Reader’s Block

I get Reader’s Block, at least that’s what I call it.  I just can’t finish a book.  I’ve started 4-5 books in the last months and haven’t completed one.  Lately I can’t even begin a new book.  It’s really frustrating and a bit confusing.  I didn’t know other people had this problem until Dysfunctional Literacy mentioned it in a comment.  They’re the only other one I ever knew with this affliction.  Any body else out there unable to read a book lately?  I was able to read a few books in the past year, but the vast majority I’ve been unable to finish.

This is a growing problem in my life.  I have always been an avid reader and every once in a while I would be unable to finish or even start a book, but most of the time I am “dry” only for a few weeks at a time.  The times I am not able to read are growing longer and longer, and I’m not able to maintain an interest in any writing longer than a few pages. 

Is this part of my cognitive problems?  I believe it is, though I certainly couldn’t prove it, other than the fact that as my cognitive issues have worsened so has my Reader’s Block.  This summer I read some old favorites, but I read all of this author in those couple months, and then was blocked again.  I tried some new books, new authors, but as good as they were and the books came recommended, I couldn’t finish any of the four I tried reading.

I’ve tried reading the old classics, but some of the old style of writing is difficult for me any more.  Not that I don’t understand the terms, but the style of storytelling has changed over the years and reading the original Frankenstein or a Victor Hugo has become too much for my addled brain.  It can be very depressing.

Three authors I’m usually able to read include Christopher Moore-simple stories with a lot of humor; Tolkein – I know the stories by heart and don’t have to try to keep track of all the characters as I know them all very well; and Kurt Vonnegut – because his writing is also relatively easy to get through.  I may try some other old faves like Poe–shorter stories might be much easier to get through.  For some reason I no longer have my Poe handy.  Perhaps a trip to the library would help.

Who are your go-to authors when you need a good read?  Which are your favorite classic authors?  I’m sure I can’t get through Chaucer or Shakespeare, and certainly Moby Dick is out.  I could try Hemingway, but I’ve never liked his stuff.  Other classic tales fail to come to mind, but I’m open to suggestions.  I really need something to read in the next week as I’m going to do NaNoWriMo next month and reading something always stimulates my mind for more writing.


20 thoughts on “Reader’s Block

  1. I have given up on reading books in my day to day life, I am never in one spot long enough, I can’t concentrate on a train journey to work, too packed. Then at home too many distractions, blogging, cooking, cleaning, tv, the cat.

    But when I am on holiday then it is when I catch up, I’ll get through about 6 books in a two week break. Which is pretty good considering I am drinking round the pool a lot of the time aswell.

    So I know I just need a relaxed state of mind and to chill out and escape back into a book. I’m happy with that, I now buy books in anticipation of a holiday, have three I am raring to read, just need to plan a trip now 🙂

  2. I’ve always been the type of reader who reads one book at a time, usually within a week. The past 3 months I’ve started a book read 1/2 then started another. I’m now up to 5 partially read books. These are good books that I’ve enjoyed. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a result of trying to do too many things at once. I’m submitting short stories, trying to edit my first book, recently started a blog and getting ready for NaNoWriMo while working full-time. I’m having difficultly focusing on one thing at a time and it’s rolled into my reading habits. Sometimes I wonder if I have Attention Deficit Disorder. 🙂 Good luck to you with NaNoWriMo

    1. Five years ago I was revising my fourth novel, doing research on two more, writing short stories, shopping the stories, searching for an agent, and writing my first play. I was also working full time and able to read. It’s just changed so fast I’m having trouble absorbing it all.
      Hopefully NaNoWriMo will help get me re started! Good luck to you. I am on there as Catchms.

  3. we just finished one Pulitzer Prize winning David McCullough book on John Adams, now reading another on the American Revolution called 1776. Finished Ayn Rand’s Anthem, George Orwell’s 1984 and are now starting into the behemoth book Atlas Shrugged having seen the Movie’s part one and two… very much looking forward to part three when it comes out.

