The Book That Defeated Me

So. My last post was three months ago. In those three months, I haven’t read a single book. I have tried to read one but in three months, I have been reading the same book. Or rather, I have had the same book lying on my night table next to me and then I have been ignoring it for three months.
I managed 214 pages of it and then … nothing more. And the strange thing is, that I didn’t dislike it. I liked it. I liked it when I was reading it. But I forgot about it when not reading it and if you ask me now, I wouldn’t be able to tell you precisely what it was about. That may be because it was a 800+ pages book and I haven’t reached the part where it all comes together and starts making sense – it might also be because this is not a book for me.
And that bugs me.
Because I want to like this book. I want to like this author.
mdT2qD0PAy_ect1IYhvl5gQ-2The book I’m talking about, the book that has completely destroyed me and made a deserted wasteland of this blog, is Don DeLillo’s magnum opus Underworld. And there are parts of it I really, really like. I have written down quotes and impressions and they are all positive and things I enjoyed. But not enough to keep reading apparently. And then I stopped reading for the first time in 7 years.
When I have read other bloggers write about reading slumps and how to defeat them, I have to admit I have felt a bit superior. A reading slump couldn’t positively happen to me, I thought. I love reading too much, I thought. Reading slumps are for others who just don’t care about books the way I do, I snickered.
Watch me cover in shame!
Reading slumps can happen to everybody, I know now. I should have known earlier, of course, since when I started using Goodreads back in ’07, I was just coming out of a slump caused by too much studying. This was a time when I felt guilty whenever I read something that wasn’t related directly to my master’s thesis.
From this slump, I have learned two things. The first one is also going to sound arrogant, just like my idea that I was immune against reading slumps. A non-reader is just a person who hasn’t met the right book yet. I’m back to reading and I’m just loving it. I’m completely engulfed in this book and am enjoying myself so so much.
The second thing I’ve learned is, that my way back to reading, is fantasy literature. Last thing, I used DragonLance novels mostly and loved it. This time I’m reading urban fantasy – the Jim Dresden novels. I read the first two last year – and I almost finished the third one last night but the World Cup kind of distracted me.
Still, even though the last months have been filled with distractions – I started crocheting, I started trying to journal more in my moleskine and I discovered smash books – I’m hoping that I’m back to my normal dose of reading daily. And with that, I’m hoping I’m back to blogging and I’m hoping that there’s still someone out there reading…

7 thoughts on “The Book That Defeated Me

  1. There have been a few books that I remember thinking “This is a good book” and then promptly sat it down and slowly backed away. I would then spend the next few days avoiding eye contact with it, hoping it would get the point and take off 🙂

    You’re right there are just some books that don’t meet our tastes and that doesn’t mean the book is bad or poorly written. It’s just not for us!

    • Exactly. It still bugs me though that I really, really enjoyed parts of this book. I just couldn’t finish it. And the worst part is that it was my second attempt.
      But as far as I recall, it took me five tries before I managed to finish ‘House of the Spirits’ – and I loved that the final time. But the first four times I tried to read it, I had the excuse of being too young. This time I have no excuse…

    • Other people seem to love DeLillo – I just have a hard time with him. I’ve tried several books by him and there’s just no love. Still, I am convinced that he’s a good author so I keep on attempting to break the code so I can get what it is he’s trying to say.
      And thanks!🙂

  2. It’s hard to imagine a book doing that to you but it’s happened to me before. It’s devastating to us, as readers isn’t it? I don’t give a book much more than 50 pages to work for me. I have given some books more time because I am reading them for book club but usually…nah… not gonna happen.

  3. Good to see you’re back! But mostly, glad to hear you’re over your slump. I’m dreading my slump- it’s sure to find me someday.

  4. One thing I have learned over the years is that the only way through a reading slump is to read your way out of it. That might sound perverse, but you have found your way with fantasy fiction for me, when nothing else seems to be working I re-read old favourites. Sooner or later it snaps me out of it.
    On the DeLillo front: that book has been sitting on my shelves ever since it was published and I have yet to summon up the enthusiasm to read it. Maybe one day……..

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