How did you get to this point? You LOVE books… don’t you? Maybe you’re afraid you don’t love books anymore because the last three that came highly recommended by friends failed to hold your interest. Is it the book…
I’ve got good news, friend. It’s you.
And it’s not that you don’t love books anymore, it’s because you have changed. We cannot go through every day untouched; the news, our evolving problems, and the friends we keep all impress upon us new cravings lacking in our life. As we age, we satisfy our childhood cravings, but new ones cracked open once we reached adulthood. We abandon old hobbies and chase down new ones. Our opinions on birth, taxes, and death have grown into wisdom when they first began as childhood questions. We conquer old fears and pick up new ones. We survive the night but question God and country during the day. All these have touched you, and now you can’t read a book you enjoy.
Here’s the fix:
Your mind is craving something you have not yet craved, and it’s a simple matter of figuring out this new craving and satisfying it. Here is a list of book items you may be self-consciously craving:
You crave a good solid character you can relate to, a character who starts with problems but rises victorious in the end. You want this because you insert yourself into the character’s life, and the character coming out victorious reflects you coming out victorious. You want to come out victorious because you’ve gone through enough times where you didn’t, didn’t you? Well, now it’s your turn.
Never mind character, genre, or setting, you want the book to say something. You want to finish reading with a life question answered, to see a new angle, to have your opinions challenged, to be validated because the theme of the book agrees with the stance you’ve taken. Do you give too much of yourself to others but take nothing for yourself? Susan D. Kalior in The Warriors of the Mist will convince you it’s just as damaging to always give of yourself as it is to always take.
It’s hard doing the right thing, isn’t it? Especially when you’re the only one who wants to do it and others hate you for it. James A. Hunter in The Viridian Gate Online series proves it’s not only better for everyone to do the right thing even if you’re doing it alone, but that everyone will eventually trust you and help you — you just have to be resilient in your convictions for a little while and then it will pay off more than double than if you had done the wrong, easy route. You want this because you question life now, what with the confusion of politics and news, and you want to know that there is truth and hope still out there.
Simply put, you don’t want boring books. You want every page filled with a question, a problem, a disagreement, a doubt, a lie, an irritation. You are busy and don’t have time for slow-burn build ups. You want the book to grab you, shake you in its teeth, spit you out, and laugh. You want this because your life is slow and boring. You don’t want a book to be slow and boring, too.
Lived in the same town your whole life and have never traveled out of it? Reading in the same genre has that same old, same old feeling of repetition. Same problems, just different players. You want to get out of your town and fly to space, teleport to a fantasy world, go back in time. Your heart is terrified of trying something new, but your brain demands it. How else are we to learn and grow if we don’t challenge ourselves? There is no reward without risk and no change without challenge (The Jade Lord, J. A. Hunter).
* There may be other elements in books you crave that are not on this list. This list is only here to help you realize that your reading needs have changed, and you are now on a journey to find exactly what type of book will interest you.
Be at peace. You still love to read. What you want to read about has just changed. Good news: there are thousands of books out there you will still love to read. I was in a reading slump for a long time. A die-hard fantasy-only reader, I DNF’d the last 4 fantasy books after the first 20 pages. Without warning, my brain decided it wanted something else. After experimenting, I realized what I wanted now was, never mind the genre, I wanted a book with a validating theme.
What do you crave to read in books? Let’s talk. Comment below and I'll add your craving to my list.