So Many Books, So Little Reading of Them

I don’t know what I want to read, recreationally speaking. I’ve dipped into numerous books, but none seems to have stuck.

In the fantasy category, I started Sarah J. Mass’ House of Earth and Blood but sensed, on the first page, that a werewolf was involved and did not feel up for werewolf-based fantasy

So then I picked up Kiersten White’s And I Darken—a gender-swapped Ivan the Terrible retelling! That took for a couple of chapters but then fizzled out, for no explicable reason.

Rin Chupico’s Bone Witch was my next stop. I stayed for 74 pages (out of 351).

I read one sentence each in Erika Johansen’s Queen of the Tearling, Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora, and Susanna Kearsley’s Belleweather Rhapsody.

Could it be the genre, I wondered?

I downloaded John Dos Passos’ Orient Express: A Travel Memoir. That lasted 27 pages.

Perhaps it’s time to return to literary fiction?

Elif Batuman’s The Idiot came off my virtual bookshelf...for two chapters.

Could it be a classic that I need?

Cue Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities—home to one of my all-time favorite scenes in literature! I read the first full chapter before setting it aside as "not the right moment.”

I then moved Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonders from my bookshelf to my desk. I picked it up, turned it over, read the back. I turned it back over, studied the front. I put it back on my shelf.

I read the first paragraph of Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient...almost every many sentence began with “she.”

I’m full of complaints, but the problem is not with these books, what they’re about or how they’re written. I know I’ll return to them again someday. Most likely, I’ll fall in love with at least some of them. Just...not today.

Is it burnout from the last great book I read (Mary Renault’s The King Must Die)? Is it a “reading slump” brought on by quarantine fever? Who knows? Maybe I just don’t feel like reading. Crazy, but it happens. For tonight, I’ll watch a movie. As for tomorrow, I haven’t tried reading one of my cozy mysteries. Maybe it’s time for a visit with Hamish Macbeth...

What do you do when you don't feel like reading?


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