If I was sceptical about the concept of writer’s block, I definitely didn’t believe in reader’s block when I first came across the term (and apologies that I didn’t save the link, but this one I found recently from Jonathan Russell Clark is certainly interesting), but I might now be a convert. As I wrote in relation to writer’s block, anything we love intensely can also inspire our hatred. Even if it is only fiction, it’s devastating when our passions fail us.
So far, I’ve never had to impose a moratorium on my reading to give me space to recover; I’ve always managed to find another good book to rekindle my joy. But what about you, have you ever felt estranged from reading? As I tend to leave both my reviews and opinion pieces to marinate a while before posting, you probably won’t be able to tell which novels induced this sorry state of mind. But if you click on the image, you can certainly check out the books I’ve reviewed over the past month which, I’m glad to say, have been a satisfactory bunch overall.
Waking up to a new Carrot Ranch prompt, pushed me to produce an addendum to this post. Charli’s musing catalysed further reflections on our universal need to connect, however fleetingly. It occurred to me I’d neglected the other side to the dilemma of lending books when I posted on the subject last year. How much more painful the disconnect if we don’t like a book lent or gifted to us by a friend. It might be the much-missed sunshine, but I seem to be letting in more light this morning, remembering that, like The Rocks, sometimes books surprise me by delivering a connection I didn’t expect.
You reach into your backpack. “You’re gonna love this!”
I clock the cheesy title, the schmaltzy cover with the border of hearts. Force a smile. “Thanks, but I’m kind of busy right now …”
Your voice betrays your disappointment. “It’ll only take you a couple of evenings.”
Already anticipating the platitudes with which I’ll return it, I shove it to the bottom of my bag. I can skim-read the boring bits.
Two days later, you ring. “Coming to the pub?”
I’d been so engrossed, I almost hadn’t answered. “Maybe tomorrow? I’ve got to finish this book first.”