I feel lost when I don’t have a good book to read. Sometimes I just can’t figure out what I’m in the mood for, and my whole life suffers as a consequence. Everything becomes duller.
This recently happened to me. I went through a string of books that were only okay, and after a few books like that in a row, I got listless and apathetic and nothing sounded good and I wondered at life’s purpose. I tried Don Quixote and put it down. I tried a few other things I can’t remember and put them down. Everything I had on hold at the library had a 4-8 week wait, and I rarely buy books unless I know I like them and will read them again. I especially don’t buy books when I’m in a mood like I was in, where there was a real possibility I could read 5 pages and not be into it anymore.
When this happens in my reading life, it affects my regular life. I pace. I wander aimlessly. I pick things up and put them down. I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel unmoored.
Finally I decided to re-read something I know I like, something light and fun and that has characters I want to spend time with, that’s a known quantity, that’s not too long, and that I could get my hands on without waiting. I reread The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.
It did the job. I felt happy about reading again. Life got colorful again. I read another book after it that I was eager to read and that made me giggle (Either/Or by Elif Batuman), and I remembered authors I want to read more of (Jane Smiley). I filled my book queue with fresh titles that I’m excited about, some of which I’ll have to wait for and some of which are available to borrow right now.
Things are in their right place now in my world.