August – Reading Ahead

Brooklyn Museum - La Roche Guyon (painting) - Theodore Robinson

I feel like I haven’t been around much lately, although I also think that I’m so inconsistent posting and commenting that it’s doubtful anyone’s much noticed. Some of this I think is late-summer doldrums (I really do not like hot weather), some busyness. I somehow stumbled into a part-time freelance type job which I mostly hate and which is taking up much of my time, as the work load is inconsistent and so I spend too much time checking e-mail to see if the next thing’s in yet. I keep trying to remind myself that it’s money in the bank, but that only seems to work for so long as I hold the check in my hand. I seem in the past few months to have lost my knack for unnecessary spending, and so even the thought of a splurge now that I have some extra cash doesn’t appeal, or help. (And I’m out of bookshelf space.) So at any rate, I have barely been reading, and I tend to skim through blog posts without comment of late. I didn’t even manage to finish one book for Allie’s Victorian Celebration, despite complete satisfaction with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and adding in for my slight obsession with watching the Olympics (and I may have kinda-sorta challenged myself to knitting an entire sweater while watching the Olympics—I’m already behind, alas), I wasn’t anticipating having much to blog about here for a while.

Truth to tell, I’ve been feeling like reading of late has been a lot of work. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, necessarily, but it’s been a long time since I picked up a book and just read because I simply couldn’t put it down. Instead, I’ve been constantly up against deadlines, either self-imposed or library due dates, or forcing myself through something that I might ultimately deem “awesome” but that takes a lot of effort to get to that point. And I think I just need a break from that. I was browsing through my Classics Club list recently (can’t remember why, must have been looking for something) and I kept thinking about how many exciting titles are on it—and yet I haven’t felt that excitement about the books I’ve actually been reading. Time to change that!

So I decided that come August I was taking a break—reading by whim rather than plan. It’s worked amazingly well already to tell the truth. About the middle of this past week, somewhere between two political ads (gotta love living in a swing state – 18th largest TV market in the country but 2nd highest rate of political ads), I picked up a book to read during commercial breaks. A trip to the library and I’m currently in the middle of four books, a highly uncharacteristic turn. I’d still like to finish my “leftovers” from July (Sherlock perhaps this week), I’m just not pressuring myself about them.

Oh, I just realized I lied. I’m still planning on re-reading The Hobbit this month. It’s a special case, though, as I’ve been putting off reading it to get the other books finished. But otherwise no commitments, not even to my library books, probably not for the rest of the year. It’s freeing. And that freedom, I think, will actually encourage me to get more read than otherwise. In fact, I’m going to wrap this up now to get back to my book…!

(Currently reading: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; Ficciones; Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague; The Adventures of Tintin, Volume 1)

6 thoughts on “August – Reading Ahead”

  1. Oh Sherlock Holmes and Tintin, two of my favourite characters from my childhood! And don’t be silly, we have all noticed you weren’t that much around, but, true be told, I thought you were on holidays rather than working so hard. I hope it all gets better and you find new love for your job! Best of luck with your whim-reading, it is the only kind of reading that I enjoy and I actually read more than if planned. And stick with us, we’ve missed you 🙂

    1. Thank you, Elena. It’s nice to be missed. 🙂

      I’ve heard that Tintin isn’t very well-known in the US, but my brother and I discovered him by chance when we were little. It’s fun to revisit the stories!

  2. I understand EXACTLY how you are feeling right now! And the solution helped me a month or so ago, too. x 🙂

    1. I finished a book about an hour ago–so far, so good! 🙂 I’m sure I’ll return to my planned reading at some point; I’m just hoping that by returning to whim for a while I’ll find the planned reading doesn’t feel like so much effort.

  3. Completely know what you mean, I’m moving house at the moment and reading / writing about reading feels like too much of a chore. Such is life though I think! Sooner or later something will come and inspire us again 🙂

  4. I can’t imagine trying to get anything much done when moving, besides moving! That’s enough of a chore in itself. Good luck with your move! I’m sure once life settles down you’ll find your inspiration again.

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