My life is books. I love writing them. I love reading them. I love buying them. I love talking about them. I love reviewing them. I love sniffing them. Heck, I even love just staring at them in my bookshelf with only the fairy lights on to illuminate the shelves. But lately I haven’t felt much like reading. Help! I’m in a rut.
I normally read a lot of guilty pleasure novels. Instead of watching television to relax, I read these novels. But they’re all the same lately: a girl falling in love with her stepbrother, a one-night stand that leads to a surprise baby, a secretary falling in love with her boss. It just goes on and on. They even all have the same cover – a hot guy with his shirt off. Can someone get an original idea, please?
So, I’ve put aside my guilty pleasure novels and gone to my bookshelves for inspiration. I probably have at least 50 physical books on my shelves, which I haven’t read. (Ssshhh… don’t tell the hubby!) My physical books fall under one of two categories: literary fiction and non-fiction historical biographies. You know what the problem is with literary fiction? It’s depressing. It’s apparently impossible to write a prize-worthy book unless something goes horribly wrong. Considering the utter mess the world is in at the moment and the complete helplessness I feel, I’m not in the mood for reading about fictional catastrophes. There are enough real ones, thank you very much!
What’s a girl to do? I can’t NOT read. My life is books (and yes, I know I repeated myself there, but it bears repeating.) Here are some ideas, I’ve come up.
- Switch genres. I normally read a lot of romance and fantasy as my guilty pleasure novels. I’m going back to my roots and trying to read some good old-fashioned mysteries. The kind without romance thrown in. Well, a little romance is okay, but let’s focus on the mystery instead of adding a tiny bit of mystery to a romance.
- Try a novella. Since I’m not feeling up to much reading, trying to slog my way through the biography of Peter the Great is probably not the way to get out of my rut. Help! I’ve fallen even further into my rut. Yep, it’s time to try something shorter.
- Trust my old stand-bys. Re-reading some of my favorite novels may just re-ignite my passion for reading. I did try this, but I stuck to my guilty pleasures. I may dig out Harry Potter and re-read the entire series. Ooooh, now I’m bummed I’m away in Spain and can’t get to my bookshelves. I’ll definitely be trying this idea soon.
- Backlog. Have you read every single book from your favorite authors? Maybe there’s an earlier published work to pique your interest. I searched around and found a novel written by J.R. Ward under the pen name Jessica Bird. It was okay, but it didn’t hold the bang of her Black Dagger series.
- Set goals and limitations. My list of books I’ve promised authors I’d review currently holds 20+ titles. Wow! That’s a bit intimidating. Trying to whittle down that list is nothing short of terrifying. Instead, I’m going to pick on book a day and promise myself I only have to read 30 minutes. Hopefully, I’ll get involved in the story and keep right on reading.
- Join a book club. A lot of people need that extra push to force themselves to do something – even if it’s something they want to do. I’m no different! Joining a book club can be the perfect solution. Suddenly, I’ve got a book to read and a deadline in which to read it. Here’s hoping I read the darn thing and not just add it to my dusty shelves.
So, where to start? I’m going with switching genres. I’ve downloaded Murder on the Orient Express. Fingers crossed.