On Books and Reading in 2021
A new year, hopefully a better year, is here. My hiatus in December worked out quite well in that it allowed me to read a few more books than I’d managed each month in 2020. I read a total of about 30 books (I think) in the whole year, far below my usual of 80-100 each year.
I read a variety of books (leaning more towards fiction, I must admit), but this year almost everything failed to grab and keep my attention. This post is for the Insecure Writers Support Group, which asks us to answer the question:
Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?
The answer for normal times is lack of research: I’m thrown out of a story if it is set in the real world, and yet does not accurately depict it, in terms of locations or technicalities. I’m also thrown out if there are implausible things working out in the plot, which seem completely unbelievable for the character.
Last year though, I found I could mostly keep my attention on lighter reads. If it was heavy, it seemed it was not for me. I usually read a ton of literary books, and often quite dark books, but it was all a little too much last year.
I felt overwhelmed. I put on weight. I battled blue moods. I did not read or write enough( I barely wrote some stories and finished a few long drafts), and this despite being a privileged individual who didn’t have to worry at all about basic necessities at any point of time.
In response, I’ve decided to stay offline for longer spells. To blog less, talk less, read more, and read books that I can cope with at the moment.
What books have you read lately? Which books have held your attention? What books did you not finish? Did you read more or less last year? What reading plans do you have for this one?
Yesterday was the first Wednesday of the month for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
Founded by the Ninja Cap’n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share their fears and insecurities without being judged. The wonderful co-hosts this time are Ronel Janse van Vuuren, J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner, Sandra Cox and Louise – Fundy Blue.
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