Advice needed … (is it too dramatic to say this may be the end of the world?!)


This may well be the bloggy equivalent of drunk-calling a friend after a bad date, but as I’ve never done that I figure I’m allowed this one.


I am hoping for some advice.


I had a panic attack earlier this evening. Or a heart attack. It was hard to tell at the time, but since I find myself still standing now, if a bit shaky, I figure it was the former. Ok, ok, if I’m being honest, and serious, and without getting too touchy-feely-sharey, I had a whole string of panic attacks a few years back so I know that’s what this was.


Because … and this is where you all laugh your arses off at me … I’m in a reading funk. I just can’t. December is a busy month for most people, I know, and ours has been no exception. We’ve had our fair share of extra-curricular activity: errands to run, people to see, parcels to deliver, meals to make … yaddah yaddah yaddah. And since the beginning of the month I’ve not picked up anything I could get into. China Mieville’s The Scar currently lies waiting on my desk upstairs where I left it at page 125. Bird Box by Josh Malerman has been abandoned by the fireplace. Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda is on the bedroom windowsill, along with Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus and Peter Ackroyd’s Tudors. I tried to start a children’s book this morning on the bus ride to work in the hope that something easier would grab me, but nope. I read the first two chapters, but I don’t know what I read. Nothing went in.


And I really need reading. I mean, I love it, I get a kick out of it, but I also need to be able to leave the real world behind and lose myself in the pages of a book.


It’s starting to wig me out that I can’t do that at the moment. If I were to write out exactly what’s going through my mind right now it goes something like this: What the hell is going on? I love to read and need to read and I need it now and I don’t want to relax and wait and see what happens because there are so many books and so little time as it is and January is Vintage SciFi Month and I already had a rough plan of what I was going to read for that and I had plans for the rest of the year and I have a tantalising pile of books that should all be making me feel bubbly and excited and are instead making me feel panicky/despairing in about equal measure.


So that’s what’s going on with me. How’re you doing?


Please … please, if you have any sort of advice I’d really appreciate it. I know I haven’t been around much the last couple of months and that I’ve not caught up on all your awesome posts and that I’ve no right to expect advice therefore, but I’d be grateful for anything right now. Has anyone had reading-block before? Does anyone get what I’m on about?


Arghhhhhh …

15 thoughts on “Advice needed … (is it too dramatic to say this may be the end of the world?!)

  1. Yep, sounds like classic stress syndrome. You’re relying on reading to de-stress you but then stress affects your reading and it just spirals/escalates from there. Sadly, it’s a lose/lose situation.

    Have you tried re-reading something you know you like? At some point you might just have to take a break from reading, a planned break I mean, not this involuntary one 😦

    I wish I could offer advice, but beyond simplifying your life and becoming a hermit (which is what I’m approaching closer and closer each year), I haven’t got much to offer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Re-reading something I already know and love is really great advice. I used to always go back to The Hobbit at Christmas when I was a teen/ in my early twenties just for the comfort of it. Maybe it’s time to restart that personal tradition …
      Thank you Bookstooge. I appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been through this! Whenever I’m overwhelmed with life and super busy, my reading really suffers. I can’t even relax and read when I’m NOT busy because my mind is spinning so fast from all the stuff I’m doing, I just can’t relax. All I can say is it should get better! Holidays are tough because there’s so much pressure to be places, do things, entertain, that something has to get pushed to the side. I’m sure your desire to read will come back soon:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tammy! It’s comforting to know I’m not on my own. I feel a bit foolish for having posted this (I need to implement some sort of 24 hour rule!) – I mean, talk about first world problems! 😀


  3. Moments like the one you are going through happen, so there is no need to panic – even though I understand how it must feel, for a compulsive reader, to be unable to delve into a new book and let oneself be carried away in another place, another time. Bookstooge offered indeed a good solution: go back to an old favorite of yours and let that old friend soothe your anxiety.
    Best of luck! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Maddalena. I used to re-read a lot more than I have done recently, and I’m thinking this will help a lot. 🙂
      I really appreciate everyone’s comments – thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. yep, been there! Real life gets stressful for anyone of a million reasons, so you want to read to relax, but the stress is causing a reading funk, so you can’t get into anything, and then not being able to really enjoy a hobby you really, really enjoy stresses you out even more. Like Bookstooge said, it’s a lose/lose.

    this is going to sound counter-intuitive, but it has worked for me when i am stressed out, panicked, and have lost my enjoyment in reading: Stop reading. or at least, don’t push yourself to.

