Reading Burn Out

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Desert Kris, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Location:
    Desert City
    There has been lots of opportunity to read most of last year, and that continues to be the case early this year. And though I haven't read excessively more than I usually do, and I try and vary the subjects and genres that I read, and do safe activities like physical exercise, I've hit a bad moment of bookworm burn out.

    I was happily reading through one of my Star Trek books, a perfectly fine book at the time. It was cozy reading it between the aftermath of Christmas and the coming of the new year. It was cozy reading and cozy atmosphere, but I was slowing down before the world became a little scary in early January. My Star Trek book wasn't working as an escape, and it remained slow going for a fair chunk of January.

    I've loved reading for the longest time, but I feel drained. I've been reading small chunks of non-committal maternal, stuff I can finish in half an hour or less. I'm avoiding even some longer short stories in anthologies I have. I've taken several days off as dedicated non-reading days. I feel daunted by a modest 260-page Star Trek novel, to say nothing of other, longer books.

    Has anyone else had a bad bookworm burn out? How did you cope, and how long did it take for you to get back in the groove?
     
  2. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    It's happened to me a few times. While I was in college in the 90's I was so busy with school work and, well, college life that I only managed to read 2 or 3 Star Trek books that entire time. From the time I became a Trekkie in the late 1980s until I went to college I was pretty good with my reading. And of course in the 1990s was when S&S was releasing 2 or more books a month, resulting in a significant backlog that I'm actually still working down. Then even after I graduated I was working 2 jobs and didn't have much time for reading.

    Then around 2000 or 2001 I finally settled into a career and had more time and have been reading since. There were times I was reading 3 or 4 Star Trek books at the same time (though I always made sure they were for different series so I didn't confuse myself---it wouldn't be a good idea to try to read two TNG books at the same time). I'd have one at work to read during lunch or breaks, one at home to read in the evening, and I used to do a lot of travelling for work so I'd have one in my travel bag, and in the summer I have a camper I stay at on weekends and I'd have a book out there. It's weird in a way that right now I'm only reading one novel, since I'm teleworking from home and not travelling at all, and it's winter so no camper.

    But yeah, for the last month I wasn't reading anything. I hit a rough patch last month for a number of reasons which dragged me down. It took me almost 2 months to read the new novel "A Contest of Principles" by Greg Cox--and it was a really good book. But I just couldn't keep my mind on it. I think I read a single chapter in 3 weeks. Usually I can finish a book in 3 weeks.

    So it happens. Sometimes, in anything, you just need a break.
     
    Desert Kris likes this.
  3. Smiley

    Smiley Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Besides taking a break, I also find it helpful to give myself permission to DNF a book (or at least put it to the side) if I've got other books that I am truly excited to read handy. I am in the middle of Obama's book A Promised Land, and while there are things I like in it, I am not in the middle of a noteworthy section of writing (just at the tail end of the 2008 campaign, around page 150). In the meantime, there are lots of library holds that came in that I am itching to read, so I am prioritizing them, and I will dip back into A Promised Land when I feel like some nonfiction.
     
    Desert Kris likes this.
  4. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    My reading rate dropped way down just before the pandemic, from my usual 10-12 per month to about 2. Then the pandemic came!

    I was "forced" to get my rate back up by Hugo reading, since every year I read all the finalists. I had to be very methodical about it for a while, forcing myself to read certain percentages per day, and also carving out very specific reading times. (Only books at lunch, no phone.) Eventually it became second nature again, and I've kept the momentum up since.

    I think concrete goals are good... But you also can't beat yourself up too much. It won't work if it feels like a chore!
     
    TheAlmanac and Desert Kris like this.
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    The Wormhole
    It sounds like you just need to take a break, find some other means of entertaining yourself. After a while, you'll either become engrossed in your new form of entertainment, or you'll feel the urge to read again.
     
    Jinn and Desert Kris like this.
  6. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Location:
    Desert City
    Thank you, fellow Star Trek book fans.

