Do you suffer from reading block?

The nightmare of the librarianThere is such a thing as a reading block, isn’t there?

Not sure what I mean by that? It’s that moment just after you are done reading your latest book and are looking for the next one to read. You either have a few options waiting and you aren’t sure which one to tackle, or you have none at all.

I’ve had moments like that. There isn’t a specific circumstance that I can pinpoint under which this happens to me. The last time it did, I had just finished a rather involving read; “Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution” (Michelle Moran). It’s a historical novel and while the writing was superb and the weaving of story in with historical events and names was perfect, it was still not what you might call a “quick read”. It is one of those books that make you stop and read slowly and really think about what you’re reading.

If you are like me, the book might mention things that you identify with. For me, I visited the Madame Tussaud museum in London when I was 16 years old and was fascinated by the woman, where she had come from and how she made a name for herself in a time when women were still second class citizens.

After Madame Tussaud, I struggled to find among my waiting books, one that would follow-up without feeling off-color, weak, or wanting. This is part of the problem, I think, with reading just about anything you can find. Sometimes you end up feeling as if one doesn’t measure up to another, despite being from different genres. Choosing one of the P.C. Cast novels, or the Twilight Saga after Madame Tussaud just doesn’t feel right.

So what did I do? I took a break. I put my Kindle down and didn’t read for a few days.

Ironically, what I chose to read next was indeed the P.C. Cast novels. Quick and easy reads that I can finish in a day or two, a week if I am slacking. My reading habits are much like that normally; I follow-up a serious, thought-provoking book with a series of mindless reads and then delve into another serious, thought-provoking book. But I digress.

What happens when you hit that wall; if you hit it at all? Do you stop reading to give your mind some breathing room? Or do you press on and read anyway? Do you usually have books sitting waiting to be read, or do you acquire your next read only when you’ve completed the one you have in hand now?

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  • i get this ALL the time!
    i read non-stop (the source of many jokes) and love books. but i always order books in groups of about 5 at a time then i have them sitting on a shelf and don’t know which to read first especially if they are from a series. generally i end up reading a number of books at once-one time i think i was reading about 6 different ones! alternating between different nights.

    good to know i’m not alone. xx

  • I always have trouble choosing new books to read because I just dont know where to start looking for new ideas. There are so many out there and I just don’t know where to look for good books.

  • what a nice historical text that is!

  • i go through this phase very often, usuallyafter reading a great book. To choose my next book, i mainly rely on my friends’ advice, especially like-minded friends. Works most of the times, but not always!

  • I pick up the next book right away, but if it doesn’t hold my attention, I’ll pit it down & try it again later. With so many books out there, I can’t waste a day not reading.

  • This block thing may happen when you are really glued a book ( like I was – to ‘Papillon’ it was unputdownablw really). Immediately after finishing it, it will have a hangover effect, so you cant pick up something of a diferent type. But usually, I read books parallelly and so am configured to different kinds of books simeultaneously. It is as if diiiferent compartments in my heart and brain are coming to fore for the diferent books as required. I have no problem

  • For me it’s usually about the author or recommendations from friends. I do a some book reviews too, which takes over my to-read pile on occasion. A few months ago I got curious about how other people choose books so I posted a poll at Facebook: how do readers choose books? It turns out that people, I suppose not surprisingly, are interested quite a bit in covers, titles, and synopses.

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