The daily prompt today on The Daily Post asks what the longest time is you’ve gone without reading a book, as well as what book helped break the dry spell. We so often talk about having Writer’s Block, but is Reader’s Block even possible?
Well, yes. Yes it is. In fact it happens to me more than I’d like to admit.
Most recently, it has happened to me this year. I’m unsure how long it was exactly, but I think it was a few months of not reading. I dare say that the whole emotional side of moving overseas to literally the other side of the world, to a country that speaks a language I do not, to a culture with which I’m not super familiar, sort of left me not in the mood to read. It’s as if all my spongy brain absorption powers were required for even the smallest parts of day to day living, and so there was no sponginess left to let any kind of book soak in at all. I did find the energy to write during that Reader’s Block period, and I was even creative in other ways too, but reading just seemed completely off my radar, even when I went to the effort of buying books specifically to trick myself into reading again (because I am a firm believer that I need to read in order to write, so without one of these the other one will soon dry up).
The book which broke the drought, I’m pretty sure, was a book called The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden, by Jonas Jonasson. As the title and the author name may suggest, he is a Swedish author, but a highly successful one whose first novel, The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared, was one of the most successful books in recent history in Sweden and which went on to become popular around the world and even made into a movie. This, his second novel, really blew me away – while his first novel was funny and charming in all its oddness, this book was glimmering with intelligence and creativity and a hilarious plot I could never dream of writing. It far surpasses his first in every way for me, and I guess that’s what I needed to snap me out of my little “I don’t wanna read” tantrum I was having.
So what about you? Have you ever had Reader’s Block? If so, what enabled you to break it and get back into books again?