Thursday, 29 November 2012

Book Block!

Book Block is a terrible malady that can strike at any time in a person's life. It cruelly disrupts your reading, causing restlessness and irritation, which can lead to family members/friends/co-habiters getting a bit of a hard time. For a reader to be without a book (or two) on the go is a worrisome thing, leaving you with that horrible feeling that you get when you think you may have left something important behind, but you can't remember what, or indeed where. It leaves you a bit, well, lost, I suppose. So you can imagine how distressed I was when I found that, suddenly, I'd finished a book, but didn't have my next read lined up, ready to go. I have been struck down with a bad case of Book Block.

I think part of this can be attributed to the type of book I was reading before; see, I've recently found myself craving a bit of Downton-esque nostalgia (probably because the TV series finished a few weeks ago, thus leaving a void), so I started to work my way through the several Kate Morton books I have in my possession; The House At Riverton, The Distant Hours and The Secret Keeper. They're all of a similar nature; each have two stories running alongside each other, one set in the present day, the other set in the past - usually wartime Britain. Eventually, the two stories collide in some way; a mystery from the past is solved by a person in the present, or something like that. Quite often they also feature fictious stately homes in the 1920's or 30's, complete with the stiff upper lip gentry-types that you might expect to find in such grand abodes. They're not the kind of books that will change the world, but they're fairly well-written, often have a few decent twists and are just generally the kind of book you need to accompany you on a chilly evening. Annoyingly, I finished the last of them just the other day, and whilst I am still craving the comfort-reading that they provided, I've found that I can't quite pick a new book up and stick with it.

It's surprisingly tricky for me to 'make do' without something to read; it tends to be my touchstone, my go-to activity in those odd hours of the day where you're not quite occupied, or asleep. I read when I'm eating my breakfast and drying my hair in the morning, and sometimes I read at my desk during lunch; I also read in the bath and always have to read for a bit before I go to bed. In short, there's a lot of time during the day that I spend reading, and so you can imagine how those minutes add up when I suddenly find myself without a book. Sure, there's other things I could be doing - I could watch the TV whilst eating my breakfast, or listen to music in the bath - but to be honest, I'd rather be reading, and usually, I already have in mind the next book I'm going to read. This time, however, I've come to an awkward junction; I've read nearly every book in this house at least twice, and the ones I haven't read... well, it's not for lack of trying, but forcing yourself to read a book that you don't want to read is a bit like trying to force yourself to eat something that makes you want to gag, and that's not pleasant. It's been made especially difficult since I still want something 'easy' to read; nothing too taxing, without being mind-numbing.

The worrying thing is, my old favourites aren't helping. I started to read To Kill A Mockingbird the other day (readers - if there still are any - of this blog will know that To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my all-time favouritest books), and I just couldn't get into it. This freaked me out a little bit, as I've never, ever, started that book and not been sucked into Scout's world immediately. Shaken, I turned instead to a recently rediscovered childhood favourite, The Wind In The Willows, and whilst I've fared better there, I've not been able to fully immerse myself in Ratty and Mole's riverbank adventures in the quite the same way as I have previously. At this point, I managed to recall that there are several unread books still downloaded on my Kindle, so I tried to read some of them, but to no avail; it seems that, whilst I might have initially been interested in these books when I downloaded them, some of the shine has come off, and now I can't quite muster up the interest to keep at it. Subsequently, I am bookless.

For now, I'll have to succumb to the Book Block, wandering aimlessly and restlessly through the library in my mind, until I'll eventually find something to read. I always do - something will catch my eye, or present itself in a new light that demands a new read - but for the time being, I'm a book nomad, a bit lost without my usual talisman. So please, if you have any suggestions to tantalise my literary-tastebuds with, come forth; I'm getting a bit desperate.

No comments:

Post a Comment