A Funk!

Who would have thought that in the first two months of reading by whim for a year I would find myself in complete reading funk? Yet this is indeed the case. It seems that in being able to read whatever I want I have become really fickle and have ended up with seven books in various states of reading. This is not ideal.


It was working initially but now is just irritating me and so subsequently I am beginning to be irritated by the seven books and the need to finish them all. Though I am actually wondering if I should just stop reading all of them and put them back in the TBR (because none of them are terrible) and start something completely different instead? Or maybe even, as I have two delightful friends coming for the weekend, just have a few days off reading full stop? What do you think?


Filed under Random Savidgeness

26 responses to “A Funk!

  1. Strangely enough, I find that I get reader’s block when I whim read. I become like a kid in a sweet shop. I can read anything. I want to read it all. I don’t know what to read first. I start to read too many books. Then, become overwhelmed.

  2. Have experienced both, I mean, what the writer said as well as what the so called readers’ block 🙂 I would say enjoy with your friends, but don’t put those books back! Hehehe

  3. I’d have a tiny break, if I were you, or – and this is what I do for those odd days when I’m off the reading ‘treadmill’* and feel like a breather – I have some non-fiction to dip into for a few minutes at bedtime. It’s not work-related in any way, it’s soothing, there’s no time pressure to it (e.g. I’ve just finished a book I started three years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed every bit) and it’s lovely to take it slowly and pick it up as and when.
    When novels aren’t really hitting the spot, memoir or letters or really any non-fiction can provide that crucial change of voice and pace – a bit like watching a documentary when you’ve had a surfeit of television drama.
    Hope that helps, Simon!

    *That makes it sound as if reading is a chore and it isn’t, but deadlines can make it seem that way sometimes.

  4. Personally I would put them on the back-burner, they might not be the right books for now, but doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future.

  5. I’m hopeless at reading more than one book at a time because I forget what’s happened in each one! I end up having to reread them anyway to avoid permanent confusion. I’d choose the book most in tune with your current frame of mind (if there is one) and put the other six back in the TBR pile. Happy reading, hope this helps!

  6. rosemarykaye

    For me seven books would be far too many – I have trouble keeping track of two. And I also go through stages of not being able to read anything – I start to feel overwhelmed, especially if I’ve borrowed loads of interesting-looking books from the library and can’t find time to read them. Sometimes it’s a relief to take them al back and pick up just one book. I also struggle with reading groups of any kind, because as soon as I know I ‘have to’ read a book, it becomes my worst enemy – reminds me far too much of school.

    I would give yourself the weekend off, have fun with your friends, then see about starting something completely different – just one book – next week.

    Good luck!

  7. I say jus take a break from reading full stop. Sometimes avid readers need a break a,d there’s nothing wrong with that. Enjoy your weekend with friends!

  8. David

    I can completely relate to vikzwrites’ comment above: I’ve been whim reading too this year, and whereas I’d normally just pick from a (short-ish) pile of new books, now I’m trying to choose from EVERYTHING unread on my shelves. Hence the other day I read the first ten pages or so of five different books, and it wasn’t that none of them were right – no, I wanted to read them all! At the moment I have three on the go which is a lot for me. I’m reading a novel that I’m not really enjoying (Amy Sackville’s ‘Orkney’), a book of short stories that I think are great but are a bit slow-going (David Constantine’s ‘Tea at the Midland’) and for contrast another book of short stories (Charles Baxter’s ‘Through the Safety Net’) that, if it weren’t for the other two books, I could cheerfully sit and read cover to cover. Agh.

    Anyway, yes, maybe take a day or two off. Or, that one at the bottom of your pile looks closest to being finished – maybe get that one read and out of the way?

  9. Kateg

    I would throw the 7 back into the TBR. It might be time for a magazine or two. I find that helps to read a magazine if nothing else pleases and then I am able to pick up a book. Have fun with your friends!!

