Perhaps it's the season. We're well into summer, QVC just hosted their Christmas in July weekend, it's hoter than Hades in most parts of the country, and we're at the point when autumn is starting to look pretty enticing, but we're not yet ready to get out of the pool. I think the word I'm looking for is: ennui.
[ahn-wee, ahn-wee; Fr. ahn-nwee]
a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satietyor lack of interest; boredom: The endless lecture produced anunbearable ennui. (credit: dictionary.com)
I'm sure that the manifestation of this state takes on many different forms. For me, it has manifested into a troubling state that I call book drift.
As you know, I am an avid patron of the Evergreen Library. I constantly use their online catalogue to order books that I want to read. The source of my constant wish list comes from conversations with my sister-in-law Kathy during our monthly phone marathons, from reviews I've read online, from reviews on Larramie's blog The Divining Wand, or from Keetha's monthly review of books she's read in the past month. In other words, I'm never without a large list of books that I'm either waiting for or have arrived and are waiting in a stack on my nightstand. Which is usually an embarrassment of riches, for which I'm grateful.
Over the past month, I've found myself picking up and discarding book after book. Unable to become ensnared by the more substantial books on my reading list, I've resorted to reading short, easy reads: romances and cozy mysteries. Which I love, in moderation. But the more substantial fare I usually enjoy has been tossed aside and ultimately returned to the library unread.
Take for instance, the book picture above: Alice I Have Been. I've had this book for so long, I actually had to renew it once. I began reading it about a month ago. I got twenty pages in, and put it down. I read four other romances/mysteries in between and actually had it in my book bag to return to the library, but decided to give it another go since it has received so many glowing reviews.
I'm now making progress, perhaps by sheer stubborn determination to finish the book. But the book still has not captured me. This morning instead of picking up Alice, I started reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
I wonder why this general malaise has beset me. Is it simply the season or something else? Is my mind so occupied with the job hunt and housing prospects that I can't focus, much less enjoy, more substantial reading?
What say you? Have you ever hit a reading jag where nothing you picked up seemed to fit the bill? Where you were unable to read as prodigiously as you'd like?