Adventures in Reading

The Terror of Reader’s Block
March 20, 2008, 2:33 pm
Filed under: thoughtful

People always talk about writer’s block. Okay, people who write always talk about writer’s block, but seldom have I heard many people speak of the suffering that results when a reader is plagued by reader’s block. Reader’s block describes those times when every book you pick up regardless of topic or genre is simply boring. I am suffering from reader’s block, but I suppose this is simply one more mile on the road of reading adventures.

To combat my reader’s block I have been snatching up dashes of this and that and peppering my reading buds. Unfortunately, as of yet I have had little success in conquering my dilemma. For One Book I began The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz (also author of Reservation Road) and I barely made it through the first fifty pages before tossing it aside with disgust. Next I attempted ¡Hugo! by Bart Jones and only through brute reading force was I able to make it a quarter of the way into the book. Most recently I have picked up a copy of A Brief History of the Spanish Language by David A. Pharies and I am hoping this may provide the cure.

Unfortunately, a side effect of reader’s block is poor judgment. So, The Commoner and ¡Hugo! may actually be brilliant, but I wouldn’t know at this point.

Despite my failure to actually read a book my reader’s block has not distanced books. Instead I spent some time this afternoon sorting through my shelves and disregarding quite a stack of books I always think I might read but that I know I will probably never get to. Without further ado, the list:

Gardens of Water by Alan Drew (ARC) [1], Samedia the Deafness by Jesse Ball (ARC), The Used World by Haven Kimmel (ARC), The End of Manners by Francesca Marciano (ARC), The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, I Just Want My Pants Back by David J. Rosen (ARC), The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe (ARC), The Night Watch by Sarah Waters, The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue (ARC), The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (missing the cover), Anything Considered by Peter Mayle, City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende, Against Gravity by Farnoosh Moshiri, The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman, The thing about life is that one day you’ll be dead by David Sheilds (ARC), and The Translation of Dr, Apelles by David Treuer (ARC).

Though my intentions were simply to sell these at used bookstores, after typing this list I thought if anyone stumbled across this and really wanted one of these do let me know and we can work something out.

[1] ARC = Advanced Reader’s Copy


Netflix is currently my excuse for readers block.

Comment by Mys Ebrel

Look at all those ARCs! Do you get those because you work in a bookstore?

Comment by shereadsbooks

Mys Ebrel: Netflix has increasingly been my excuse for not reading.

shereadsbooks: Between work, friends, and LibraryThing I have obtained most of them.

Comment by bookchronicle

For me, curing reader’s block is as simple as reading something fast and easy like Dean Koontz or some cheesy bestseller like The Nanny Diaries.
I think of it as cleansing my reading palate.
After that I’m ready to go back more substantial reading.

Comment by wendy

wendy: Excellent advice!

Comment by bookchronicle

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