Have you ever wanted to enjoy a book so badly, that you ended up hating it?
I have picked up many a hyped book this year and nearly broke down in tears because I was so disappointed. I love most stories and I feel that there is definitely value in all stories. So when I know I would usually love this kind of read, I start looking at why I don’t love it this time.
The answer was a glaring, red flashing light in front of me – Me! My thoughts and mental health space have a big impact on my ability to get lost in a book. My escape from reality had become another challenge to face. But I wasn’t going to abandon the one thing that helped me cope for so long. So had one of the most insightful conversations ever with my husband.
Lucky for me I have a husband that understand my need to fall in love with the book in my hand and he gives AMAZING advice.
The first few times this happened, he encourage me to “park” the read and return to it later. His words were find a book that you fall in love with on page one. Without realising he has stumbled on a very important aspect in reading. Your mood isn’t the only thing that affects your reading pace.
I am not a big fan of DNF (Did not Finish) when it comes to books. I prefer to “park” and return. I treat difficult reads like my car. I read up until the point when I feel I can’t anymore, park and do something else.
Sometimes the something else is an entirely different book. Either way I still finish the book and up until now I am quite thankful for doing it. Often it happens that the book builds to a better end. Every story is unique. I agree not all reads are for everyone, but all stories have value.
If your mind is not ready for a heavy read, your mood is not going to help you get through it. Your mindset will affect how much you get out of the book.
I struggle with anxiety and depression daily. And reading has become such a part of my daily survival. When I hit a reading slump, I plummet into despair, because a great part of my survival strategy is not working for me.
When this happens my husband suggest picking up an additional book. Reading more than one book at a time is not always great if you get completely lost in a story. But when you feel like things are not going your way a reread of a loved novel is just the remedy.
These are strategies that are proving very effective at the moment.
How can your mental space affect your read?
Stories you would normally love can suddenly be draining, boring or predictable. Things that would normally excite you, can now be tedious and repetitive.
The truth of the matter is, not all of the novels you love will be original stories and therefore some elements will be repetitive. That should not affect your ability to fall in love with them.
My methods are part of my personal journey with mental health challenges, and I am open to try different methods. So if you have a really cool trick or a tried and tested method of finishing a book, feel free to share them in the comments.