  4. what did you think of the newest release of emails between the White House, State Department, the Bengazi Consulate, and the Embassy in Tripoli? seems like they ‘knew’ within hours, but created the lie about the Youtube Video out of whole cloth to ‘defuse’ the impact to their Foreign Policy stance.
    obama didn’t refer to the bengazi incident ‘specifically’ as an act of terror. the WH ‘created’ a narrative for cover, then changed stories multiple times as they started to get caught in the lies.
    Honesty… what if Bush or any other Republican had done this? would you be so free with your defense of the President then?

    1. You’re not going to draw me into this again. You know my mind is made up, in fact I’ve already voted.

      In addition, I honestly do not care how things transpired in Benghazi. I think in situations like that, and for example, like 9/11, there is often chaos first, and clarification later. It took us over 10 years to “get even” with Al Queida. I don’t think it will take us as long to track down those responsible. What do you want Obama to do, declare another war?

      Shit, you drew me in.

  5. amazing. 4 people dead, including the first us ambassador killed in the line of duty for you and me in 30yrs, resulting from the state department repeatedly refused the requests for american security/marine security made by the ambassador and others after two previous attacks… then we have the pres, hillary clinton, white house spokesman jay carney and UN Amb Rice repeatedly trott out a false narrative about a you tube video and spontaneous protests that we now know didn’t exist and weren’t true… and now, having been caught in the lie AND the cover up, they NOW tell the ‘truth’ but with they’re continued ‘spin’… and you don’t care?

    you have no integrity at all. you are blinded and willing to be so. maybe you think those 4 people who died while representing YOU were just “bumps in the road” like Obama said, but they were real people with real families made disposable by Obama and you by the phrase “I don’t care what happened in Bengazi”

    how dare you?

    1. I don’t care about the details. I care that people were killed for no reason. I care that others may still be in danger, but I don’t care for the politicizing of a tragic event. Republicans seem to like to blow things out of proportion.

      I don’t want to argue who did what when in Benghazi. I trust my president to do what is right and good and you don’t so you see covert actions when there are none. I do not know as much about this subject as you and you have me at a distinct disadvantage. I did not read your post on the same, and did not read the news article either. Because it is dangerous in the Middle East.

      You are taking my words out of context, commenting on my post about Reading, and you want to argue your politics. You have a lot of nerve coming onto my page and deriding me. I’m asking you to please desist in berating me for something I did not have a hand in. I was not in Benghazi and find your tone distasteful.

  6. I’m a bit late in responding…I thought I got into the wrong post when I saw the ‘political issue’…In any case I too have difficulty keeping my concentration when reading a book and then remembering what I read when I put it down and pick it up again. Cognitive issues for sure but all we can do I guess is keep trying. .I’m aiming towards getting a Kindle or Reader of some kind and see what books are available online that might interest me…I haven’t been reading much lately at all…Diane

    1. After I got my Kindle I read a lot. That lasted about a year. This year my Kindle broke down, and I went back to paper. Not that I’m reading much now.

      This cognitive stuff is the pitts. I notice my personality is changing as well. I am less conversational and more withdrawn.

  7. I’ve been struggling lately with reading, too. I’m halfway through Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I like it, just not motivated to finish it. Too many other things are pulling my attention. I hate to say this, but occasionally I have to unplug — minimum Internet for a week or so. I notice that my focus and ability to finish books improves when I’m not constantly checking email, FB or blogs. And btw, I think you’re loaded with integrity.

    1. I read that book years ago. I really really liked it. Did you ever see the movie? That was good too, but as always, I thought the book was much better.

      I’m still trying to read Timeline. Having trouble even getting into it, and I probably won’t have the time during November, as I’m going to try to write 1500 words a day toward my novel.

      Thank you! I’d like to think I have integrity. 🙂

  8. I’m not sure if maybe it’s a symptom of the times we live in? I know with all the other online reading, I find it increasingly difficult to focus for long enough. Not to mention time commitment.

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