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 even 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 in 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?