Over the past five or six weeks I’ve not read anything. I’ve been listening to audiobooks in the background whilst working on a knitting projects – and old favourite series that I know well and don’t need to concentrate on (Swallows and Amazons). But the last time I actually read something was on Good Friday when I managed the first garden reading session of the year and finished The One We Fell In Love With by Paige Toon. For the week or two before that I wasn’t reading much either.
It’s not like me not to be at least reading something. I even did three train journeys without a book (although 1 I was with Mum so probably wouldn’t have read but I would have taken one) which is really unusual. No matter how little I’m reading, if I’m on a train I’ve got a book.
I don’t know why I wasn’t reading but it was irritating me that all I could read was fanfic online. I love fanfic, I really do, but it’s not the same and I missed reading. I just couldn’t do it. I even dropped my Goodreads challenge from my usual 100+ books to 52 as that felt much more realistic and reduced my stress about not reading.
I don’t really want to admit to it but I suspect my mental health was slipping a bit and that played a part. The Internet (and fanfic in particular) is always a comfortable thing for me when I’m struggling. But not being able to read a book is a bad sign. A long time ago I moaned to a counsellor that all I could manage to do was lose myself in a book. She pointed out that being able to concentrate on a book and do that is a great sign because many people with mental health problems can’t do that. So it’s always been a case of “I’m reading, I’m OK.”
And actually judging by how much and how fast I was mainlining fanfic I probably could have concentrated on a book but I didn’t have the motivation or inclination.
Until on Tuesday I picked up my Kindle. I had about twenty minutes before my Dad was coming to take my sailing and my cleaners were here. They clean either the lounge or the bedroom and I sit in the other then we switch. And when I switched from on my PC in my bedroom to in my lounge I had a little poke at my Kindle and started reading Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain.
I didn’t get far with it before I ran out of time. And then I didn’t read anything on Wednesday. But on Thursday I took my kindle on the train not wanting yet another journey without the option of reading. And suddenly it clicked.
I finished that book that evening. And since then I’ve read a novella (Summer at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn) and the entirity of another novel (Out of Practice by Penny Parkes)
Maybe it was the fact enough time had passed to get it out my system.
Maybe it’s the sunny weather meaning I can get out in the garden again and sit there.
Maybe it’s finishing my knitting and a few other things and no longer having quite so many things I feel I should be doing instead of reading.
Maybe it was just having a short period of time before I had to put my kindle down and go sailing.
Or maybe it was just a case of finding the right book.
But whatever it was I’m reading again and I’m really loving it.