#DecolonizeReading2023 Adult Award-Winning Books Features Lifespan of a Reader Literary Fiction Reading Themes Saturday Reads

[Saturday Reads] How To Get Out Of A Reading Slump

"I'm not saying that I didn't care. I cared a lot. I'm saying that when you really love someone, sometimes the things they need may hurt you, and some people are worth hurting for." - Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones & The Six


Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

This year, we hope to feature books that fit any of the following criteria:

  1. Postcolonial literature and/or [pre/post] revolutionary stories
  2. Stories by indigenous / first-nation peoples / people of colour
  3. Narratives of survival and healing, exile and migration, displacement and dispossession
  4. Books written or illustrated by people who have been colonized, oppressed, marginalized
  5. Translated or international literature

Daisy Jones & The Six [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid Published by Hutchinson (2019) ISBN: 9781786331502 (ISBN10: 1786331500) Literary Awards: Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction (2019), Book of the Month Book of the Year Award (2019), Lovelybooks Leserpreis Nominee for Romane (2020). Review copy provided by Pansing. Bought another copy of the book for my daughter.

I have been in a #DecolonizeReading2023 reading slump since around the middle of January. I managed to finish (and review) Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger (Amazon | Book Depository) on the 15th of January, one of the books included in This Is The Canon: Decolonize Your Bookshelf In 50 Books (Amazon | Book Depository) list that I committed on reading until the end of the year.

I started reading A Brief History Of Seven Killings by Marlon James (Amazon | Book Depository) and found the gratuitous violence and misogyny distasteful that I had to switch to what I thought was comparatively-lighter reading, Segu by Maryse Conde (Amazon | Book Depository). The problem was I kept getting the characters in Segu mixed-up and found myself nodding off to sleep whenever I start reading, despite myself. So I picked up other books instead – a few that I believe would be perfect fit for my own decolonize reading book list, and I did manage to finish a sci-fi revolutionary novel, two memoirs, two poetry books and lots of picturebooks. However, I was determined to get through the two books I started reading in January – still to no avail.

And then, my 21 year old alerted me to the fact that the TV series adaptation of Daisy Jones & The Six was already available on Amazon Prime. We both read aloud The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo also by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Amazon | Book Depository) in our book club of two last summer – and found it entertaining. I figured, I might as well pick up a morsel that I can read quickly. I devoured the book that weekend – with a few pages left over Monday night because I did not want it to end.

Naturally, I only started watching the series after I finished reading the book. I plan to binge-watch it this coming Spring Break. My husband and I are already on Episode 4.

This experience reminded me of the power of reader autonomy – and how I should, on occasion, just allow pure interest and excitement to take over – instead of trying to fit what I am reading to a neatly-defined category based on our annual reading themes or reading challenges. I was beginning to feel less urgency to get through the stack of books in a list that I did not make in the first place and that I was merely trying to get through. While I was excited initially because I want to challenge myself and expand my consciousness by reading outside of my comfort zone, I felt that some of the titles I had been reading really did not resonate with me at all, and I often feel like a schoolgirl dutifully going through textbooks, without the wide-eyed anticipation I generally experience when reading a book. At the back of my head runs the thought that I am better off creating my own list and finding other, more recently published diverse titles that I know fit our theme perfectly but are not included in the list – which I think I would most likely end up doing. I love making lists – most book nerds fall prey to this. And so, rather than finding novels at random, allowing life circumstances to present surprises and chance encounters with a book, I was no longer reading for pleasure but out of obligation.

YET, after reading Daisy Jones & The Six, I found myself getting into Segu a bit more (I am pretty tenacious, as you can tell), and nearly done with it. While I still preferred I, Tituba, Black Witch Of Salem by Maryse Conde (Amazon | Book Depository – see here for my review) – the story of the four brothers in Segu is growing on me ever-so-slightly. I still find the normalized rape incidents off-putting, but I know that I need to distance myself from what I am reading, to appreciate and understand the larger narrative being told. At any rate, I am relieved to have my reading slump taken cared of.

How about you? Any comfort reads whenever you encounter a reading slump?

1 comment on “[Saturday Reads] How To Get Out Of A Reading Slump

  1. Pingback: [#DecolonizeReading2023] A Nobel Peace Prize Winner’s Cumulative Acts Of Courage – Gathering Books

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