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    « Signs of Life | Main | H2O-LY CRAP »

    Saturday, April 30, 2011


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    It is the ebb and flow of life. The books will wait.


    I have been experiencing something similar! I cannot seem to finish any book that is on my book-club list and other books that I find on a shelf. (In University, I had made a decision to only read 'serious' books for classes. I lasted the first quarter before I had to go to the library, chose the first novel I found, and read it in one sitting. It was like a drug.) Let us know of a book you do finish!


    It took me 3 or 4 tries to get through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Everyone kept telling me that I would love it (which is why I bought it) but it took about 200 pages for it to get interesting to me. Since I finished reading it, many people have said the same thing...really slow to start up. My advice for that one is to just power through the boring and the tedious to get to the "meat".


    I was in the same state you're in a few years ago, and it turned out to be part of the "lovely" perimenopause experience. No real interest in anything, and the same 'been there done that' feeling about so much. You'll get your mojo back again in time. Just gotta be patient.


    Norma, you're a self-confessed word collector. Could it be that English written books just can't hold your interest anymore, as you know and love more words than most contemporary writers ever use?
    I could sent you a German or Dutch book........or Russian maybe to change the letter set?


    Like you, I read everything for hours at a time, and then it happend. I stopped reading. Raising children, a husband, a job and household chores, not to mention extended family obligations kept me busy. Now, since I've had my Kindle, I guess my reading habit has been 're-kindled'. I'm trying to read everything by author. Right now, I'm reading all Agatha Christie novels. I completed Jane Austen, which has been a goal of mine for some time. No worries, your reading mojo will return...find the right author and the right book.


    A few of us from our spinning group got together, aspiring to read classics we missed over the years. The first book chosen was "Madame Bovary." I may have to shoot myself. I am trying to rationalize it as a period piece. Unfortunately, I dislike the characters, find the writing plodding for the most part, and am feeling very teenage-rebellious at the thought of finishing it- and I'm almost 60. We'll see.


    Learning to read did open a door for me and once I started, I read voraciously and didn't stop. There have been some slow periods, like during college and grad school (where I did a lot of reading, but it wasn't for fun), but for the most part, if I've got a few extra minutes, you will find me reading.

    It must be said, though, that I read mostly trash. I tried forcing myself to read "literature" and was miserable. I finally decided it was ridiculous to do that to myself. Reading is chocolate to me, and I'll be damned if I eat my chocolate nestled in spinach.


    LOVED the story about Abigail, that really tickled me ;^)
    Reading.. I have to read, every night before sleeping. Doesn't matter if it's just a few pages or a few chapters, it changes the brain waves and helps me fall asleep. Otherwise, I'm awake with all manner of thoughts zipping around in the addled brainz. can't get the brain to stfu. so I read. before sleep. Used to read more books at other times of the day but haven't in several years.
    The Girl books. The first one DID take quite a while for things to kick in, I had all three of the books, finished them and felt quite sad, the characters I'd grown quite fond of, and they are no more. sigh. :^)
    There may be something to that whole monopausal/reading thing.


    oh, ffs. menopausal... and post-menopausal perhaps also. which is where I am and have been for several years. wtfk?


    I am also a voracious reader, and also have these periods where I'm not interested in books. Before I had always felt strange when I wasn't able to read- like when you don't get enough physical activity. Now, I use the Audible and other audiobooks when I am knitting/cleaning/driving. Very useful that way. I don't usually read in bed though. I love my Nook because I can always have a variety with me, for lunch, the Doctor's office, etc. I make sure I keep a few favorites on it-funny smart stuff.

    Both have helped considerably when I'm going through a period of "reading discomfort". And I agree that it is something that seems to happen with perimenopause.

