Anhedonia, like the bear.

I seem to have run myself dry.  I’ve got plenty of choices for books to read, but don’t get a page or two into any of them before I set them aside.  I’ve started and stopped a bunch of book reviews.  I’ve got four posts for here that are in draft form and will likely remain there in stasis.  Hard to say why, exactly.  Not having a book to read, not reading at least a little bit every day, is consistently a quick route to me becoming testy and unfocused.  I know this, but can’t settle on a book to read.  Part of me wants to throw all the unread and/or unreviewed review copies into the closet and read nothing but short stories; part of me wants to run out and beg a copy of 2666 from some charitable bookseller.

Things have been difficult here lately – the generally poor state of the economy is affecting my family in a not-so-general way.  Condalmo, enjoyable as it is, doesn’t pay the bills; and the bills not getting paid, that’s making the site not-so-enjoyable.  I’m not sure where that leaves things here, but as soon as I find out, I’ll let you know.


6 Replies to “Anhedonia, like the bear.”

  1. I know the feeling (about the books, that is–the economy has, thus far, left me relatively untouched; my sympathies to you in that regard). For several years now, my solution when I find myself spending a couple of days dithering between books has been to pick a crime novel and just dive in. I know the plot will propel me forward, and the whole thing won’t take up more than a day or two, at which point I’ll surely know where to go next, right?

    Though I do heartily recommend 2666–maybe your local library has received its copy?

  2. Press on Matthew. These times will pass, eventually. (I have three immediate family members- with kids- who work for suppliers to GM and Chrysler, so my sympathy bridges onto empathy) But until things swing back more towards comfort, remain as rock tuff as Maine I know is.

  3. I know the feeling, too, about not being able to get into any books. I get cranky, too. To get back into the rhythym, I always read poetry. They’re usually short enough to keep you distracted for a bit, and you don’t have to remember details like plot, characters, etc. For me, the act of finishing something is enough to get me moving again.

  4. Hang in there… and I agree with Levi– perhaps your local library has a copy available of “2666” you can borrow!

    When all else fails, re-read some of your favorite books. That might do the trick, and help you escape from the drudgery of the real world/bills.

  5. I too hate it when this happens. That’s a large part of why I stopped reading literary fiction for a while–it was too tiring to start ten books and find maybe one I liked. As people seem to be saying above, this too shall pass. In the meantime might I suggest unbelievably good nonfiction book classics, like Steven Mishler’s A Measure of Endurance or John Colapinto’s As Nature Made Him? (Unfortunately, they’re both rather tragic, but boy, they’ll take your mind off the economy for just a bit.)

    Also, and it may sound weird, but how about a kids’ fantasy book like Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising? I read it every year around this time and it never fails to both soothe and excite.

    Sorry about the bills. My site doesn’t pay any bills either but man, do I need it for the mental health. Don’t forget that’s important too–and best of luck (as always).

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