It’s rare I get into a reading funk, but the last month or so I’ve really struggled to get into the groove with a book.
I was on a good run this year, enjoying some great reads. I still think about the vivid landscapes of Zhang’s How much of these hills is gold, Ishiguro’s thoughtful sci-fi Klara and the Sun, the bloody (fantastic) upcoming My Heart is a Chainsaw from Jones, and Schweblin’s unsettling foray into voyeuristic digital lives in Little Eyes.
I just stalled.
Flat out turning-the-key-and-sounding-like-a-horse-coughing-up-a-packet-of-Bensons stalled.
And I’m talking stalled as in I felt like whatever I picked up I couldn’t get in to. I was scared to pick up books I was excited to read in case my mood ruined the whole thing.
I can, apparently, be a bit of a moody reader. I always used to force myself to finish a book if I’d started it. I’d drag myself through it, not really caring what was on the next page, scanning through paragraphs without really seeing the words, willing myself to get to the end. And it wasn’t really fair on those books, books that I might well enjoy on a different day in a different headspace. So now I don’t worry about finishing a book if it’s not working for me at time, but know that sometimes certain books or genres are gonna work better than others. Because I’m fickle, or changeable, or moody, or all of the above.
But I was worried about my funk.
Worried because I felt, for a few weeks, like I might not break it. I might not find the right match.
Sometimes when this happens I’ll switch it up from fiction to non-fiction, and this time I delved a little into hauntology which was interesting but didn’t give me the desired reading bug back.
Things were getting serious.
I needed a book to break my funk, and after considering the options, I picked up a book by an author who I’d hugely enjoyed in the past for their zombie series, thrillingly dark and darkly humorous. If you’ve not read them before, Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series is brilliantly entertaining, the sort of books you can’t wait to get back to reading when you’re forced to take a break for food or bodily functions and other such distractions.
So, I’m pleased to say that Grant’s Parasite has been just the funk breaker I was hoping for. Who’d have thought a book with, well, rather a lot of pandemic vibes, would be the book to get my reading back on track. But it absolutely has. Body-snatching, parasitic pandemic ambience is the perfect antidote.
But am I the only moody reader? Do you get stuck in similar reading black holes?
What breaks your reading funk? Do you read to different moods? Do you have an ‘old faithful’ you return to whenever you’re lost with the TBR pile? Share your reading funk-breakers in the comments, and hopefully y’all enjoying your current reads as much as I am.