    When I’m in an awful funk, I play days upon days of Stardew Valley (every decision is the right one, and every townsperson is always happy to see you!), and watched cooking shows on TV. For HOURS. and it was so therapeutic! Nothing I did in stardew valley mattered, the food on tv always looked yummy, and none of it mattered. it was great! and i ever so slowly got out of my funk.

    also? talking about it helps. knowing you are not alone, it helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Andrea. 🙂 I replied to Tammy saying I feel a bit dumb for having posted this, but I’m also really grateful to hear that it happens to everyone, and I appreciate the comments I’ve received.
      I think I got a bit carried away with wanting to do ALL THE THINGS. By yesterday. I’m using this weekend to chill the eff out and not much at all … and my farm in Stardew Valley is in need of a little attention, so that’s some great advice right there! 😀
      Thank you again!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m four years into a Standard Farm and just starting year two on a Hilltop Farm – which is my go to game at the moment. I tried a River Farm, but I’m not great at fishing (I get Thumbs to fish for me, if I’m honest!) and it was a bit too broken up for me. 🙂


  5. Yes, this time of year is totally bogus, time really moves to fast.
    As Redhead mentioned stardew valley is a super good idea, structure and a repetitive system with seasonal goals to achieve sounds therapeutic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Iain. Yeah, Stardew Valley is definitely appealing right now. 🙂
      And as you say, this time of year is a bit grim, for all it’s advertising. I am looking forward to normality resuming in Jan. 🙂


  6. Ahhh, I know that feeling all too well. I’ve been experiencing verrrrry low-key panic attacks for almost a year about my lack of motivation to read, but you’ve just got to rationalize that not wanting to read doesn’t mean you’re not a good reader. I realized that when my mind isn’t completely settled or content with life (which has been the case for quite a while with me), I can’t immerse myself in a book, so you shouldn’t force it in my opinion; it has NOTHING to do with your intelligence or passion for books at all.

    Also, perhaps your block might something to do with guilt as well? I blamed myself all last year for not wanting to read (like for reals, I legit felt guilty all the time, which is silly considering no one is putting pressure on me except me), but after recently reading the Winternight trilogy (which I inhale-read), I finally realized after an entire YEAR that there was nothing wrong with me; it was the fault of the bland books I’d been reading.

    After that epiphany, I finally felt purged from my guilt, and that finally and utterly broke down my reading block. Again, stress prevents me from focusing on a book, and being guilty about not reading was precisely what was aggravating my reading block.

    Long blathering aside, don’t put pressure on or blame yourself. Book lovers are totally allowed to hate reading sometimes (i.e., as a passionate musician and artist myself, I honestly hate music and painting every so often), so I can guarantee that there’s nothing wrong with you; it’s likely just some external pressure or the books themselves that’s contributing to your lack of motivation to read, so you don’t doubt yourself. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, thank you so much! Guilt IS a huge part of things for me, which I then feel guilty about … go figure! I have been concentrating on not pressuring myself to blog and only reading for enjoyment right now, and then blogging when I have both the time and energy.
      I get the feeling things will feel better when spring arrives too. I’ve got, like, zero energy when it’s dark and cold. 🙂
      Thank you so much for your comments – it means a lot. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lol yes, the weather does not help your mood when it’s dark and rainy (which is the case for me haha). And of course, anytime! I hate that feeling of having a reading/blogging block myself, so I’m always happy to help out a fellow book lover. 🙂


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