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A Reader’s Crisis

Musing Mondays2

Describe the last time you were stumped for something to read, and you took measures to remedy that — either by going to the bookstore, the library, or shopping elsewhere. What book did you choose? Did it get you out of your slump?

It actually happened twice this past week. I was completely stumped after reading Stephen McCauley’s Alternatives to Sex. The to-be-read books on the shelf were staring at me but they were not speaking to me. I started reading Edmund White’s The Flaneur but I wanted to save it for when I am actually in Paris since the book is the backbone of my itinerary. I was not as panicky as I was antsy—anxious to find something that would quench my thirst, so to speak. It was past dinner time when I finished the write-up for Alternatives to Sex so going to browse the bookstores were out of the question. I gave the TBR books another once-over and still nothing stood out. Then as if I was pulling my wit’s end, I began to rummage through the bottom shelf where books were yet to be organized. I unearthed this copy of The English Patient, gathering inch-ful of dust. I flipped through it and found the receipt tugged inside the pages. It was a purchase back in 2001. I couldn’t tell you why I haven’t read it then, nor had it occurred to me to read this beautiful book. Crisis resolved. But—yes, there is that but. I was confronted by the same crisis after I finished the novel, because suddenly I had nothing lined up for the following morning—which is today, Memorial Day holiday—over coffee (I always have a book over breakfast. Being devoid of one is unimaginable). Tropic of Cancer I had perused a handful of pages but I don’t want to be Paris-out before I even get there. I walked over to the bookstore after a kick-ass workout and browsed the shelf. I remember a blogger, Jennifer actually, recommended Asylum by Patrick McGrath so I quickly pulled out a copy when I spotted it. The book just makes my hair stand.

16 Responses

  1. When in a reading slump, nothing holds my interest. One year short stories helped. Last the third book by Stieg Larsoon did the trick.

    Here is my Monday: Mailbox/What Are You Reading?/Musings post!

  2. Glad you found the right book to quench your reading desire!

  3. When that happens to me, I just re-read Jane Austen and hope something turns up. How exciting that you’re going to Paris!

    • Re-reads would be the rescue for me. It’s The master and Margarita or The Name of the Rose. Sometimes I stock up on books by the same authors but I usually don’t read the same author back-to-back.

      I’m very excited about Paris, which was not on my destination list. I was looking for a trip to Hawaii, which has become so expensive. For the same amount I pay, I’ve got double the duration in Paris.

  4. i’m headed to paris soon, too! i picked up Paris Was Ours to read while i’m there (or perhaps before AND while i’m there). when are you going?

    • My friend just delivered a copy of The Piano Shop on the Left Bank to me this morning. It’s about a person’s search for a perfect piano in Paris. It’s an alternative perspective of the City of Lights! I’m also reading The Flaneur by Edmund White and Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.

      • The Piano Shop sounds interesting. i also picked up Paris, Paris recently since i’ve been on a non-fiction kick.

        i’ll be interested to see how the rest of your Paris-inspired reading turns out.

    • This upcoming trip to Paris certainly puts me on a non-fiction binge. I’m reading the book on piano shop, Edmund White’s walking Paris book, and a history of Paris book.

  5. When I go into a slump I pick up one of my tried and tested perennial re-reads or re-read a book I have been meaning to read again.

  6. I really try to break genres or take suggestions when I’m hitting a slump. Sounds like you found the eprfect fix. ;O)

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