I'm guessing I'm not alone in this, but do you ever feel in the mood to read and find that you can't? Maybe your mind drifts, or you're so tired that even matchsticks couldn't keep your eyelids open, or you've got too many racing thoughts to take in what's on the page. It's frustrating when the activity that typically alleviates those exact things, suddenly falls prey to them instead.
Falling into a reading funk, whether it's only for a few hours, a day or even longer, can be the worst thing for lit nerds like myself. Not incomparable to hell on earth, I'd say.
Well, don't panic, I've found a way around it.
I'm sure everyone will have had days when you turn a page and realise you have no idea what just happened. Sometimes you may even make it through a whole chapter before noticing that your mind is blank and a character has died but you lost track of who, what and why.
In these inevitable situations I take a different route to relaxation. I put the novel down and instead pick up any one of my 'maximum chillax books'. These are books that are beautiful, entertaining or informative, but do not take too much brain power or concentration to enjoy. They're books I can flick through over and over, dip in and out of, and spend a few minutes or a few hours pouring over.
I have a few such books in my metaphorical armoury and here are my beat-the-funk favourites:
The illustrations in this book are top notch. This is a recent addition to the armoury, but it can be motivating on those days when going outside feels like a no-go.
Well Read Women by Samantha Hahn
Literary heroines, quotes and beautiful images - this one is perfect for exhausted and achy days.
The Novel Cure by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin
Just because you can't read a book it doesn't mean you can't add to your TBR, surely?! I love looking up random afflictions in this compendium and seeing what 'cure' is recommended. It can be very cheering.
Books: A Living History by Martyn Lyons
Had the design of this book been different it wouldn't have made the cut for this list. Thankfully it's full of intriguing images as well as the fascinating history of books. This is a good choice when you still want to take in the knowledge, but rest your mind at the same time.
Another favourite which I don't currently have in London is The Book Addict's Treasury. Well worth a flick through if you love to read about reading.
When these fail it's generally a toss up between hitting the chocolates and hitting the gym. I'm sure you can guess which one usually comes out on top.