Why I Can’t Read Right Now

I intentionally don’t address my personal life on this blog. I suppose I intend for this to be a site where I share my interests, but not myself. However, my current self is finding it hard to feel engaged by my interests.

I doubt the global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (specifically the COVID-19 disease) is news for you. Like almost everyone I know, I’m experiencing a lot of fear and uncertainty about the unknown. I so badly want to rely on the things that bring me the most comfort, like restful sleep and great stories, but they are the exact activities I’m finding it most challenging to tune into.

In the past month I’ve learned that I need a quiet mind to read. I often experience anxious thoughts, but, previously, whatever I read would usually help me tone them down (and that’s my personal indicator of a great book). Because my mind has been the opposite of quiet lately, I either avoid picking up my current book or quickly toss it aside. 

In early March I decided to abandon the just-released Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today, which I was graciously gifted by Grand Central Publishing. I didn’t dislike anything about it, but I observed I was having a difficult time focusing when paging through it. I almost put away an advanced copy of The House of Deep Water (sent to me by G.P. Putnam’s Sons) for good after taking more than a week to scrape through the first eight pages. I’ve only kept up with it because I realized it’s not the book, it’s my mind.

I’m not sure how or when I can look forward to relief. Reading is my comfort, and the absence of it leaves me feeling insecure when uncertainty and fear are already weighing on my mind. However, I am confident that, once this phase passes, I will dive back into some truly great books.

[My review was not solicited or expected in exchange for the books gifted to me as mentioned. No links are affiliate.]


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