Stories to Tell, Books to Read

I love writing, have always loved expressing my thoughts and ideas but I’m currently in a little bit of a slump. Do you ever feel like you’re all out of stories to tell? Perhaps because I have shared so many stories of my life these last two years that now I feel like I am either all out of ideas or I’m grasping at straws.

The other important thing to note, also, is that I am in a frenzied period of reading. I prefer to be reading at all times; any free second or moment of the day, I would like to do nothing else but read. If I am not reading, I am researching the next book I should read based on the number of star-rating on Goodreads. I am a bit obsessed currently. I can’t seem to get enough. Some days I’d rather read than sleep or I could easily pick reading over watching a tv show or (gasp) reading over writing. So maybe I’m not all out of stories after all, maybe I would just rather read a story than write a story. And, I think, that’s okay too.

So, since I still have to write every week (I need to hold myself to that schedule for now), I thought, why not write about reading (some things sound better in my head than in execution).

I’ve loved reading for the majority of my life but have never consistently read throughout my life, if that makes any sense. I go through seasons of reading and every time I come back to it, I always think, “Why the hell did I ever take a break?” Was it because I was forcing myself to read books I never cared to finish or perhaps I know myself better as a reader now and am able to sense which books I feel like reading now versus what I can come back to later.

All that being said, I’ve read some good books lately! Not all of them were five-star-worthy but majority were still well worth the time. It got me to thinking, what kind of book warrants a five-star rating? Here’s the list I came up with.

  1. You can’t stop thinking/talking about it. Can I please tell you about this book?
  2. You miss your subway stop. Where the heck am I?
  3. You recommend it to everyone you know or you gift it to every reader or semi-reader for Christmas. Wait till you see what I got you, it’s the best gift ever!
  4. You carry it with you everywhere and can’t put it down: in line at check-out, at the bus stop, sneaking it between work breaks, in bed under the covers with a flashlight because you don’t want to wake your partner. Just one more page!
  5. As fast as you’re trying to figure out what’s going on, you also want to avoid reading it too quickly because you don’t want to finish it. You just don’t want it to end. No, I don’t want to read you. Yes, I want to read you. No! Yes!
  6. You envy those that get to start at the beginning and have no idea that their life is about to change completely: BB (before book) and AB (after book). You don’t know what you’re in for, seriously. 
  7. You scour the internet for the author’s complete booklist and check Goodreads for the highest rated ones and start there. I’ve hit the jackpot, why doesn’t everyone know about this?!
  8. You ask the person who recommended the book why they didn’t try harder to get you to read it earlier. Why don’t you want me to be happy?
  9. You go through your own stages of grief when it ends. You seem to feel every emotion: sadness, denial, acceptance. Why God, why??
  10. You may begin to forget small details of the storyline, but the feeling it gave you never leaves you. I’ll always love you!

So, can you relate? What are the stages of reading you go through while reading a can’t-put-it-down book?

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51 thoughts on “Stories to Tell, Books to Read

  1. I LOVE reading too. I’m usually reading 2-3 books a week. Lately I’ve found it hard to find something I like *sigh* and with fall break for Nikolai, my reading has slowed way down. You should do a blog with some book suggestions! I’m so sorry you feel like you’re out of stories lately, I think sometimes the stories need to find you ❤️. It’s good to wait a bit and allow them to come to you. 💕💗🥰 Trust me, they WILL come.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. OMG, the last three particularly cracked me up. It’s so true. I remember back in my secretary days, I was reading a series, and it seemed like every moment when my brain wasn’t exclusively on work, I was thinking about the books, the characters, the world, what was going to happen next. I ate, slept, and breathed those books. That’s only happened a couple of times. It’s wondrous but oh so painful when the books are done.

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  3. First, I can relate to the feeling of not having inspiration about what to write. Like you, I enjoy writing personal stories. I’ve had my share of adventures, but when it comes right down to it, my life isn’t that exciting. 😊 Don’t get me wrong—I’m happy. I like not having a lot of unnecessary drama in my life. We all know those people who seem to thrive on chaos and seemingly insert themselves into it when things are finally calm. I give myself permission not to write when I don’t have anything worth saying, though I also like to write something about every 7-10 days.

    I especially like some of your questions related to your list. “Where the heck am I? Why don’t you want me to be happy?” My favorite story about the former was about an occasion when my wife and I were engaged in conversation while I was driving. From the back seat, our little guy calls out from his car seat, “Why are we going this way?” My wife and I roared because our three-year-old was getting us back on track after I missed a turn to wherever we were going. 🤣

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    • hahaha I love it, the 3yo navigator lol.. Charlotte is so apt with directions in our neighbourhood (not like mama at all)..when we first moved in (I was pregnant with Charlotte), I gps’d my way out and into the neighbourhood for a year LOL I could not grasp where I was ever! So I am so proud of her because whenever ppl babysit her and they go for walks, she helps them find their way back to our house because she knows all the winding streets and even when we drive, she knows all the landmarks and locations of frequented shops! 🙂 It’s sweet!

