2018 has been a year full of ups and downs for me personally. In some of the darkest times of my life, it was reading that brought me peace and sanity. At the same time, there were occasions when reading became the most difficult thing for me to do for days and weeks. My erratic reading habits over this year highlight the tumultuous year this has been.
The year started off in the worst way possible, but I was determined to read myself into oblivion; to forget everything and get lost in my books. It was such a good time for my reading that I settled on a GoodReads target of a 100 books in 2018! During the first few months, I was well on my way to achieving this target with an average of 9 books read per month! This went on for a while, me losing myself in fiction, buying new books every week, thinking about books, talking about books, and avoiding real life as much as possible.
As a result of this non-stop activity, I became exhausted. My mind refused to comprehend the words that were once so dear to me. I read, but I couldn’t understand. I kept having to go back and forth in the most simplest of books just to understand what was happening, and that made me lose patience, with myself as well as with my beloved books. I put the books aside and started indulging in mindless reading. I was still a reader, but now I could only read online articles about things that wouldn’t make me think too hard. Things like celebrity gossip, home design, makeup trends, and anything else that I could read and forget the next instant.
In the beginning, I thought, this is how my brain is having a detox. I thought to indulge myself for a few days, and then go back to my books, books that were still piling up while I was not reading them. You see, I was still buying books – online, at bookstores, asking family to get them for me, and any other way that I could get my hands on them. The fact that I wasn’t actually reading them didn’t really stop me from buying more and more books. It was a compulsion, and I just couldn’t stop!
This is not a story about how I overcame my reading slump. I still haven’t. I have devoured books one after another in a week, and have been unable to touch a book for other weeks. This is an ongoing struggle for me. It frustrates me, and makes me irritable. I want to be able to read whenever I want to. Books have been a compulsory part of my life ever since I learnt to read, and not being able to comprehend words is something I cannot come to terms with. I still have days when I love a book, want to keep on reading, but it’s too much work for me.
I know some would say there are definite psychological issues hidden in all this, and I agree, but I’m not willing to give up so easily. Words have been my friends since I was 4 years old, and I’m not willing to abandon them without a good fight. So, take that, Reading Slump! And on that note, I will go and finish the book that I’m currently reading and enjoying so much!