January 19, 2014

Fog on my mind

Something has been bugging me for a few days now and I feel like I really need to share it with you, guys.
Have you ever feel frustrated when you read? Not because the book you're reading is bad or anything, but because you feel like you CANNOT connect to the book at all. This is what I think is currently happening to me.

I started this month reading some awesome reads (The Journeys #3, The Sky is Everywhere, Cruel Beauty) and I tried to write the reviews of the mentioned books as soon as I can to keep up with my goal. Then I started reading some more books and SUDDENLY, all that books I read felt... Flat. Mediocre. No feelings. Sour.

And it's such a case of 'It's not you, it's me!' because THAT is what I feel. It's not the books' fault, it's me that is having a problem! There have been so much praises, good words, shout-on-top-of-the-roof of AMAZING!-ness about the books I was reading (and of course that's why I picked those books, right) so I initially felt disappointed when I couldn't feel the same. I was reading a (very well known) series and at first I thought okay, it was nothing. Maybe the first book didn't really match up my expectations, but surely the next book would change my opinion, right? Because believe me, all the hype over that series was HUGE and all over the place (especially with the last book coming), it made me think that something must be wrong with someone if s/he doesn't like the series. Something must be wrong with me! Then I kept up reading, just to prove it. I want to finish it, I need to finish that series so I can understand all the craziness over it. I went on with the second book, the third book.... I dragged myself. And finally I came up with a conclusion that maybe, maybe the series just wasn't for me? But when I started another book (a standalone), it happened AGAIN! Then I try to read another one (a classic), it also happened! I read amazing books but I can't give a decent reaction that the books should receive.

I know by this point you guys would think that I'm just being annoying, reading books that didn't meet my expectations and making too much trouble out of it, but believe me, I know when something is wrong.

And there's this thing, too. The strangest of all this weirdness that is currently happening to me is, usually, when I read a good book, I can feel it. When you read something so good, you can't help but to acknowledge it, yeah? Woah, this is a good book. Woah, this main character is so AWESOME. Woah, this scene is mind-boggling! The problem is, I CANNOT feel connected! I know what the characters are saying, I understand their intentions when they do certain things, and I recognize the emotions that the authors meant for me, or the readers, to feel, but I just can't feel it. AT ALL. I dozed off a lot when reading. It was like, my eyes were moving and my brain was processing the words, but everything didn't fully register. Usually there would  be a lot of reactions toward things, right? Here's a secret: I'm a super sensitive reader. I react A LOT when I read books. Sad scene didn't have to reach its climax yet but I already cried a river. Funny scene and I would giggle-and-trying-to-hold-it-in-at-the-same-time like a mad girl. Angry/fight scene and my breathing would sped up, my face would get hotter. Things like that. But these last days? Na-da! Nothing. Scenes went by without me NOT having any reactions at all. Epic part is happening, lil part of my brain told me 'This is the part that makes the book worth reading, worth recommending, worth to write about in your review' but the rest of the brain only said: 'Oh.' 

(Normal) me, when I read a book:






Me, these days:




I've been asking myself 'Am I having a book hangover' or things like that? But I don't think book hangover is the case, because I don't feel like I don't want to read books. It's actually the opposite. I wanted to read the next book on my list as soon as I can! Eventhough those previous books I mentioned were awesome, all the attachments toward the book were already off when I started that series. I didn't reply certain scenes from Cruel Beauty or The Sky is Everywhere over and over in my head. I had no problem starting a new one and adjusting to the new characters, new setting, new premise.

It's just that.... I can't focus on the books I read. Like I've said above, I dozed off a lot and it was hard to get in the world of the book that I'm reading. That immersed feeling that usually come up when you're deep into a story were not there at all. And it's saddening, because I know I'm reading some really good stuffs, excellent stuffs resulted from a hardwork of amazing authors and good publishers, but I can't bring myself to enjoy. I feel like I don't give the book much respect when I do that. Reading feels like something that I have to work on rather than something that makes me happy and let me experience different ranges of emotions :(