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  4. I love the questions about how to gauge whether a book warrants 5-stars! I’m just now getting back into reading after a hiatus due to chronic illness (and the accompanying excessive sleep), but there are books I read that 15 years ago that I still remember vividly and quote often. There was one 1,128 page tome I carried everywhere for a few weeks in college–I found myself shamelessly sobbing on public benches at my university and on the bus home because I just could not put it down.
    I would be very interested in a list of recommended books! I’ve been disappointed with bestsellers lists, so always looking for books to add to my reading list. 😊

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    • What tome/book was that? 🙂 I love knowing what ppl are reading or what books they couldn’t put down! Sometimes I see ppl reading books on transit that I’ve read before and I see their emotions on their face and I just want to reach out and say, “I know, girl, I know!” LOL…

      Yes I have an upcoming post of good reads so stay tuned! 🙂 Also, so sorry to hear about the chronic illness ugh… never ends… Hope you are on the mend!

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      • The book was 2666 by Roberto Bolano. It’s comprised of five (I think?) separate stories with intertwining plots and the writing is beautifully poetic, but the topics are dark and sometimes gruesome. It’s hard to “recommend” for that reason, but I think it’s just brilliant writing.

        Yes!! I love seeing people’s reactions while reading. Stories are so powerful.

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  5. Yes!!! That I wanna read it but don’t wanna read it because I don’t want it to come to an end “feeling”. I’m definitely an off an on reader! My goal for now is one book a month bc that’s how busy life is these days!!

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    • I totally get it – life gets busy and sometimes all you can manage is the minimum to keep yourself afloat or keep yourself distracted enough for your own mental health… I get it – that’s where I lots traction during pandemic… I couldn’t focus enough on the words I needed quick distractions… but I’m glad I’m back at it – thanks so much for sharing your perspective Stacia 🙂

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  6. I’ve always loved to read and I go through seasons of reading too ☺️
    I love those books that you can’t put them down until the last page…and while I’m reading those books I literally don’t do anything else except reading 📖☺️

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  7. I’m a seasonal reader. I do most of my reading during the late spring/summer/early fall. As long as it’s comfortable enough for me to sit in my car during lunch. I love it. I have a quiet parking spot, set my alarm, and off I go. During the winter, I tend to cross-stitch and completely set reading aside.

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  8. I really appreciate this post. I have loved reading all my life. But I’m very sporadic about it. This summer I read “The Handmaid’s Tale” and found it so engrossing, as well as disturbing. I then started reading a book called “Mount Joy” (I think) which I found to be a really enjoyable read…but I haven’t finished it yet. I actually haven’t read anything beyond articles on NPR and blog posts for about the last two months. I really want to get back to reading on a regular basis though. I feel like it’s essential to me as a creative writing enthusiast/practitioner. And I’m so all over the board with what I read. I’ve got a self-help book (huge fan of those) coming from Amazon soon, but I also very much want to read “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, recommended by another blogger I follow. And then there is the book by A.J. Jacobs (he used to be the editor of Esquire magazine, which often has really well written, interesting articles btw) about his experience with exploring his family tree. And I absolutely loved the book “The Dutch House” (Ann Patchett wrote it I think). I’d love to find another book like that, which explores familial relationships and tells a good story. So many books, so little time!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree that writing is so key for a creative writing enthusiast like you say, and that’s what made me feel “bad” abou t being in a reading slump… so I got back on the hamster wheel of reading and am LOVING IT! Thanks so much for the recommendations! I will be posting about books I read recently that warranted 5 star ratings so stay tuned for that if you’re interested 🙂

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  9. Oh, I used to love to read and was such an avid reader. Like you, I took public transportation, so hopped onto the bus and immediately buried my nose in my book. I made it a point to cut any conversations started in line while waiting for the bus to arrive after work so chatter didn’t continue once we got on the bus – nothing shall intrude on my 30 minutes of reading time. I read on my lunch hour as well. I was not able to continue to read at night, or in bed, as I would fall asleep, no matter how good the book was/is. I look forward to when I retire and I can resume reading at the pace I once did.

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  10. Such a perfect post!!!! I relate with them all!!! Other categories include – ‘my life will never be the same again’ and ‘I am dehydrated from the amount of crying I’ve done’ – that are 5 star books for me. I love a book that can immerse me and make me forget my life and just disappear so deeply into the book’s world that their feelings overwhelm me into crying.

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