Have you ever felt like you were going through the motions? Just doing something because it was something that people expected you to do?
Because I have. I did.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read books. They’ve always been part of my life and it was one piece of homework that I happily completed at school. I learnt what footnotes were reading Guards, Guards by Terry Pratchett, I tasted new words in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien aged 11 and I discovered romance reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen a few months later. At university I helped set up and run their first book club – one that’s still running now.
But recently, books had lost their joy. I could objectively appreciate a good story, but where I used to power through a 300 page book in two hours or less, it was suddenly taking days – weeks even.
So, I stopped. Went completely cold turkey.
And then a thought trickled into my mind. A half-remembered throwaway line, a wish for something hopeful in an increasingly bitter world. And for the first time in a long time, I picked up a book because I wanted to. Not as an obligation to the blog, to a friend, but because I actually wanted to.
It was Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, sixth in the Discworld series and the first centring properly on the witches of Lancre. It was magic. Pure magic.
I’ve blogged before about how comforting I find re-reading books, and re-reading the witches mini-series was like snuggling down under a favourite old blanket with a decent cup of tea. Heaven, in other words.
I read Wyrd Sisters just over a week ago and tonight I just finished The Shepherd’s Crown, which broke my heart all over again. In just over a week I’ve read:
Lords and Ladies
The Wee Free Men
A Hat Full of Sky
I Shall Wear Midnight
The Shepherd’s Crown
Honestly? I feel AMAZING right now, like I’ve found a piece of myself I thought I’d lost. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it helps that Terry Pratchett was a truly brilliant author, his books full of rage and hope and people trying their best, but I think I just needed to hit the reset button on reading. And for me, re-reading old favourites was it.
If you’ve not read any of the Discworld series, I highly recommend it. It’s a vast, sprawling series with multiple offshoots carrying a true feeling of an entire universe that really does ride on four elephants on the back of a turtle. I started with Guards, Guards, the eighth book in the series. Don’t start right at the beginning with this one, take your time, meander round the Disc and see what you find.
Have you ever had a reading slump? Or are you not a fan of re-reading books and have other tips to share? Let me know in the comments.