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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