A Cure for the Reading Blues?

While I certainly enjoy reading a lot of books, for some reason I haven’t read as much as I’d like the past few weeks. Even worse, I’ve hardly noted down my reactions to the books I’d finished on my last good reading spree, much less written the extensive reviews that some of you know me to write and are kind enough to read and comment on. I guess I’m having a reading blues, if there is such a thing. Then again, maybe I’ve just not picked up the ‘right’ book, if you know what I mean. The kind of book that makes me fall in love with it and gives me sheer joy from reading something so beautifully written.

Well, I’ve been reading books that are required reading for my courses and these are often gruelling because while I can learn a lot, I don’t necessarily feel like reading that specific book at this specific time… a big issue with me *sigh*. Anyway, I also have my own reading on the side and the book I’ve been busy with has been… monotonous. And that’s a horrible thing when having the reading blues, so it’s shelved for the time being.

Today I browsed the many unread books on my shelves and decided – after much internal deliberation – to go for an author I trust, one who would give me the wow factor I need to kick my reading blues in the rear end. I chose wisely. I’m reading Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, and I’m not wanting to put it down, yay!

So before I go back to my reading, I felt like sharing this lovely passage by way of a quote – oh, and the subject matter is another blues I need to deal with soon, but that’s for another blog post.

I wondered how in hell I’d got myself mixed up in a project that couldn’t be carried out. It was like starting to write a novel. When I face the desolate impossibility  of writing five hundred pages a sick sense of failure falls on me and I know I can never do it. This happens every time. Then gradually I write one page and then another. One day’s work is all I can permit myself to contemplate and I eliminate the possibility of ever finishing.

Travels with Charley by Steinbeck

Yes, a good literary book is my cure.

Samir Rawas Sarayji

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5 Comments to “A Cure for the Reading Blues?”

  1. I’ve actually spent the last 3 – 4 days reading Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary: the definition of reading blues. Something isn’t just clicking.

  2. Been there–most definitely. I’ll durifully be reading a book either for erudition purposes, or to fulfill a reviewing obligation, or because I started a book and stick with it because I really have a thing about finishing books. I agree, returning to a trusted author or even rereading a favorite can brighten up the reading blues.

  3. You know what, few weeks back, I was suffering from same syndrome

  4. Phillipe Claudel’s Brodeck’s Report just cured me. :)

  5. I think you’ve also touched on a cure for the writing blues in this post. Those are the words I needed to hear today. Thanks, Samir!

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