It’s Been a While

Actually a month. Today’s ramble is more a post for the sake of posting. I missed blogging. Reading, meanwhile, has reached an all-time low in my life. The sidebar is a lie! Those are books I’d like to be reading, not books I’m ‘currently’ reading. I did pick up Fraser’s The Weaker Vessel this morning, when I was supposed to be working on a paper, and I haven’t yet given up on Middlemarch, but the Gaskell and the Austen (a re-read, in any case) will probably have to wait until the winter holidays.

These days I find nonfiction much more comforting and pleasant to read than novels. I think it’s because of the difference in the way I approach nonfiction books. For one thing, you aren’t required to dig for deeper meaning. Most of the time, it’s acceptable to simply take the words in as they are (not when I’m doing my uni readings, of course; I’m talking about personal reading here) and it’s equally okay to skim the less exciting chapters. There’s something so orderly and chronological about histories. Recently, I’ve been digging my teeth into Felipe Fernandez-Armesto’s Civilizations, which is simply divine. World history from a nature/environmental perspective. And The Classical World, by Robin Lane Fox. Well, I’ve read the first few pages, anyhow.

If there’s one novel to tempt me back into reading fiction, it’s War and Peace. I’ve been meaning to read it forever and a half, but I just don’t have the time or energy to commit to such a huge book!


15 thoughts on “It’s Been a While

  1. I don’t think you’re the only one who’s been in a bit of a reading slump of late! I remember how difficult it was to juggle pleasure reading with my undergrad studies, so if you find you don’t get (or want) to read fiction until your winter break, so be it! Hopefully your classes are going well!

    1. Steph – hahah, actually I’ve sort of completely given up on juggling. It’s just all study-related these days; no pleasure reading! It actually isn’t that bad, since I’m enjoying what I’m studying. By the way, I’m a bit behind, but congrats on the engagement aand finding your wedding shoes! I have been lurking around blogs; just haven’t been commenting

  2. I agree on how you feel about nonfiction. I checked out this awesome book from the library about Irish History. Was excited to read it and then realized it was Volume 2 and that Volume 1 is checked out. So I’ll have to wait for that first volume, to make the experience more enjoyable. Btw, so nice to see you. :)

    1. Claire – nice to see you too :) ahh, sadly I don’t know much about Irish history, except of course the parts about the potato famine and the whole Protestant vs Catholic thing…

  3. I go into these kind of nonfiction sprees, insisting on reading every book about a certain topic. But, yes, nonfiction is sometimes much easier than fiction. No search for meanings, no contemplation about a character’s true meaning.Just take their word with a grain of salt, especially if its an autobiography or memoir, and enjoy.

    Nice to see you, Tuesday.

    1. Christina – mm, I love reading biographies. They bring out the stalkerish instinct in all of us, hahah. Hope your exams are going well, btw :)

  4. It’s so nice to see a post from you!

    I too enjoy reading nonfiction as a break from fiction. I also enjoy the fiction that doesn’t make me think too much…sometimes it’s nice to read for a story. I hope your studies continue to go well. All the best.

    P.S. Come on over and see the contest/giveaway I’m doing for my one-year blogoversary. I know you’re busy, but who wouldn’t want to have a free book? Or maybe free books are too tempting when you’re trying to study?

    1. Rebecca Reid – yes, I agree about the story thing. Although sometimes I think it’s just readers making life harder for ourselves by trying to construct meaning and symbolism where it doesn’t necessarily have to exist. Take Jane Eyre for instance (I enjoyed reading your review of it). There’s clearly much to think about there, but even at face value it’s such an entertaining story. Well, I’m not saying we shouldn’t consider the context and author’s intent, but sometimes it’s nice just to take it as it is.
      And yay, giveaway! I’m never too busy for a free book, hahah. The riddle is really hard though, especially because you’ve read so many books over the past year! I’ll have to think about it throughout the week. Will you be providing any hints?

  5. It’s great to see you posting again. I think we all go through phases when we don’t read or we only want to read a specific genre. Between the ages of 31 and 36 I barely picked up a book because I was so wrapped up with childcare. Also studying novels at uni put me off reading for a year or so, too.

  6. Glad to see you post,I like the new template as well.

    I can sympathize with not having enough time for pleasure reading, I’d similarly like to attempt War and Peace but don’t see how I’d finish it at the moment!

  7. no hints (wouldn’t be fair at this point, I don’t think), but do make a guess because I might just select a random winner. I didn’t realize how hard it would be, although I suspected ;)

  8. I’ve missed reading your blog–so nice to see you posting again. I went through a really severe non-fiction phase that lasted for years. My return to fiction was so much fun, though. Like discovering a new world!

  9. Wow, years! I don’t think I could last that long without reading fiction. But right now I’m definitely content reading non-fiction :)

    As for your riddle, Rebecca, I’m still stumped! Absolutely no idea, hahah. I think I might just guess!

    1. Eva – that’s why I don’t think I’ll be reading it any time soon! I’d like to savour War and Peace and if I only have time to read a few pages a week, I don’t think it’ll be a very memorable experience
      Definitely saving it for the summer break. Only half a year to go :)

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