  10. I think a full stop for a couple days would probably be good. Let your reading mind rest.

  11. I must admit to thinking ‘man-up and finish a couple’ 😛

  12. Take so time off from reading and enjoy being with your friends. All reading and no play causes funks!

  13. Agh, I’m in a similar situation – I have three unfinished books on the go and don’t particularly want to pick any of them up. This never happens to me. Also nothing that I have actually finished reading this month has particularly wowed me. So I can’t really offer any solutions to your reader’s block but will be keeping an eye on the comments to see if they can help me out!

  14. Take up flute playing! Seriously, if these are being read for work then you have little choice but to bite the bullet and continue. If for pleasure then just stop; what interests me is why it worries you if you are describing the second case. I stopped reading novels (maybe one or two per annum) for a couple of years in my forties and quite honestly it didn’t worry me at all. I’m now reading ~ 40 per year and that neither worries nor reassures me but it does bring me pleasure.

  15. Just got House of Mirth thanks again.when I’m in a reading funk I put aside everything. I’ve started and grab something new.enjoy your friends.

  16. I have been in exactly this situation before and have noticed it is a seasonal thing for me (right before spring, like right now…, and during the summer). I start accumulating books because I can’t quite settle on anything. I would say put back on the TBR anything you aren’t at least a 3rd of the way through (which looks like at least 4 of them maybe?). Take a few days off and then return to one of the books remaining and read them one at a time (or first pick up something easy you know you will love and will read quickly just to get things rolling again).

  17. I say finish the shortest one in the pile and then you feel like you’ve accomplished something and it will make you want to finish the next one. It’s worked for me when I’ve found myself in this same pickle!

  18. gaskella

    Personally I’m with Tracy and Gav, I’d finish the one I’m closest to to the end of, and then the joy of finishing one may help you get back into another in the pile … or else take all the bookmarks out and put them back on the shelves, give them away – whatever and read something different – but you may just be adding another part-read book to the pile ….

    That doesn’t help much does it! 😉

  19. Follow your gut on this one. If you think it’ll help the situation, take a complete break for about 72 hours and then pick one you feel most passionate about. If you don’t feel passionate about any of them (or even mildly curious) that might be a sign that you should try something new. My two cents. 🙂

    Good luck!

  20. Funks are the worst. I just got out of one myself. I’m terrible when I “whim read,” too. I’m so preoccupied with all the possibilities that I can’t ever seem to settle into any one book. If I were you, I think I’d pick the book of the seven that I was most invested in and forget the rest for the time being. If I had seven books in progress, I’d probably be so overwhelmed I’d never finish anything! One is much more manageable. 😉

    Whatever you choose to do, hope you get out of your funk soon!

  21. I had that problem in September when I attempted a me month and went back to my review pile half way through. I sometimes think it’s a case of too much choice! If none of them are grabbing you, put them down for a while. Maybe choose a comfort readto get your mojo back?

  22. Stop complaining and read! Just pick up one book and read. Finish it. Pick up next one and read. Just read.

  23. I hadn’t really thought about it but I think unlimited choice can indeed induce a funk. When I have a bunch started like you do now, I may ignore them for a while and then I get in the mood to do clean-up and finish a bunch in quick succession. I say just enjoy your friends and then see how you feel.

  24. 7 is just too many – no wonder you’re overwhelmed! I agree with what others have said – leave the books entirely and enjoy your weekend (admittedly my comment is clearly coming far too late to be of use to you now…) – I’m reading Tess at the moment and while I’m enjoying it I’ve overdosed on it during the week and was getting a bit tired of it, so I haven’t touched it at all since Friday morning! I’ve been picking up and putting down a magazine instead – I find they help sometimes as you don’t have to commit yourself to them.

    I’d put all but one book back on your TBR shelf and try and get through that one…

  25. Hmm, I don’t really understand the concept of taking a break from reading totally, but I do often read non-fiction when I need a break from fiction or can’t get into anything, or I go back and re-read some childhood faves. I don’t think I could have 7 books on the go at once, usually just 2 or 3. Maybe try some non fiction or something you don’t feel you have to read all of.

  26. yes I tend not read a couple of days a month just keep my self fresh ,all the best stu

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