Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reader's block?

...Or whatever you call it when you just can't get into the stuff you're reading. My "currently reading" list doesn't tell the full story. I'm actually currently reading three things right now: Judith Polley's The Secret of Val Verde, Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers, and Japan, Inc. by Shotaro Ishinomori. I'm starting to think I should quit reading all of them except Japan, Inc., at least for now. Here's how it all breaks down:
  • Polley's book just does not excite me, and I'm not in the proper mood to be reading something that doesn't fit my usual tastes. In fact, this one is so lacking in appeal for me that I may just rid myself of it without ever finishing it, which is highly unusual for me.
  • I've wanted to read something by Dorothy L. Sayers for a long time now. If I weren't in such a reading slump, I would probably enjoy Whose Body?. What I think I really need to do is try the first of her Lord Peter Wimsey books with Harriet Vane in it. I've heard fun things about the relationship between the two characters. The problem is that, while the library I work at has several Lord Peter Wimsey books, it has none of the books with Harriet Vane. I'm sure I could get any of them easily via ILL, but I don't really want to wait for any books right now. 
  • I stumbled across Japan, Inc. while trying to resolve an issue in my library's catalog. My library really does have manga. It's manga from the '80s, and its content is based on an economics textbook, but it's manga. I'm probably going to have to read it twice just to really understand what's going on, but manga can be read pretty quickly, so that shouldn't be too bad, even in my current slump. Too bad it suffers from the Bad Old Days of publishers fearing manga might scare American readers away with too much different-ness. Actually, as far as that goes, Japan, Inc. isn't too bad, although there are some moments of very awkward reading where I wish the artwork had not been flipped. The more annoying thing, for me, is the lettering work (straight-up boring, left justified text that doesn't even pretend to be hand-lettered and is often just barely squeezed into the bubbles - there are scanlations that look better than this).


  1. I've been there many times and what works best for me is to toss permanently the book that most irritates or bores me, put the others aside for a while, and concentrate on a book I really want to read and know I will enjoy - even if it's a re-read.

    I just abandoned a 612-page novel yesterday after reading 280 pages into it because "Part 2" was just so boring I wanted to shred the thing. I started on another book immediately and I'm sailing right through it. Good luck.

  2. I think I'll have to try your advice. I'm not sure exactly what's causing my reader's block, but not enjoying one of the three books I'm reading at all is certainly not helping.