Reading Ruts and Looking Forward

Perhaps you’ll notice that I didn’t do a “Best Books of 2020” roundup at the end of December. To be honest, I wasn’t really feeling it. For one thing, most of my “best books” of the past year have already been rhapsodized about on this blog. For another thing, as the year wound to a close I found myself in a real reading rut.

I trudged through a few books that were okay-enough to stick with, but I never felt that enthusiastic about picking them up. I abandoned three more books in as many weeks. I began to look at my usually enticing TBR pile with suspicion. And then I began to wonder if it wasn’t the books, but myself that was the problem.

Reading ruts are real. Sometimes, no matter how much you love books, you just. aren’t. into. them. You feel uninspired. The books that you couldn’t wait to get your hands on make you go “meh.” Flipping from book to book to book, looking for The One that will pull you out of your reading rut is normal (hence the abandonment of book after book).

As the Bustle article “8 Things That Happen When You’re In A Reading Rut” says, you also feel a deep sadness:

Deep Sadness

Books are your friends! Sometimes you like them more than real people. What are you supposed to do until this passes? Socialize? HA.

I don’t typically write here about books that I haven’t enjoyed. If I haven’t enjoyed reading them, I’m not likely to enjoy writing about them. And it’s not very often that I read something SO BAD that I feel the need to caution readers away from it. I also recognize the amount of heart, soul, time, blood, sweat, tears, etc. that authors put into their work, and so just because it wasn’t for me, I feel a little mean ripping it apart in public.

So I’m not going to go into detail about the books that have disappointed me of late. Suffice to say that my reading took a real downturn in December. So I did the only thing one can do in such a situation: I took a break from books and marathoned a bunch of Keanu Reeves movies from the ’90s.

And now, here we are in 2021, starting a brand new circuit around the sun. And I’m officially ready for my reading rut to be OVER. To that end, I’m starting off the new year with re-reading one of my favourites (a tried-and-true remedy for reading ruts)—Circe, by Madeline Miller. My podcast is going to be featuring it soon, so I’m brushing up on the nitty gritty of it before diving into deep discussion. And—hallelujah!—I’m looking forward to reading it.

I mean, just look at that cover.

After that, who knows? I have a sizable stack of books awaiting my attention during the coming months. Will the spell be broken? Only time will tell.

In the TBR pile…

2 thoughts on “Reading Ruts and Looking Forward

  1. Reading ruts are the WORST. We talk about them a lot at my house, because when I am in the midst of one, apparently I am insufferable. And I am still not sure if they happen because I’m in the wrong mood when I encounter the book or because the book tips me over into said mood, but it’s all encompassing and awful. You have my sympathies.


    1. Thanks, Kerry! I have no doubt that I was very insufferable while in the throes of the dreaded RR. I am happy to report that it seems to have passed now. Reading ahoy!


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