reading around my studying, and I studied a lot of literature so even when I was working like mad, I was spending a lot of time reading some incredible books.

I still read most days, I work in publishing so I read during my work day a fair amount. But I work in children’s publishing, and there’s not much of a feeling of achievement in finishing a book which has 9+ on the jacket. I also commute, and I read on my commute most days.

I think for me, the feeling that I’m slumping comes from not having finished a book for a while. My reading, as it turns out, is very goal orientated. I love reading for it’s own sake, but I like having read a book too. Maybe more. On the one hand I think I like that for a shallow reason – I like to have read things, like oh of course I’ve read Anna Karenina, I like people knowing that I’ve read things. But on the other hand, I like having finished books because that’s the point where I can reflect on them, see what I learnt from them, talk about them. I don’t tend to read big books for this reason (also because they’re annoying to carry around).

This has been a very self-indulgent post, but it’s what I’m thinking about in terms of books at the moment. I guess I feel like I’m not a very good reader right now, and I worry that my reading is too numbers orientated. I’m hoping other people feel this way.


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