Weekend Reads #43: A Reading Predicament

Weekend Reads is a weekly discussion on a variety of topics. At the end of the post, I’ll include what I plan to read on the weekend.

This weekend’s topic:

A reading predicament

I’m the type of reader who reads multiple books at once. I think that’s because I’m a mood reader. Usually I’ll reader two or three books at once and hop from book to book according to the shifts in my mood. But if a story hooks me, I’ll stick with that book the majority of the time.

Not only do I choose books that fit my mood, I also choose books that balance well with each other. If I pick up a light read, meaning something quick and entertaining, then I’ll balance it with a novel that is moderately heavy, meaning it’s a fairly quick read that might require some close reading. It’s the same vice versa; I usually pair a moderate book with a light one, or two light ones and two moderate ones. However if a book is a heavy read, meaning it’s either slow or contains a wealth of details and requires my full attention, then I’ll either read it alone, if I enjoy it, or pair it with a lighter read.

Why do I mention all this? Because my current reading predicament is driving me toward a reading slump. I’m currently reading a heavy book — The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins — with a moderate one — Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings by Shirley Jackson — and am supposed to have started another heavy one — The Histories by Herodotus — at the beginning of this month but I can feel my enthusiasm to read waning. It’s too much heavy lifting at once and I’m not in the mood to pay close attention to what I’m reading. I want something light and fun. Something I can easily keep up with. However, I also want to complete, or at least make some progress, in these books I’ve started. What to do?

I’ve considered starting another book, a light one, something I’ve read before — Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It’s something I’m sure to enjoy and don’t have to pay close attention to since it’s a reread; but I’m not sure if I really want to start a new novel. I’ve also considered reading a couple comics because they are quick, but I’m not feeling that idea either. I could just give up on one or all the books I’m currently reading, but The Last Days of Magic has picked up some and now I’m curious to know how it ends. Though the short stories in Let Me Tell You aren’t captivating, I’m curious about Shirley Jackson so I’d like to continue reading until I get to the part where she discusses her writing progress. And I just really want to read The Histories. So giving up is not an option but I’d REALLY like to be done with these books, or just The Last of Days of Magic. I’ve been reading it since February and as interesting as the story is, the wealth of facts are turning me off.

I guess I’ll just have to keep pushing on and see what happens.

Here’s what I might read this weekend:

I might read from one or all of these this weekend. I’d like to make some progress in the books I’ve started but I also want to read something light and quick so I might go with either Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince or The Witches of East End, which I hope is way better than the TV show.

What are you reading this weekend?
And do you pair heavy books with light ones too?
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9 thoughts on “Weekend Reads #43: A Reading Predicament

  1. I do exactly the same thing, reading multiple books at a time and balancing different types of books together. And I have exactly the same problem, getting into reading slumps sometimes where I feel stuck but don’t want to give anything up but can’t start anything new. Usually I end up with one of two solutions: Either I actually do give something up, because I realize that no matter how much I don’t want to give it up, the fact is I’m NOT READING IT, and I’ll just have to come back to it later—or I just sit down with one of them and start skimming until I feel hooked again. This happened recently with Ready Player One; I got really bogged down toward the beginning and couldn’t make any progress until I gave myself permission to speed read. Usually it only takes a couple pages like that before I’m able to get back in.

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  2. I say you focus on as little books as possible if you feel at a standstill. I still would try for you to read a graphic novel, because even if you are not feeling it, at least you know you are making progress and reading which may pick up your whole general reading mood. Probably finish one of the novels you started as well without reading the rest of them, so your sole attention is on that book. Good luck with your reading 🙂

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    • Thanks! That seems to be best, focusing on one book. It’s so silly of me not to consider that at all before. I was just so focused on completing them all.

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  3. If you feel a reading slump is starting perhaps it’s time to focus your attention to just 2 books?
    I recommend reading sticking with The Last Days of magic and reading some comics or graphics novels on the side, enough to keep you busy until you finish the heavier book. From the books you provided at the end, I’d say go with Half-blood prince. It’s a perfect book that you can’t go wrong with even on a reread. But only go with Half-Blood if you genuinely want to read it. I mean, how many times can we reread a book before we get tired it it? lol Perhaps HP is an exception.

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    • Lol! Good question. I might have to make that the topic of a weekend reads post. So far I’ve only reread 1 book that went stale as I reread it and that’s Eragon by Christopher Paolini.
      Thanks for the suggestion. Lynn said something similar too. I stick with Last Days of Magic and if I feel like reading, I’ll switch to a graphic novel, as you said. That might be better than HP. The HP books always slowly take my attention away from everything else.

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  4. I hate it when my current read puts me in a slump. I usually have three books on the go but more often than not a couple of those are for readalongs which leaves me to concentrate during the week on my main read. I sometimes do pick up other books but I find one of them starts to ‘win’ the day and take over prime position. It does sound like you’re struggling a little – I quite fancied the Last Days of Magic so I’ll have to keep my eye out for your review of that one.
    Perhaps you should just concentrate on one and complete it?? Then you might not feel as bogged down??
    I’m currently reading Masks and Shadows, An Artificial Night and Kushiel’s Justice. Two of those are readalongs and so far I’m really enjoying Masks and Shadows.
    Hope these pick up for you a little.
    I’ve read a couple of Shirley Jackson books (The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle) and enjoyed them but not any short stories – I find that I can’t get along with short stories.
    Lynn 😀

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    • Oh I’ve seen those readalong posts going around. And thanks for the recommendation! I didn’t even consider focusing on just one but now that you said it, that makes sense. Last Days of Magic is pretty interesting so I recommend it but there are a lot of historical facts in it that helps the story but might turn off some readers. I think history buffs will enjoy it.
      Yeeaahh….I don’t think I like short stories much either now that I’m reading them. They’re so…short. Lol 🙂

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