A Week Without Books

Last week I had a reading dry spell – no books, no blog posts, nothing sexual textual (except for work-related papers), and I was completely obsessed with listening to music and watching videos and TV shows. It wasn’t planned or anything; somehow, at some point at the beginning of last week, my brain decided to stop thinking about books.

And how did it feel? It felt like the Twilight Zone. It felt like I ate a gazillion slushies and had brain-freeze for a week.

It felt GREAT. I’ve gone weeks and evenΒ months without books before, and I experience the same, brain-dead-kind-of-joy feeling every single time. Maybe it’s because my brain’s not stimulated as much when I watch shows, or maybe it doesn’t need to work as hard. It’s like I still get to escape reality, but I found a shortcut.

But I still came back to books in the end. In Bibi van der Zee’s article inΒ The Guardian where she also went a week without books (I’m either super unoriginal or quite clever to be able to have thought of the same title), she describes her post-dry-spell book moment as something amazing:

Immediately, it is as if the wardrobe doors to Narnia have been thrown open again and thousands of other technicolour lives have tumbled straight back out from that eighth dimension inside my head. Day-to-day life just fades out, I stop worrying, stop twitching and just forget who or where I am for a gorgeous hour.

To be honest, I didn’t feel that burst of joy… rather, it’s more like the feeling I get from a really good stretch. Not reading for a week is literally equivalent to me being a couch potato for a week, both physically and mentally, and I just needed to work out or exercise or do something after that makes me feel more alive.

But yeah, I don’t know exactly why I stopped reading. Maybe I wanted an easier way of escaping reality (aka got lazy)? Maybe I suffered from reading overload (aka got bored)? But I know why I started reading again, so hopefully every time I go without books, I can remember the joy I felt when I had books.

What’s the longest you’ve gone without books? Why did you stop/start reading?

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11 thoughts on “A Week Without Books

  1. I can’t remember the last time I went for a period of time without reading ANYTHING–but I remember the summer when I was in the home-stretch of my Master’s degree program and was taking my final classes and studying for my comps. All I did was read textbooks and journal articles–nothing for pleasure at all. When I finally was finished, all I wanted to do was to read something really trashy!

    • OMG now I’m dreading my comps for yet another reason, haha. I’m taking mine either next January or June, so I guess I should get some trashy books ready for post-comps/classes celebration? πŸ˜›

  2. Oh yeah, been there done that, lol. Sometimes life just gets too busy/hectic and I have to prioritize ‘real life’ stuff. But, I always come back to reading-it’s one of the constants in my life πŸ™‚

  3. I stayed at a university for a politics and leadership conference for a week recently, and I barely had time to read while I was there. I felt so lost! Reading is such a huge part of my life that I felt like I had a constant itch that only picking up a book could adequately scratch. I’m so glad that I’m now back to reading regularly!

    • Glad you’re able to read more often now, Holly! πŸ™‚ To be honest though, I haven’t had that “itch” to read for a while… I think it’s because I’ve been so busy in real life that I’m burnt out by the time I get home, so I don’t even have time to think about reading, sadly. I do feel a ton of anticipation though, since I have many books sitting on my shelf just waiting for me to read them, haha. πŸ˜›

  4. I had a long dry spell last month which was mostly due to a combination of exhaustion after exams and wanting to catch up all the shows! It felt really nice. Sometimes, I feel like I read just so I can have reviews up or so I can make progress on my Goodreads challenge and not really because I just want to so taking a break was nice to help me get back into reading just for fun afterwards. Of course, it was impossible to stay away! πŸ™‚

    • OMG the shows!!! Sometimes I feel like I’m betraying books by watching TV instead of reading them, haha. >_< Like you, I've definitely felt like reading just for reviews sometime, and I think reading breaks/dry spells are necessary too to keep reading fun!

  5. I had that earlier this year, and I literally just spent every moment I wasn’t at work playing video games. I don’t know if it was because I was playing some really good games and didn’t want to do anything else, or none of my books were interesting me at that point. Or both?

    I remember a John Green book broke me out of the spell though πŸ˜› What shows have you been watching?

    • Probably both, haha! And I’ve been catching up on a lot of reality TV shows, like The Voice, The Biggest Loser, Hell’s Kitchen, and Masterchef. Oh, and Whose Line Is It Anyway! πŸ˜€

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