A few bad eggs...
I'm in that slump. That space between amazing books where nothing comes close to what you've just read. Sometimes, it's my fault I don't enjoy a book - I expect it to be the book I've just finished. I'm unfair on it. I don't approach it as a seperate entity, but still on a high from "that great book" expecting the exact same thing from it.
Other times, it really is the book (honest!) be it writing structures I can't relate to, tedious characters, contrived plot...
It's actually pretty draining, pulling yourself through "ok" books, constantly on the hunt for the next "great" one.
You invest a lot of time into a book. A lot of life, actually. You give it your heart and your trust for hours and hours. Sometimes you miss a meal to reach the end, and you certainly give up a few hours sleep. You believe that the experience it will give you will be worth missing a night out for. You cut yourself off from human interaction for it.
So when you emerge from 400 pages and feel hollow, what do you do?
I have a range of immediate actions. Twilight got launched across the room (I was aiming for the window, but missed), and Engleby would have been thrown if it wasn't attached to my Kindle, so instead I had to go out for a run to shake myself free of it. Very often, my poor boyfriend gets a full blown rant about the book's flaws that he has to just nod and smile through... but mostly - I throw myself straight into the next novel, full of hope that it can only be better.
Do you need "healing time" for a book?
I mean, I pretty much have a freaky sort of relationship with them, given the above. I lived off one-hand-only, non-preparation-required crackers for 14 hours as I read Order of the Pheonix start to finish. I (in effect) cut my boyfriend out of my life for an hour or two every night and give my affection to characters - I barely even hear him when he talks to me (and I'm really sorry for that, if you're reading!). I cry at them, I laugh at them, and when they disappoint me, I'm a moody cow! It's a tough break-up when the ending hasn't been worth the commitment of the previous pages and all they entail. So am I wise in moving onto the next one?
Should I be giving myself time to forget them? Doing other things for a while? Seeing other books? ;)
Trouble is, I just darn love to read, and can't imagine a night without a chapter or two. And when I clumsily fall unexpectedly into a masterpiece amidst all the bad eggs, it's the best feeling ever.
Emma is a designer living in Bristol, UK. A self-confessed stationery addict, book lover and TV sci-fi geek, she enjoys sketching zombie-eyed women and finding her next source of inspiration in the pages on the bookshelf.