Hello there! Today I wanted to talk about reading ruts. I’ve been in one for the most part of this year, mostly because I was on my year abroad, so I was doing so many things and I felt like I had to “live” the experience and had no time to sit down with a good book. I’ve recently felt that a lot of books I picked up either didn’t live up to the expectation or they just didn’t interest me, and when I did find a great book (for example, “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan), I was always afraid that whatever I read next couldn’t possibly be as good as that one! So with exams, personal problems and trying to think about what to do in my future, I haven’t been reading that much. This year I gave myself a goal of 50 books (which puts to shame my 2014’s 75 books), and sadly so far I only got to 26!
To try to get over a reading rut, these are the things I usually do:
- Re-read books I loved: I do not do this frequently: usually when I read a book that’s it for me, unless it was so amazing that after a few years I go back to it. When I’m in a rut I usually love to go back to “A Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and “The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger, even if I do have to buy it again because my copy got lost while moving back to Italy from the UK. I think that re-reading a book that really means a lot to you or that you particularly enjoyed can help you rediscover the reasons why you loved reading in the first place, so that’s definitely one of the things to do!
- Finding the time to read and not be disturbed: this is very important. I usually am comfortable reading anywhere and anytime, but honestly I find it very easy to concentrate on a book when I’m on the train alone, and I can read without being bothered by anyone: at home it is hard for me to concentrate, because there is the internet, and my mom that asks me to do things and blablabla, but finding a space in which I am alone and I can really not be disturbed, lets me immerse into reading, and I find that I am faster and enjoy it much more.
- Being in a calm mental condition: this is I think the most important thing of all. If you have a lot of things in mind and cannot concentrate on what you are reading, then what’s the point? The secret is to really have a clear head, and go into the book thinking only about it. Reading can also be a way to keep things out of your mind, but to be able to get to the point in which you are so enthralled in a book, you have to start with a clean and serene mindset: so try your best, light up some candles, brew yourself a tea and vacate your mind of all your thoughts. There you go. Now start reading, it will be so much easier.
- Last, but not the least, read something similar to a book you really love, or something by the same author: chances are you will really enjoy what you are reading and you won’t be disappointed to have to put the book away. For example, since I really love “A Hundred Years of Solitude” by Garcia Marquez, I went with reading “House of the Spirits” by Isabell Allende: they are two different authors, times in which the books where written and published, but the genre is the same: Latin American magical realism, so I really enjoyed the novel and I could partially get out of my rut!
So I really hope these 4 suggestions will be useful to you!