I hate to say that I’ve been in a reading slump lately. Nothing seems to be of much interest on the book front and I think there are three reasons for this. First, I think I’ve been avoiding a return to Blindness by Jose Saramago. My pause on this book was caused by some disturbing content which makes me reluctant to return to it. I’m not one to force myself to finish a book, but I am/was interesting in seeing this one out. However, I’m not sure I will return to it now. This may be the first book I’ve abandoned after reading more than halfway through. The book is interesting but delves into the worst parts of humanity which I don’t need to explore further, but as a writer I feel a need to finish the book to see not only what happens but how Saramago presents it (and if there is a silver lining or hopeful ending). It’s a bit of a dilemma but thinking of how the last few chapters disturbed me enough to put it down makes me think it is best to just leave it put and move on. I can always return to it later if I really feel a need. I just don’t feel any need to finish it now so I’m just going to let it go.
The second reason is a bit two-fold. I’ve been spending much more focus on other areas which has also made me more physically tired. I’ve been focusing of course on my daughter who will soon be nine months old. She is absolutely everything to me and she is constantly on the move. When not wrangling her, I’ve been focusing a lot on my physical health through food and exercise. This has added to my being physically tired more often, but I know it will pay off by giving me more energy as I adjust to the routine. This will help me keep up with the little one. I’ve also been spending little spurts of free time learning Spanish. This may seem like a lot, and it is, but I typically have my mind split across a million endeavors, so it’s not out of the ordinary.
Lastly, I have been spending a good deal of mental energy on my own novel. Unfortunately, I have not been making any progress on physically writing it, but I have been working through the story in my head. I do need to get to work putting it down on paper/on the computer though. I think this last one has been a large part of my reading slump because I’m focusing on my own story instead of focusing as much on reading others.
All that aside, I am still reading. I am slowly making my way through Pity the Reader: On Writing with Style by Kurt Vonnegut and Suzanne McConnell. It is good and can easily be read intermittently. I recently read The Getaway Car by Ann Patchett which was really good and more of an article than a book being only 30 or so pages. I’ve also been reading Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa. I loved the show and am enjoying the manga. So I have been reading, but just in small spurts compared to my usual pace. This actually may be a perfect time to be reading a short story collection now that I think about it.
I can’t change too much of the above if I’m going to accomplish some of the goals I’ve set for myself, but I think putting Blindness away and forgetting about it will be helpful. Hopefully, actually getting back to the nitty-gritty of writing my novel will also help me open up to new stories as well. The slump will pass sooner or later.
There are plenty of good books to discover. I hope you are in the middle of a great one now.