I loved reading Gretchen Rubin’s books because she classifies people into different categories, and I am all about classification. I am a scientist after all. One of her categorizations is Starters vs. Finishers. I am definitely a Finisher. I love finishing a tube of toothpaste. I love wrapping up all of my reads at the end of the month. I love finishing a project at work.
But lately, I’m finding that I keep starting new books. It’s so out of character for me. I mean, I’ve always been someone who was reading more than one book at once, but it used to be just one book of each type – one print book for my night stand at home, one ebook for the Kindle app on my phone, one CD audiobook in my car…you get the idea. Not anymore.
Over the last couple of months, I have found myself starting multiple books of each medium. I have sometimes been “reading” more than 10 books at once. What is going on with me?
After some self-reflection, I’ve come up with two reasons for this new behavior.
1. I am reading for other people.
Since I started writing the Book Club column for Country Woman magazine, I am reading a lot of books I wouldn’t normally have read. I am searching for books that will appeal to the target audience of that magazine – women in their 50s and 60s. News Flash: That is not me. I am trying to find books that appeal to women of all ages, but sometimes I’m also reading books that aren’t meant for a woman my age. So while those books aren’t bad, they’re just not what I always want to be reading. It’s taking me a little longer to get through those books, so I need to also be reading other books at the same time for myself. Ya know?
2. I am not finding books I love.
I also have been reading a lot of good books lately, but not a lot of great books. When I am reading a bunch of so-so books at once, like I am right now, I find myself starting new book after new book trying to find a book that really sucks me in. You know I love to read books with riveting plots and lots of action, so when I have multiple books going that are more character-driven, I just keep hunting for a book that’s truly satisfying. That’s not to say that the other books I’m reading aren’t enjoyable, they’re just not the book I want to grab when I really need to relax or escape.
For both of these reasons, I think I’ve been abandoning books a bit more recently as well. If it’s not right for the Country Woman reader, and I’m not loving it, I don’t feel compelled to finish it. Or if it’s a book I wanted to read for myself, but it’s just not hooking me in, then I’m not feeling obligated to read the whole thing. Unless, I want to say I finished the book, like with Emma earlier this year. Or I really want to write a review because I have a lot to say about the book. Then I’ll push through just to say I read the whole thing. I don’t review books I don’t finish. Do you?
Has this ever happened to you? Maybe this is my version of a reading slump? I don’t know. What do you think?
Feature image from Pexels