    Abigail and my youngest son have a lot in common: Bruce, being the youngest of 3, always had hand-me-downs...... clothes, toys, books, etc. When he turned 5 in May 1985) I bought him a brand new, 2 wheel bike.... spanking new, never been used before, still shiny! He loved it, but was not interested in riding it. Showed it to all his friends, bragged about it, but left it in the garage and rode the old, hand-me-down Big Wheel for another year. Come spring 1986, he came to me and said:"I'm ready to ride my new bike now. Please take off the training wheels." We did, he took off and rode flawlessly.... no training wheels were ever more useless.

    He's been like that ever since: learned to read when ready, not when the teachers thought it was important, flunked out of college freshman year, then decided !he wanted to go and graduated magna cum laude, and now (finally!) decided to get married. I'm glad..... nice to know he's ready!

    Barbara M.


    I feel really bad that you have lost your interest in reading. I love reading so much that it's sad to hear someone who also loved reading has lost the spark. I hope it returns and that reading will give you the joy it used to.

    Jenn Dorion

    Another person chiming in that it took a while to get into The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo but it's worth trudging through the first third of the book. The next two aren't as hard to get into, probably because you know the characters. Hang in there!

    (and why oh why did Typepad reject my original comment & make me sign in with Facebook? Never had to do that before!)


    Try "History of Love" or "Extremely Loud and Indredibley Close" or "Dandelion Wine". Some of my very favorites! Or give up and send me your Kindle. ;-)


    Funny. I devoured The Help and can't seem to get into another book since. Yup it's the menopausal crap I'm afraid. My daughter was a late reader- started late in the summer after kindergarten. Her peers had already gotten it. Imagine my surprise when her her teacher told me that she was at a 4th grade level by November a mere 3 months after.


    One of my friends is a librarian and keeps track of all the books she reads. Her goal for this year is to read 150 books, and I decided to start writing down the titles of the books I read, too, but decided 25 a year, or one every two weeks, would be plenty. Now that I am keeping track, I am surprised that I am averaging three or four books a month. I never realized I read quite that much. I also feel badly that you have lost that spark---books are so miraculous. I am recommending "Waiting for Snow in Havana" by Carlos Eire. The book group I just joined read the first in "The Girl" series this month, and while I bought a copy of the book, I have to admit that all the reviews I read online scared me away from it. Life is too short to ready crappy books.


    I love that Special Abigail Story.

    I read so slowly and in such small doses -- the before-bed reading that you used to do. I've tried audio books but get lost in the voices or end up daydreaming (that was always a problem in school, too). I keep forgetting about the Kindle app on my phone.


    Try reading "Let the Great World Spin" or "The Lacuna" or the Maise Dobbs books. I read every night, but only allow myself to read one or two books at a time.

    Seanna Lea

    I loved Pillars of the Earth, but I was pretty young when I read it. I'm not sure if I would find it gripping now at all.

    I go in waves, and I reread a lot of books. Sometimes it takes rereading something to turn reading into an old familiar friend who gives great hugs.


    Do you think maybe you're trying to read too many at once? I'm usually reading one and listening to one and that's enough for me. I definitely don't read as much as I used to but it's because of knitting and I know it and I don't mind. Right now I'm listening to Bonfire of the Vanities because I just never got around to that one when it was popular. I love it and it's funny to think of a high powered world without cell phones and the internet. I'm reading The Union Quilters and it's fluff but the story is interesting. Predictable but still entertaining.


    As you know, I have the NOOK Color and love it but have several books going trying to finish them. Problem is, like you, I have so many interests that get in the way.


    Can you take a literature class? Maybe you need to re-learn how to read. I pretty much gave up reading when the kids were little because I couldn't figure out how to read without being totally absorbed - and someone always wanted something.

    Recoginizing that my interests have changed as I got older (see Madame Bovary above - just make up your mind already, Ms. Bovary!), and joining a book group helped get it back. I read differently now - I don't devour books, but I think about the ones I do read, and try to predict what the other group members will think.

    And of course - some recommendations! I too loved Waiting for Snow in Havana. And with your interest and experience in England, you might like Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. It might not be available on the Kindle, but I am sure there is a copy at your library.