This has only been going for a few days but it's been really bugging me a lot. I've tried to distract myself with other things, I have. Maybe I need to put reading for a while, I thought. So I went out with friends and spent a whole day off, away from my books. I talked to my mom and did other mundane-y things that I rarely do in real life, like watching TV or cleaning up my room. Maybe I just need to refreshen my mind. Maybe I've been enjoying this semester break too much in my room and I need to go out for a while, taking fresh air. Or maybe I've been staring into the screen of my tab that I use to read ebooks too much and it has screwed my brain (not to mention my eyes... poor eyes), so I tried to switch into some printed books in my pile that I've been meaning to read. Put some music on to distract myself. Beyonce, JT, EXO, even Miley. Play with my phone and notebook all day, didn't pick up any book at all that one time. But EVERYTHING didn't work! Nothing work. When I  go back and try to read some pages again afterward, I still struggle to focus on the paragraphs in the pages. My brain felt HAZY, can you believe me? Like I'm reading through something like a... fog on my mind? It's just bizzare and ridiculous and so upsetting, I just want to get my mojo and get the 'enjoyment' of reading back! I want to read wonderful books and react the way a reader should react when they read wonderful books :(

Phew.

So tell me, do you think I'm exxagerating things up? Have you ever feel something like this before? Reading some good books and suddenly all the next books you read felt mediocre, eventhough they're actually FAR from it? IS IT ME, OR IS IT THE BOOKS? What do you suggest I should do? Anyway, if you've been reading this until the end, THANK YOU! I just don't know what to do and feel like I have to write it down on the blog or I'd go crazy. Now you know how much of a drama queen I am. HA!



22 comments:

  1. semacam book hangover? kadang memang bisa terjadi sih :|
    saya juga pernah mengalami. abis baca 1 buku terus rasanya malas baca buku lainnya. Jadinya stop dulu untuk sementara.

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    1. I don't think it is, hehe, sebaliknya justru pengen baca buku lagi dan lagi, tapi anehnya kok nggak ada yg terasa 'enak' gitu..... but thank you!

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  2. samaaaaaa Tir, kadang aku juga ada masanya jenuh banget baca buku, tahun lalu tuh yang paling parah, hampir sebagian besar bacaanku romance, yang fantasy aja bisa dihitung dengan jari, rasanya nggak nafsu gitu, pengen baca yang ringan-ringan --"

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    1. Tahun lalu bacaanku hampir contemporary YA semua, eneg banget sama Dystopia (kecuali Allegiant sih) hehe. Iyaa sering banget itu abis baca yg rada 'heavy' atau 'wow' gitu rasanya pusing ga jelas(?), akhirnya diselingin novella...

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  3. You are definitely not exaggerating! I have the exact same issue! Actually the very first book I read this year put me into a little funk. It was so great! How can any other books stack up? Fortunately I have read some good ones so far!

    When this happens I just take a small break and then try to jump back in. If a book isn't working with me then I'll try another and sometimes then another and another until something clicks.

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    1. I think I'll follow your way, Christina. I just hope I can still review the books I read while experiencing this 'funk' objectively. Thank you! :D

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  4. Well of course I don't think you're exaggerating, because this sort of thing has happened to me too (sucks all the time). But I guess it's all about reading what you WANT to read, not what other people tell you TO read. I mean, I guess you always picked from your choices, but I think that if you completely eliminated the outside factor and read something entirely of your own volition because you think the plot is interesting, then I guess you'll find happiness there :D Of course we're all bound to think that the popular and well-loved series will also appeal to us, so I won't blame you for taking the recommendation approach, but I hope you make sure that it's always a book you would have read even without the recommendation :) So yeah I hope to have helped in some way, and good luck Tirta!

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    1. Yeah I think that could be the problem too. One of the side-effect of being a part of the book-blogosphere, maybe? Reviews from other people influenced me greatly and now I often pick books that have 'talked' about rather than the ones that are not. But thank you for reminding me the importance of picking a book based on my own volition! I'll remember that, Jasmine :)

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  5. I think you might need to take a little break, immerse yourself in something else or find another book that you can fall in love with and renew yourself!

