I’ve lost my ability to read.
Well, not completely. But I can’t focus. And for me, reading is essential, like water. I’m an oasis-seeking wanderer in the desert, if I’m not reading. Usually, there is rarely a moment in my day when I’m not reading or talking about reading. Or, wishing I was reading.
I think it may be the times we’re living in. I hope it’s a temporary reality. Is it a pandemic-induced page-closer? What is this apparent book-distancing that has emerged with me? Is it just that I’m weary, distracted and uncertain?
Here are the symptoms: I’m unable to concentrate on what I’m reading. I’m having to re-read words, sentences and chapters. At night, I’m falling asleep sooner; not reading as long. Which means, I’ve been re-jigging my days to fit in reading. But even then, it’s not as fluid for me. When I do read, I’m escaping more into “beach-reads”. Is it a sign-of-the-stress-of-the-times? A desire to retreat to the not-currently-available cherished favourite places of fun, sun and replenishment?
I’ve named the symptoms. Now, I’m committing to rebuilding my stamina for doing what I love – and, what fills me up — reading!
If you’re also struggling to read and concentrate, here’s what I propose might help.
Make a reading plan. It doesn’t have to be a rigid timetable. Just make room for reading each day.
Choose the right book. It may vary by mood: best seller, escapism or non-fiction. I typically have more than one book on the go. Know, too, that it’s OK to quit a book. Nothing deters reading more than a tome that just doesn’t speak to you.
Mix up the delivery mode. Have someone read aloud to you – beside you in bed or virtually online. Right now, like me, you may find physical books just a tad heavy at the end of an uncertain day.
As C.S. Lewis said: “We read to know we are not alone.”
Just what we need right now. Stay strong and read on!
Steacy Pinney (Collyer), CEO, Calgary Reads