Friday, October 6, 2017

Much Needed Break

By Kelly Bridgewater

Have you ever read so much that you just gave up on reading for a while?

If not, lucky you.

If so, I'm glad to know I'm not alone.

In the past three years, starting in 2014 until the beginning of July 2017, I had read 735 books.  That is 18 books  a month.

4.5 books a week.

Yes, 4.5 books a week.

I enjoy reading and reviewing books to represent and influence people's choices on reading. I enjoy telling the world about good books and maybe introduce someone to a new author or genre they have never tried before.

But I got to the point where every book I was reading sounded the same. The characters acted the same. The plots have been done before. I could even mention in a number of reviews what books the authors sounded like. I was losing my interest in reading. Nothing would capture my attention and beg me to keep reading. I dreaded picking up another book even if my interest was piqued by the synopsis.

So what did I do?

For the month of July, I didn't read anything. Nope. Nothing. I kept my Kindle on the shelf. I didn't check Netgalley for new books. I didn't pick up any book that needed to be read and reviewed. I have all my reviews scheduled for July and August.  I needed a break.

So I took one.

What did I learn during that month?

Three things:

1.) Breaks are Good.

We all need to take a break from things. That is why there is vacations scheduled in a school year. Vacation time at work (if you're lucky).  Holidays during the year. Everyone needs a break from their normal routine. Something to take our mind off the normal day-to-day stuff.

2.) Helped Me Remember Why I Liked Reading in the First Place

Taking the break allowed me to find a way to enjoy reading again. I got to the point where I couldn't wait for the numerous books to be over. It started to become a checklist with no real enjoyment found in the novels. After spacing myself from the numerous plots, I hope to bring some clarity to the new books and write better reviews for the books I review. I hope to find some books that I can pass along to others.

3.) Help Me Focus on Other Things Besides Reading

Being summer break, I got to spend more time with my boys. For summer, we focused more on Bible study. We read the life of David in I and II Samuel and the first couple of chapters of I Kings. We had some lively discussion. I spent time on my four acres working on planting some flowers and working on the vegetable gardens. Beside mowing the grass on our riding lawn mower, I got a chance to explore my woods. I spent more time with my niece and nephew as they spent a couple of days with me. Our family went swimming. Went to a theme park where we rode rides and played in the water park. Not that these things aren't done all the time anyways, but it was nice to actually focus on them and not worry about the next book I had to read and finish. Now to be honest, I did read some books during this month, but I focused on C. S. Lewis. Someone who I admire, but hadn't spent a lot of time reading. This gave me time to read without guilt or rush. I spent time savoring his novels. I didn't even include them on my Goodreads list.

This allowed me to  . . .

Read for reading sake.

What about you? Have you ever taken a much-needed break from something? Did you learn anything from it? Please share.

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