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    1. I'll do that. Thank you, Missie! :)

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  6. Sepertinya kamu butuh waktu untuk istirahat #eeaa :D

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    1. Libur panjang gini bingung mau ngapain kalo nggak baca niv, udah kebanyakan istirahat haha *goler-goler di kasur*

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  7. Hey Tirta,

    I often felt that way, too. And whenever it comes to me, I stop reading and start watching dramas or playing games. You've done those things too maybe but it didn't work for you as it did for me. But maybe you can do something new. Something challenging, something that has been on your things-to-do list but you haven't done yet. (Do this for a week or a month then start reading book again?)

    I wish it can throw your mediocre feeling away when you read back your to-be-read piles! :D

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    1. Ooooh right, you comment totally reminded me that I still have LOTS of KDramas & american tv series that I need to watch on my dvd pile! Thank you! :D

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  8. dear tirta,

    kalo kamu merasa para buku sedang tidak bersahabat denganmu, ya sudah, ambil jarak.
    coba cari buku lain yang ringan, atau yang sama sekali bukan 'cup of tea' kamu, mungkin ya mungkin, ia semacam clue untuk melebarkan genre :-P
    dan siapa tahu, kamu akan menemukan kejutan.

    dari yang aku baca di atas, kayaknya emang kalau pun kamu butuh pengalih, maka pengalih itu emang mesti buku deh.
    oia, its okay kok kalo emang saat itu ternyata selera kebanyakan reader yang kamu ikuti ngga match sama kamu,
    yang penting itu: enjoyment, dear.
    coba deh tanya sama om Daniel Pennac, pasti dia bakal bilang kalo kamu punya 10 hak sebagai pembaca *ehem*

    its not you nor the book, its just some reading-state that could happened to any reader.
    badai pasti berlalu *halah*
    patience, okay? *wink*

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    1. Asyiiik syedaph sekali sarannya, Kak Ziyy. Jadi tersadarkan gini. Aku dari kapan tau bilangnya pengen 'melebarkan genre' itu tapi kok nggak pernah terlaksana, yak? #selfkeplak

      Thank you so much! Aku mau google ah apa kata om Daniel :*

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  9. This happens to me sometimes, I only read book depend on my mood. I don't want to be fastened with anything (that's why I never request an arc or put review policy lol). When I'm not in the mood, I just leave it, start new one, continue the previous book in other right time. Keep like that until I find a book that makes me out of reading slump. You read for yourself, not for the hype, or friend, or author, or publisher, or blogging etc. It's your relationship with the book whether you love it or not, you decide.

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    1. So the key is to juggle the books on my pile until I find out the one that clicks, yeah? Thank you, kakak :D

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  10. Halo Tirta.
    Kamu ada teenlit Pertama Kalinya punya pengarang Sitta Kirana dan alanda Kariza? Aku susah banget buat dapetin buku itu... sepertinya sudah tidak ada lagi di toko buku. Bisa kamu share dimana aku bisa mendapatkannya? Trimy...

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    1. Hi dear, yup punya, tapi itu terbitan lama, 2010/2011 kalau nggak salah. Sayangnya di toko buku mmg udh nggak pernah keliatan lagi ya bukunya. Coba tanya ke penulis/penerbitnya langsung aja, takutnya memang udah nggak dicetak ulang :)

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  11. I think it's just your 'sugesti'! Earlier I felt that I cannot concentrate on reading. I constantly found myself reading a line over and over again, though I’m pretty sure I have understand that line before. I read in a slow pace, if usually I finished a 300 pages book within 2 days, now I finished that book for 5 days, sometimes longer. I don’t know why exactly but my urge to read is fading, though I really want to read, maybe because I felt sick with exams, with my school books. (this happened after exams last December) but the urge's coming back day by day, and I've read 'peacefully' again! You do not have to worry!

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    1. Thank you, dear!
      Yeah, it's slowly coming back, I just finished one of the books that I really wanted to finish for a long time; stayed up until 3 AM last night. Glad that I'm not the only one that has experienced it, though, so thanks for sharing with me! I appreciate it :)

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Thank you for reading this post! I always love to share and discuss thoughts about books or simply reading your comments; they are very much appreciated! I will try to reply every one of them so make sure to check back. ❤