Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More On Reading

I hate to say it, but I’ve got a ton of unread books in this house. Part of it is because I went to the RWA conference last year. The other part is because lately, it seems I’ve gotten pickier or something. That sounds so nose-up-in-the-air.

There was a time I’d read anything, finish anything; I called myself a book slut.

Now, not only does the story have to be really good, but I have to be in the mood for that kind of story.

Another bad habit I’ve gotten into is getting a third of the way through a book, thinking I know how it all is going to end up. And then I flip to the end of the book, and discover that it does end up exactly as I thought, I feel no need to finish the book.

And sometimes, I can even say that it is a talented book, well-worth the hype. I can even say that this or that is really refreshing, and that on the whole, the book has that special spark. And it’s even perfectly well done.

But I have zero interest in actually reading the parts of the book I missed.

Lately, nothing seems to catch my fancy. I very much want to read, but I find myself wanting things that don’t exist. Even as I wander through the whole of Borders, I haven’t been getting the spark of excitement I usually get.

I wonder if it is a condition of a writer, to crave books not written. Maybe that’s part of why we create, because we can write the story we crave, write exactly the story we’re in the mood for, write exactly the story we feel like curling up with and the characters we feel like spending time with.

Or maybe I just miss DH, and maybe everything is a little tainted with a lack of enthusiasm. Or maybe it’s a bit of both.

I just really want a story that I can lose myself in, that can take me away from my world, that can make me cry or laugh or inspire me or feel like spending time with some character-"friends" for a little while. I suppose, being in the mood I’m in, it takes a really powerful story to do that.

I just want a story that’s going to blow me away.

LOLOL ... I feel like one of those little kids who’s whining I’m bored!

Have you ever gone through periods like this?

13 bonus scribbles:

Edie 1/16/2008 07:51:00 PM  

I'm the same way! I've been this way for awhile, so I didn't take as many books home from Dallas this year. I'm pickier. I ordered books from Amazon recently, and only read one.

But I just read a novella I thought was great, and I have a pile of books sitting on my counter that has potential. :)

StarvingWriteNow 1/16/2008 08:08:00 PM  

Yes. And I hate when I hit a reading slump. I'll keep picking and picking, a few pages here, afew pages there... oy.

It passes eventually. YOu'll be fine.

Zoe Winters 1/16/2008 08:21:00 PM  

I think it's very much a part of why we write. We're too picky. We want a story just this exact way and other people are close but no cigar usually, so we think "well, dammit I'll just write it."

Christa M. Miller 1/16/2008 10:26:00 PM  

I feel exactly the same way. I was afraid it was a function of having limited time in which to do much of anything - if I'm going to spend my valuable time, I want it to be with something quality - but it sounds like even if this is a factor, I'm not alone. Thank goodness!!

Now to find some time...

Bernita 1/17/2008 07:19:00 AM  

That's when I re-read old favourites.

Michelle 1/17/2008 07:26:00 AM  

I am exactly the same way at the moment. I recently got out of the slump though. Its always temporary, except, I am definitely pickier. Much, much pickier

Anonymous,  1/17/2008 08:42:00 AM  

I'm with Bernita--when I can't find something "new" that interests me, I haul out the old favorites.

Does it sound stupid to say that lately I enjoy reading my friends' work in progress more than published books? That's where I'm at. Maybe because they're asking me for my opinion--and I have some small stake in the work. I can't wait for my writing buddies to write another book. It's like they're writing them just to entertain me.

I like that feeling.

Edie 1/17/2008 09:26:00 AM  

I think I'm officially out of the slump now too. I read the novella, a great book, and now I've found another one that has promise. Yay!

Josephine Damian 1/17/2008 09:50:00 AM  

Spy! I'm seeing more writers brave enough to admit that the quality of books these days is poor. Trust me, it's not you or missing the DH.

You can always check my blog profile for a list of books I've read and highly recommend, including a romantic suspence written in the 1840's - "The Woman in White" - it's a page turner from the get-go and vastly superior to any modern thrillers I've read lately.

Karen Olson 1/17/2008 12:06:00 PM  

I read a lot of crime fiction, but for some reason I'm not in the mood for it right now. I just finished Stewart O'Nan's most amazing LAST NIGHT AT THE LOBSTER and am now beginning THE NAMESAKE by Jhumpa Lahiri.

I go where my gut takes me, and right now it's away from crime novels.

spyscribbler 1/17/2008 02:31:00 PM  

That's smart, Edie! There's this one book I ordered this summer that I can't find, and it's driving me bonkers. I did discover one new writer from Dallas, and when I lent it to a friend, she became a raving fan, LOL.

Writenow, I walked into Borders and the latest Marcus Sakey is out. I am officially out of slump and ECSTATIC!

Zoe, this is very, very, true. I know that feeling exactly!

LOL, Susan. :-)

spyscribbler 1/17/2008 02:38:00 PM  

Christa, it's so hard to find the time, sometimes, and when I do, I want it to be a top-notch story, you're right!

Bernita, would you believe that before I saw Marcus Sakey's new book today, I'd downloaded the Fall of the House of Usher?

Michelle, I read your comment this morning, and I was relieved by your reassurance. Now I feel a little silly because I was over the slump at the mere sight of one book, LOL.

Lorraine, have you been to Erica Orloff's blog today? And I think it's true that having a stake in something makes it more valuable, definitely!

Josephine, I will definitely check that book out! I've heard it mentioned elsewhere, too.

Although, at least in mystery and suspense and thrillers, I think the newer writers are pushing the genre to a higher level. And the older writers are still, of course, writing some great stuff. Killer Year, last year, blew me away.

Karen, I go through moods like that. God help me if anyone ever told me to write what I most read or most want to read. There is no such thing. I read everything!