Saturday, February 27, 2010

Book Slog

I haven't finished a book since February 21! What's the problem? I'm having a bit of difficulty reading at home. My surroundings distract me to no end.

I seem to have been infected with a self-improvement virus. After months of slovenliness and chaos, my one-room apartment looks great now-- even the closets are clean and organized. Usually order is calming, but now if I see something slightly out of order like a smudge on a mirror or a crumb on the floor, I feel compelled to hop up and grab the Swiffer or a paper towel and window cleaner. Plays hell with reading.

In addition, I seem to be off on a spate of extreme TV watching. It's not particularly good television, either, but it feels so nice just to sit back and receive the few English programs available. They've been re-broadcast so many times I can say the dialogue by heart and I spend time hunting for familiar words in the Korean subtitles. Again, plays hell with reading, although this wasn't the case in the past. Before, I found the hum of English voices on TV an agreeable backdrop for reading.

I'm in the middle of 3 different books: Don't Look Back a biography of Satchel Paige, The Way West, one of my Pulitzer fiction winners and Wicked, the latest BOOKLEAVES selection. I'm farthest along in Wicked because -- you've probably guessed -- I went on a long subway ride yesterday. The book I finished on February 21 was finished during a train ride to Busan.

This stinks like an outdoor book stall inconveniently located next to a fish market. I want to read at home again.


Sam Sattler said...

I find that reading cycles come and go no matter what I think about them. Sometimes books speed along at a pace that surprises me...other times it takes me over a week to finish one. And it's usually for reasons similar to what you describe but I wonder if it's more because of a need for a short reading break than because other things start to "distract" me. Too, it always seems to happen to me when I start a particularly long book...wonder if that triggers it for me?

Val said...

Maybe a reaction to having your space back...kinda like a reverse 'scenting' process?

raidergirl3 said...

I feel compelled to hop up and grab the Swiffer or a paper towel and window cleaner

In my experience, that feeling will pass.

Eva said...

I hate those manic cleaning phases! My reading has definitely cycled this month; I go from wanting to just veg out in front of the TV/computer for a week to wanting to read nonstop. Kinda weird, but I'm just going with it!

Stacey said...


There is some hideous virus infecting the readers of the world! I, too, have been cleaning my house like one is actually supposed to do. It's freaky.

I just tweeted about that very issue, then popped over here, found out you were dealing with the same affliction, and determined that this must be an epidemic.

Eat some soup, take to your bed with a book, and maybe you'll feel better by morning.

jenclair said...

Guess we all have those cycles, but I agree with Raidergirl, the cleaning cycle will pass! :)

Hope your ability to read at home returns soon!

Autodidact101 said...

Huh, must be something in the air. I've been going through the same thing, less reading more cleaning. And I've been making myself get out of my sweats and even spreading a bit of spackle on my face. When you have a small baby its like why bother but a year later its good to feel human again. Yup, a little self improvement does the spirit good.