I Can’t Lose Myself in Books Anymore

Confessinons of a Book-Addict

Confessinons of a Book-Addict (Photo credit: -Georg-)

I’m getting older. In another year and a month, I will be 30. I discovered yet another grey hair on my head a couple of months ago, bringing the grand total up to 2. I can’t really eat an excess of chips and fries without it disagreeing with me (I once breakfasted for a whole week on a packet of chips). I can’t drink alcohol 5 days in a row, and I certainly cannot stay up all night. And, perhaps most tragically of all, I can’t lose myself in books anymore.

I know I can still lose myself in stories. Just the other day, the hubby and I were watching The Practice reruns and we caught the ‘Head in a Medical Bag’ case. As the episode  drew close to its end, I found myself growing nervous. I was worried about the fate of the defendant, George Vogelman, because I believed he was innocent. I was so worried in fact, that when the judge asked, “Has the jury reached a verdict?”, I gathered up a handful of my husband’s leg in my hand and twisted it.

I haven’t done anything like that in a long time with a book though. And I must admit, I have been worried about it. “I can’t seem to read two pages without falling asleep,” I complained to my husband. He agreed and pointed out that just the previous night, I fell asleep with my glasses still on and my left index finger marking the paragraph I was on.

And I know it’s not the books that are to blame. I read Gone Girl a few months ago. Anyone who read it raved about it. I stalked the local bookstores for months before the book finally hit India. In fact, I was so impatient that I just ordered a more expensive copy online, rather than wait for it. And no, I wouldn’t even do this for Murakami’s new or the second part of Marquez’s memoirs. I did it for Gone Girl because the numerous reviews I read online promised me that this book was ‘unputdownable’. That I would “stay up all night reading it”. And that “the twist halfway through the book will make me drop it in shock”. And I really, badly needed to feel all that.

Only, I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong: I think Gillian Flynn has crafted a cracker of a story. The characters are superb, the twists are truly shocking and the bare carcass of the marriage that she portrays is chilling. In short, I enjoyed the book. Also, I read it on a train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. So I didn’t really get the chance to see if it would keep me up all night, but I have a sinking feeling that I would have fallen asleep two pages into this book too, if I had been lying down on my bed while reading it.

I’m a person who has always lost herself in books.  As a child of 10, I would get home from school and immediately plop down with a Famous Five – even during exam time. I gulped down Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone in one afternoon. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I read The Kite Runner, and I couldn’t stop laughing out loud when reading PG Wodehouse and Douglas Adams. I was so horrified by the incest in one of Sidney Sheldon‘s books (I forget which one), that I moved about in a cloud of gloom for days. And I couldn’t sleep the night I read the first few chapters of The Dreamcatcher. But  I don’t remember the last time any of this has happened to me with a book.

It must be the fact that I’m getting older, obviously, as well as the fact that I have responsibilities to my work and family. But that doesn’t make it any easier to accept the realization that I can’t lose myself in books anymore. In fact, it really, really sucks.

I’m currently reading The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. It’s the first book in the Wheel of Time series. I can tell that its an rollicking good read, full of adventure and magic and mystery and had I read this a few years earlier, I would have devoured it in less than a week.  As it happens, I have been struggling with this book for two months now. I’ve been abandoning books too, in fact, I read the first three books in the Song of Ice & Fire series, and with the fourth I have been stumbling. I have started on it twice now, only to stop after reading the first 3 chapters, because I had to review some other book. There just isn’t enough time, is there, to read all the books you want?

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6 thoughts on “I Can’t Lose Myself in Books Anymore

  1. Dearest!

    I’ll give you my two bits and you can choose to approve them or not. I believe age is the scapegoat we often find for things we find hard to do. I’m only 29 myself and I say I’m too old for a jog every morning.

    Somewhere deep down, I think it’s about the desire to create and be part of another’s creation. And often, these can come together in a head on collision.

    When I last wasn’t able to read more than two pages at a go, I started writing instead. (This was only a few months back.) I feared that I had lost my love for reading. But when I got into the act of creation myself, I instantly got back to reading as well.

    I’m sure you’ll get back to reading just as you did when you were 10. 🙂 Just don’t leave it be. It’ll come right back. If you do something about it.

    Lots of love from a fellow reader, writer and semi-old person.
    K.

    • K, you’re right, as always. I think I just get really depressed when I think about it. I was supposed to have read so many more books. There are dozens of enticing titles lining my book case, and I get so impatient with myself. Like right now, I want to go and get started on the book I’m reading, but I know I have to cook, eat dinner, and only then can I finally read. And I will probably fall asleep two paragraphs in.

      • 🙂 I’m glad that you think I’m always right, which I’m patently not. And if you get depressed thinking about it, then don’t! 🙂 Just sit down and read, even if it means only two pages a week. There are folks out there who wouldn’t / cannot do even that. No?

        K.

  2. I’d like to thank you for linking to my blog. I’d also like to say that I think it’s not that you’re older, it’s just a lull in reading. I find that in my 23 years of age this also happens to me. Usually during exams or stressful times I can’t keep my mind focused on one thing long enough to get lost in it, even my own writing. What I do to break out is designate a few hours in the afternoon, sit down on the couch with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other, clear my head of my whole life, and read. I make sure that the important tasks of the day are all taken care of so that I have nothing to distract me and I just read. It’s the chaos of daily life that sends you spiralling back up the rabbit hole, even when you’re trying so hard to crawl back down.

  3. I started losing interest in books, movies, video games, tv, sex, or music this year (I’m 33). I used to get totally wrapped in the moment while playing guitar with my band, used to go on long bike rides just to zone out and get into a great audio book, used to relish that tingle of dopamine release in my brain when I ate popcorn whIle watching a great flick in theaters. BoredI’m is the best I can hope for. I’ve honestly been considering suicide because I can’t experience anything I used to love anymore. I know this has been a useless rant. I hope life isn’t always like this.

    • Dear Russ, no rant is useless if it takes a little off your mind. I’m sorry it took me this long to read and reply to your comment, but I’m happy if you come here and vent your feelings about boredom. But if you are having suicidal thoughts, please please speak to someone about them. I know this is going to sound like the worst cliche, but suicide is never the answer. If you read this comment, please do come and reply here and let me know if you are OK. I need to know that you are. If you need to vent again, do so. This space is open for that, and I’ll be here to read what you write.

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