Blog: The Pain of the Reading Slump

I’m in a reading slump. I genuinely can’t remember the last time I had such a big slump. Even when I last posted about being in a slump (December) I still managed to read 9 books in that month. Granted, they were primarily rereads but I still managed to read 9 books! I haven’t even finished one book this month, granted I am reading Les Misérables but a huge, beastly book isn’t normally something that deters me and it still isn’t, I’m really enjoying it but… I’m just not in the mood to read, even though I want to be reading and it’s frustrating. It seems as though those two feelings conflict but they really don’t, I want to read I just don’t feel like it…

I feel pressure to read sometimes, the pressure comes only from myself, but I feel if I’m not reading I’m not producing content for this blog, and that makes me sad because I love this blog. I love writing posts, interacting with those of you who read it and not being able to do that because I’m not doing anything to write about is getting me down.

The main issue I have is I don’t feel I’ve achieved anything. Nothing. I don’t feel I’ve made any significant headway on anything else, least of all my dissertation or any coursework, I’ve not even been watching TV. I just don’t understand where my time has been going or what I’ve been doing with it. I have nothing to show for it.

Gah. I’m feeling really zapped right now. That could also be antibiotics talking as I’m doped up to my eyeballs, but alas. Normal business shall resume soon, I just needed to get this off of my chest!

Classics Ahoy || Book Haul IX

So I’ve gone a little classics mad as of late. Since the start of December I have acquired quite a number. I received a good number of book tokens for my birthday at the end of November and a fair amount at Christmas, combined with relatives who are now no longer trying to not buy me books I’ve been very happy. I also was lucky enough to win a book token of £50 for my local store, Jarrold where I added to the classics!

 So, I bought a lot of Clothbound Classics this past few months. I have more than doubled my already quite large collection. First off I purchased the Dickens collection from Amazon – it was in their flash sales at £40 and with student discount I really couldn’t say no. I already had a copy of A Christmas Carol which was a gift a few years ago and I have gifted that to a family member.

The set contained Bleak House, Oliver Twist, Hard Times, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and, as I said, A Christmas Carol.

Then, between birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and gifts to myself I added a few more to the collection. Tess of the D’ubervilles was a present from my grandmother, my parents (mum) bought Far From the Madding Crowd because she liked the bees on the cover! I preordered The Tenant of Wildfell Hall back in November when it was first announced as a clothbound edition as I loved the book and really wanted to add it to my collection.

The Woman in White was a bargain – I found it in an Oxfam shop for £5. It was a little battered but I couldn’t say no at that price! War and Peace was an impulse buy. I went in Waterstones to buy a paperback edition of Frankenstein and came out with that. I loved Anna Karenina so I decided it was definitely a good purchase even though I have a paperbakc somewhere… I want to read this this Summer for certain! Finally there is Dracula. I love Dracula and have been lusting after this edition for quite some time. When I won the gift voucher I decided that buying it was acceptable.

20160201_225840364_iOSPenguin owns my heart. I also went a little mad with PEL editions. What you’ll notice here is I have some duplicates. There are some books I own as Clothbound here. I’m not going to lie, I like to have collections in both and I do find a paperback easier to read. Essentially, I collect the clothbound editions as pretty objects and the paperbacks as functional objects.

So, since December I have accumulated these. Jane Eyre, Hard Times, The Sign of Four, Daniel Deronda, North and South, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Frankenstein, The House of Mirth and finally, A Room with a View.

Phew.

Daniel Deronda was the one I paid a bit for. I have discovered a love of George Eliot and Daniel Deronda is pretty much impossible to find new. This edition was about £10 from Ebay and I really don’t regret it. I also purchased another book with it from the same seller for about £2.50 so it averaged out at the £6 a book I would ordinarily pay for them.

Finally the very little popular fiction I acquired.20160201_230158477_iOS It’s a very small pile indeedy. I purchased The Chimes and The Buried Giant with the voucher I won. I really want to reread The Buried Giant as I didn’t much care for it initially but it’s a book which has stuck with me quite a bit so I’m interested to see if my opinion of it changes on a reread.

I also picked up some charity shop bargains in the shape of KitchenCollected Stories of Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Poor Things.

What can be drawn from this haul is I’m going to be reading a lot of classics in the near future and I’m very excited about that!

January Wrap-Up & February TBR

A wee bit late, mainly because the end of January crept up on me. How is it over already?! I was just starting to get in to the month and suddenly it was over and I wasn’t prepared at all! So happy February…

January Stats

January was a great reading month for me, while I didn’t manage many books I read a pretty impressive number of pages which is what I am focusing on this year!

I managed 5 books and while I didn’t complete my TBR for the month I got so engrossed in the Mistborn series I can’t care. I read a total of 3058 pages and my average rating was 3.6.

My favourite book was The Mill on the Floss but, if I take the Mistborn series as a whole I would say that was my favourite but as for individual books none of them quite matched up to The Mill on the Floss.

February TBR

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As I type this I have already started on my main goal of the month – Les Misérables. It’s a beast at over 1200 pages and so far I’m really enjoying it. I love an epic novel, I’ve definitely got more in to long books as I have started to enjoy audiobooks. I am also loving French classic literature as a whole. I’m now at the start of the second part as I write this and I really, really love this. It’s by no means a fast read, even as an audiobook on 3x speed!

All the other books are a bit of a mishmash. The Chimes is a new purchase but one I’m very excited about. Then I have two books that have actually been recommended for one of my modules this semester – The War of the Worlds and Brave New World – this module is about biology in society. Both of these books explore various aspects of science in fiction and I’m really excited about these, especially analysing them properly.

Finally we have The Crucible. Oddly this is one I’ve been in the mood to read lately. A lesser known fact about me is I love anything about the Salem witch trials and this is something I haven’t ever read. I don’t often read a play, so I’m looking forward to this!

So that’s my reading stack for the month! Anything you think I ought to get to sooner?