“The last couple of months have been rough ones for me. When you hit a bumpy spot on the road of life, it makes sense that some things will change. But I hadn’t quite expected it would change my reading habits.
Under normal circumstances, I read a lot of what falls into the category of literary fiction; the shelf in my personal library dedicated to Russian literature is full enough to worry a psychoanalyst. And the other books I read are often more than a little poignant. I love books by Peter S. Beagle, Diana Wynne Jones, and Anne Sexton, but they don’t often tell stories that I would describe as happy. Since I’ve hit my difficult patch, I haven’t been able to touch books like that.
I didn’t even notice the change until I made the fatal error of trying to reread Octavia Butler’s Kindred. It’s a wonderful, thought-provoking novel, and now seemed like a good time to revisit it.
I didn’t even make it through the prologue.
A few pages in my brain just stopped and refused to keep reading. I put the book down and couldn’t convince myself to pick it up again. I’ve had a similar response to other serious books. With the recent adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, I should really reread that book too. But I can’t do it.
Instead I’ve found myself turning towards genres that I don’t normally read. In particular, I’ve started reading a lot of nonfiction and the lightest, fluffiest romances I can find.”
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For those of you who don’t know – and I’ve seen quite a few new faces here over the past week – I write for the book editorial website Book Riot and occasionally post excerpts from those articles on this site. If you want to discover a little more about what I’ve been reading during my bumpy spot, you can check out the rest of the article, “Reading When Life Throws a Curveball”.
If you have any suggestions for light reads, I would also love for you to share them. Though we all react to adversity differently, I’ve found that other people’s comfort reads also comfort me. Creating a list of those books then becomes a resource for when times get tough.
It’s like having a fire extinguisher except instead of “in case of fire, break glass”, the sign next to the list says, “in case of disaster, read books.” And how can I say no to a command like that?