Book Hangover

It’s been ten days since I published the review of my last book, The Forgotten Garden and I haven’t read anything yet. Not even started, not even felt like reading. I think I may be suffering from a book hangover.

Every summer I go through this phase of not reading for a while: sometimes it is only for a few days and others it takes weeks to go back to my reading. Through the years I have noticed that this hangover usually takes place at the end of August: the summer is about to end yet it is still there and the academic year slowly approaches, reminding us of the little free time remaining. Plus, the whole world seems to agree: TV shows have not started their new seasons,good  movies are not being released until September and everyone is trying to make the most of these remaining summer days. So this is what I call an inbetweenes and sadly, it means I feel like doing little more than watching TV (I’m actually hooked up on ER, from season 1!).

So, I’ve decided to take it easy: I am on this little personal project with Leah in which we read a section of Cloud Atlas every week. Not too demanding yet satisfactory enough to make me feel like I’ve achieve something every week. Probably, I should thank Leah in advance for making me do some actual reading. But more than that, it is quite a challenge now!

Meanwhile, I am also listening to music, even more than I already did on a daily basis. I am inspired by many songwriters to put down everything that touches me, so basically I’ve been writing some poetry or little pieces. Not feeling like reading is then paying off somehow, with more time to think and reflect and to write about it all.

I think this feeling is actually pretty common among passionate readers (I’ve seen some posts around) and many are worried or feel guilty. With this post, I would like to highlight that is shouldn’t be so! Human beings love routines but, every once in a while, we need a break, from everything, even from reading. With this little breaks we all have, probably our mind (or our souls, or our hearts) are telling us to slow down and focus on different things or just rest. It’s OK, it’s natural and it goes away. It always does.



  • Leah

    I must confess I’m in a little reading slump right now too. I’m reading a short story collection that I’m really enjoying, but I don’t like to sit and plow through a bunch of short stories in a few hours like I would a novel; they need to be spaced out, so I find myself not doing much reading each day; in 10 days I’ve read 150 pages of the short story book and nothing much else. Instead, I’ve been reading blogs more than usual, which has been refreshing.

    Woohoo, Cloud Atlas! I’m really looking forward to our discussions and relaxed reading schedule 🙂

    • Elena

      Thanks God it is not only me! I know this will go away but I’m worried that I can only focus on TV right now, guess my mind is on vacation!

      • Leah

        Don’t worry, I’m sure it’s just our brains telling us they need a rest! It’s just nice to take a break and do some mindless TV-watching sometimes. Then when our reading appetites come back we’ll appreciate our books even more!

  • amanda

    I’m curious about Cloud Atlas myself, but there is a nice long hold list at the library. Waiting patiently…

    I’ve actually moved from a reading slump to a reading binge–I think somehow having less free time lately has made me want to read more! Enjoy your last days before school starts and the reading becomes mandatory again. 🙂

    • Elena

      I will have to agree with you. The less time I have for reading, the more I feel I desperately need it. I’m probably just giving my mind a rest before the school starts although I only have a subject this year and it’s History of the English Language (1350-1500). Booooooring.

  • Erika

    I am right there with you! I am just not able to get through a book right now– no matter how beautiful the writing is nor how much I want to read the book. For me it has to do with the beginning of classes and thus ultimate doom. I can already feel my free time slipping away into the abyss of academic responsibilities. Oh well.

    • Elena

      Whoops, sorry it took me so long to reply, Erika! I’m so thankful that y’all are sharing your stories here. Sometimes when this happens, if we really like reading, we worry. But we are not alone! Most people go through this too and it is great to share it (I know, it sounds as if I were talking about something horrible) and see how common it is.

  • CFisher

    I’ve ending up adopting my mum’s reading habit, which is to always have books scattered around the house (or at least around the bed). I couldn’t tell you how many books I am currently reading or how far I’ve got into them or even details such as character’s names. It’s all to do with having the reassurance that I’ve always got a book close at hand. Somehow, I avoid the sensation of experiencing periodic slumps. I might only read a page or two but I’ve always got something by me. Although it does not make for a tidy house!

Don't forget to share what you think!