    I do hope you get your reading mojo back! I love reading, although it goes in spurts. I read less, now that I've become addicted to knitting, but a good book still demands my attention. I have to be careful about when I borrow books from the library - because I have little to no control when I have found a good book, and everything around me is ignored until I finish.

    I do tend to read exactly what I want to. If I don't like a book, I stop reading it - even if it is by a local author and won the national book award and ya-da ya-da. Nancy Purl suggests that you subtract your age from 100, and read that many pages before giving up on a book - which means I only have to read 44 pages, and if I'm not hooked yet, I'm done. No time to waste on books I don't like!

    why did I have to log in today, before typepad allowed me to post? so strange...

    Oh, and that would be Nancy Pearl, not Purl. Oops!


    I love to read but just have no time for it. I do listen to audio books while in the car or while sewing and knitting which makes me feel less like a total loss. I do recommend sticking with the Dragon Tattoo series (it gets better and better), and if you liked "The Help" you may also like "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" (good on audio).

    I start a lot more books than I finish, but it's really a time factor more than interest.

    You will get your mojo back!


    I'm coming out of a little-reading period. I wasn't reading because I was spending all my free time quilting or knitting. I would listen to an audio book sometimes, but not reading an actual book. It took joining a book club for me to get back to books, but I'm so glad I did. I've also made some great friends over the past year and half due to this new book club.

    I just finished a great book that's also a quick read and perfect for a dog lover. It's called The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Some other good ones recently are: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Loving Frank and Kapitoil. I got to meet the author of Kapitoil a few days ago. He's very funny, as is the book. I hope you get your mojo back!

    Elizabeth in VT

    Maybe we were able to be voracious readers when we were younger/ less busy (or differently busy) / didn't get tired as quickly. I was an English major, devoured books (literature and not), and when the husband and sons came along, their needs took precedence over mine - and let's not forget TV!!

    Living alone doesn't make life any less busy or demanding, and the only time I really have for reading now is bedtime and ... it puts me to sleep. Can't win. But will keep trying.


    I bail on books all the time, for the most arbitrary reasons. Basically if it hasn't grabbed me within about 50 pages, I toss it aside. Life's too short.

    In other words, it's not you - it's the book!

    I can't sit and listen to audiobooks, but I listen to them as I drive. Long distances out here, so I get through about 1 a month, which is pretty good.

    P.S. I read Dragon Tattoo in its entirety, and I absolutely hated it. In all the same ways as Tiger Beatdown, but they said it better (warning: spoilers):

    Alison D

    Remember The Conjuror's Bird? Did he write anything else? As suggested already, try The History of Love or Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. Good luck with the slow reading movement ;D

    Angie L.

    For me, it's as much to do with where I read , as what I read. To escape into a book, I have to escape physically. It has to be a quiet place where no one can get a hold of me. As a young girl it was this huge, leafy tree, I would disappear into it with a book or a sketchbook for hours. It was my safe haven. Later it was the third floor at the library, a very unpopulated place. Then, when I bought a car, I would drive to any quiet scenic place by the water, and just sit in my car, and read or draw.


    I was an English major (grad school too) and used to read all the time. Now, like you, hardly ever except snippets online. But. Occasionally now, when I start feeling depressed, I find that reading for a few hours gets me feeling better. Looking back I wonder if all or at least some of that reading kept me from going crazy. Or, if there's a link with perimenopause, that could be me, too.


    I too used to read more. Partly because I think that I have so little time and have a harder time finding books that I really like that I end up not finishing a book so often. Audiobooks have been great for me; I can listen while driving, cooking, knitting, etc. My husband also says that they put him to sleep, although we listened to the entire Harry Potter series together while painting and on long drives and that hooked him.

    This loss of interest thing is happening to me for the past year with knitting: have started and ripped out 4-5 sweaters and bought yarn for 3 more and I look at it sitting in the basket and just think, "meh". Don't quite know what to think about this.

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