I have a horrible case of the reading blues right now. I haven’t picked up a book in weeks now and no matter what I can’t seem to find the time or motivation to get myself going again. I am most definitely stuck in a reading rut.
My shelves are overflowing with unthumbed paperbacks, the TBR pile next to my bed seems to grow ever taller each time I look at it. It looms over me, silently judging me, a constant reminder that I haven’t read a word in ages. And yet, I can’t seem to pick up a book.
I may not be short of books but I’m also not short of excuses either. I tell myself I’ve got more important things to do; work, exercise, socialising, sleeping…
They’re not totally illegitimate excuses, I’m currently working my way through writing around twenty references for my student’s university applications which take FOREVER as well as working overtime two evenings a week for extra money (Christmas is coming, guys!) I’ve also been neglecting my self-care duties lately so getting back into a regular workout routine and sleep pattern is essential for my mental health right now. And much as I love seeing the important people in my life, I’m an introvert at heart and I sometimes feel like I’m being pulled in too many different directions.
Ultimately, what this all adds up to, and what I think the root of my plummet into this canyon of apathy, is that I feel like I need some mental space. So when I do have time to myself I tend to spend it horizontal in front of the dreaded tellybox. And, as I’m sat there, allowing myself to be mildly sedated by Food Network, I think, ‘I should be reading’, and then, shortly afterwards, ‘Nahhhh, maybe not. I need to relax’. And then it suddenly occurred to me one day: when did reading become like work? Reading is a pleasure, a relaxing treat, an escape even. Isn’t that exactly what I’m looking for?
One thing I can be sure of is that things cannot stay the way they are and passively anaesthetising myself in front of nonsense each evening is no longer an option. My strategy to clamber my way out of the rut? Well, step one is to say to hell with my TBR pile and pick one book that I’m really excited about. Step two is to try and create a habit of reading again, even if it’s just half an hour a day. Ironically, I’m going to have to work at it if it’s ever going to feel relaxing again.
Wish me luck – I may need grappling hooks!