I think I’ve come down with a case of reading ennui.  Please excuse the pretentious French, by the way; five years of French in junior high and high school will leave you with just enough mastery for pretention. 

I finished “Someday My Prince Will Come” shortly after midnight Friday night/Saturday morning after reading it straight through.  Scarily enough, since then I’ve not started a single book.  Actually, I’ve started three or four books, but have been unable to remain faithful to any of them.  This is an extremely severe case of book promiscuity, resulting from a severe reading malaise.  I have started the following books, all of which I really am very interested in reading:

  • Justinian’s Flea, by William Rosen (another plague book, nonfiction this time)
  • Storm Over Morocco, by Frank Romano (one of the two ReaderViews books I got this time, I’ve finished the other one and the review should be up soon)
  • The Borgia Bride by Jean Kalogridis

I may have also started something else as well, but I can’t remember.  I think perhaps these heavier tomes (The Borgia Bride isn’t that heavy exactly, but the Borgias weren’t exactly walk in the park kinds of people; the others are about plague and kidnapping by religious extremists) are somewhat disappointing(?) after the lighthearted romp that was “Someday My Prince Will Come,” yes, bad stuff kept happening to her, but it was a fun book. 

I’m worried about starting these books, because I have a hard time rereading something if I didn’t get all the way through it.  I can’t stand trying a book again if I’ve given it up, because I don’t want to go back over the pages that caused me to abandon it.  I’m hoping that these books will be an exception, because I didn’t get more than 20 pages into any of them (I made it the farthest into “Justinian’s Flea” and didn’t get past the prologue in “Storm Over Morocco“).  None of these books was bad – or if they are I’ve not read far enough to know it – they simply just were not what I am in the mood for.  At this point, I’m only in the mood for fluffy or fun re-read. 

So what did I pick up?  “The Historian.”  Right.  Chasing Dracula through Europe.  Fun.  However, I have read it before, so no great effort is required on my part.  Plus, maybe I’ll actually be able to convince myself to throw in a little nonfiction with as-of-yet unread “Vlad the Impaler.”  Perhaps I should go and pick up “Dracula” to read at the same time and have a little theme read.  That all fits my classification of ‘fun’…right?

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11 Responses to “R-ennui-ading”

  1. Erin Says:

    I am in one of these “funks” too. I started The Eyre Affair for a change of pace and although it was enjoyable I put it aside. I then picked up Alice in Wonderland and am almost done. I just needed a change of pace with something light and fun. I will go back to The Eyre affair eventually.

  2. Literate Housewife Says:

    I feel that way from time to time, too. What about trying something completely different? I know that reading Love is a Mix Tape really helped me feel revitalized about my reading. Of course, it helped having the unexpected personal connections, too. Still, I love music and haven’t really read anything about it years. It was nice and refreshing. Other than that, there’s nothing wrong with taking a few day or a week and not read anything. Maybe if you focus on something else entirely a book will demand your attention and you’re back on the reading train.

  3. Eva Says:

    I hope your ennui ends soon! I think it happens to all of us sometimes. 🙂

  4. rantsandreads Says:

    I went through this too. I actually didn’t read for an entire summer break before I started college. What helps me when I get in these funks is to reread a short book. Something that I know I’ll enjoy and won’t be a big time investment, then I just leap-frog to other books from there.

  5. teelgee Says:

    How about a couple collections of short stories? I can certainly recommend some excellent ones. I found that helped me after reading something really intense and just couldn’t get into another long story.

    Jhumpa Lahiri == The Interpreter of Maladies – is excellent. Amy Bloom’s Come to Me; Dorothy Parker for some clever funny stories; and there are tons of anthologies too, for a variety pack.

    Or: this too shall pass.

  6. Devourer of Books Says:

    That’s not a bad idea. I LOVE Interpreter of Maladies, but they are all so sad! I think that’s part of what I’m not in the mood for. Everything I have on the TBR shelf seems to be either serious or sad. Although, if my fiance went out and bought me “Unaccustomed Earth” I could probably get past any depressing-ness! I may have to pick up Dorothy Parker, thanks for the recommendations!

  7. Melody Says:

    Have you ever read any Virginia Woolf? I’ve been trying to read Mrs. Dalloway, but I just CANNOT get into it. All the !s and ;s and ?s in one sentence that’s an entire paragraph long. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been trying to read this in bed, but I’m having a hard time following what the hell is going on. Help?

  8. Devourer of Books Says:

    I’m afraid I’ve rather neglected my interwar novelists, other than Steinbeck. I know Cassie read a ton of Virginia’s work senior year (she took a whole class on her, I think), but I’ve not read any.

  9. Terri (teelgee) Says:

    Mrs. Dalloway is probably Woolf’s easiest book to read!! That should give you some idea of what the others are like! I struggled mightily with it last summer, but was glad I hung in there. Have you read The Hours by Michael Cunningham? (the movie was a very good adaptation). It’s a parallel story (or stories, I should say) beautifully rendered and easier to read. If you can get through Mrs. D. I suggest reading The Hours soon after; then maybe even try Mrs. D again (or some combination like that).

  10. My First Theme Read « Devourer of Books’ Weblog Says:

    […] unplanned, as Athena from the forehead of Zeus. As I wrote earlier this week, I experienced some reading ennui after reading and reviewing “Someday My Prince Will Come.” That book was just so […]

  11. May Reading Wrap-Up « Devourer of Books’ Weblog Says:

    […] I read 14 books in May. I likely would have read more, had it not been for the reading ennui I experienced near the beginning of the month and the resulting theme read of some long books. If I […]

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