    I've had this happen another time as well, fairly recently. I've dialed it back. Doing some journal writing. Walks around the neighborhood. Getting to the latter half of DS9 season 6.

    The last time I burned out, I did a long stretch of short story reading when I was ready, with breaks of a couple days in between each story. The Dictionary of the Khazars and other fictional dictionary/encyclopedia works will be great for short and light stretches of reading when I'm ready this time.
     
  7. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    I take care of my cats they keep me busy every time I get a book out to read they want to be fed or want attention right now or want to play right now. I haven't felt burnout from reading Star Trek books recently.
     
    trampledamage likes this.
  8. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    I wish I had that much time to read
     
  9. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Location:
    Andrew Timson
    I don't know how much of my problem is burnout, and how much is the fact that I don't have anywhere comfortable at home for reading. I can get through a few pages a night before bed, but that's generally about it.

    So, my reading pace has dropped off a cliff. Looking forward to being able to go buy a new couch and/or armchair so I can start reading again. Maybe in 2022.

    (Unfortunately I doubt my time for listening to audiobooks is ever coming back; I don't think my company is going to renew the lease on our office, so no more commute to work.)
     
  10. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    publiusr
    No time to read working two jobs
     
  11. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    I used to read for a couple of hours a day on the bus to and from work. That hasn't happened in the last year !

    I had already kind of burned out on Trek novels anyway and am unlikely to return any time soon due to the end of the old E.U., which I had planned to return to and eventually catch up on.

    I've been reading other things and caught up on a lot of Marvel titles. Having got the itch again I've just started reading the Bond prequel Forever And A Day by Anthony Horowitz.
     
  12. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Yeah me too. We just have to wait untill the writers tell more about "the plan", with the last EU novels.
     
  13. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    I might 'cheat' and just read the last one.

    We were ever more slowly inching towards the supernova and loss of Spock. I still don't think they're quite there...
     
  14. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    I hope so, I miss the old E.U books, especially because I am not going to read the Discovery and Picard books
     
  15. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Location:
    South Pennsyltucky
    Give yourself permission to drop a book you're not feeling. There's a fair number of Trek books from the 90s that I bailed on by page 100 because I just wasn't hooked. It's not a failure. Life's too short to spend on books you're not enjoying.
     
  16. Saul

    Saul Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    東京
    The pandemic messed up my reading. Before I would squeeze reading in during lunch breaks, train rides, free evenings I might have. Then the pandemic hit, I had more free time but just couldn't use it effectively. Even I sat down to read a book I couldn't concentrate as much as before. I'm still that way. My head just isn't in the right place these days.
     
  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    The Wormhole
    Lockdown has a similar effect on me last spring. For some reason, despite being at home all day on my days off (I still worked a job that required me to go out to work) I was reading a significant fraction less than I did during normal times. It also didn't help matters that during the spring last year, I got transferred to the overnight shift and the screwed up schedule further cut into my free time in that if I wasn't working I stayed in bed trying to get whatever sleep I could.
     
  18. Landru1000

    Landru1000 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Although the pandemic is giving some people a lot more free time to read, that doesn't mean they're in the right headspace to do so. The uncertainty and anxiety that comes with the pandemic (and with recent political turmoil in the U.S.) can make it really hard to concentrate on fiction in particular. My reading has slowed to a trickle, but I'm trying not to beat myself up about it.
     
    Desert Kris, veritech and Saul like this.
  19. veritech

    veritech Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Agreed. As my world has become more isolated and my anxiety levels have continued to rise I find that I cannot concentrate on any of my favorite hobbies, reading being one of those hobbies. I hate it because reading used to be one of my escapes. I feel like I'm mentally pacing back and forth and not getting anything done.
     
    Desert Kris and Saul like this.
  20. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    I read about 20 Star Trek books one year and didn't pick up another one for 5 years. I read six or seven a couple of years ago and haven't even thought about reading one in a while. I always think reading should be enjoyable and not a chore.