Saturday, July 27, 2019

It’s been fifty-six days since I started reading We Hunt the Flame… Although I’ve had a hard time with reading this year in general, I’ve been really struggling these last two or three months. The last time I actually finished a book (and that is not including audiobooks) was May 31st. And before that? April 18th. YIKES!

Because of my lack of reading, there’s been a shortage of posts on my end. There’s been no reviews, and it’s hard for me to call myself a book blog when I hardly post reviews anymore. (Okay, I feel like that shouldn’t stop me, though – I can still call myself a book blog even when the reviews are sparse.) But I need content! I need to post about things other than weekly recaps and memes, y’know?

I’ve been thinking this week about different things I could talk to you about when it comes to reading, or lack thereof. 

So let’s talk about some reasons that I’m struggling with my main current read, We Hunt the Flame.

I maintain a busy schedule.

A day in the life of me is a full one, and even if I do have a few spare minutes to read, I spend it elsewhere. I work for 9 hours a day (with a one hour break where I eat, and MAYBE get half a chapter in), go home and make dinner and do some chores, get Rowan to bed, and then I just want to sit down with a glass of wine and watch Fuller House on Netflix… 

And right before bed, during my winding down, is when I like to crack open my book with the intention of reading a few chapters. But the sad reality is that I barely make it five pages until I’m passed out. ?

Lacking concentration.

Sometimes I’ll sit down with the intention to read, and all of my willpower and attention goes out the window. I just keep thinking of all the other things I have to do, and can’t calm down enough to read (or even focus) on the book. Do you ever try to read and end up re-reading the same sentence twenty times before your brain comprehends it? That’s me lately.

Reading cuts into quality time with my son.

My son is 15 months – a very fun age – and I try to soak up every chance I get to spend with him, or at least have most of my attention on him. It’s even hard to blog lately, because I feel like I need to spend as much time as possible with him. Mom guilt? Yeah, it’s real. He will only be this little once, and sometimes when I just need a moment to myself, or even a nap, I remind myself that this is a crucial age that only happens ONCE, and then I regret trying to have those moments alone. He’s just such a great kid too, and I want to always be around him. (And I’m so proud to be able to say that!)

It’s even harder on the weekends, because I feel like I don’t spend enough time with him during the week because of work, and then when I come home it’s all about making dinner and finishing chores before relaxation time. So during the weekend, I try to make extra time for him. Like earlier today, he needed a second nap since the first one was way too early and not long enough, so I managed to wrangle him into cuddling with me and watch the original Lion King (at least the first 15 minutes of it until he passed out), and it was just such a treat to be able to sit and spend time with him full snuggle mode. Lately, he’s too busy to sit still and let momma love on him!

Fantasy burnout.

I think I might be experiencing a fantasy burnout. 

I tried to read Shadow Frost by Coco Ma… wasn’t working. Tried to start reading A Game of Thrones after the series ended in mid-May… left it high and dry as I continued to listen to Harry Potter audiobooks. And now I haven’t listened to my Harry Potter audiobook in a week and a half (except for a few precious minutes this evening as I was prepping dinner). I’ve been consistently abandoning books of the fantasy genre lately, and I’m wondering if I need to try a different genre for a bit?

I started We Hunt the Flame on June 1st… it’s been 56 DAYS since I first picked up this book, and I’m only 50% through it. Which leads me to my final point…

The book itself.

Spoilers ahead.

I really want to like this book. But it’s leaving a stale taste in my mouth. 

For example, some of the things I’ve read recently are contradicting, like how Zafira is supposed to be an amazing Hunter/Huntress, which the Prince of Death picks up on, but then Nasir also notices how sloppy she is sometimes. How can these two things coincide?

I’m at the halfway mark, where they’re on Sharr, and things are happening at a weird pace. I’m very put off by how Deen died so quickly, and I’m not sure how to feel about Nasir and the feelings he’s starting to have about Zafira. I can just feel it blossoming, and I’m not sure I’m on board. I don’t even really care about Altair, or any of the characters, which saddens me and definitely makes it hard for me to continue. But a part of me just really wants to press on. What should I do?

Do you ever experience burnouts from a certain genre? Does trying a different genre pull you from a rut?
Do you have any tips on maintaining concentration?
Have you read We Hunt the Flame? Do you think it’s worth continuing, since I’m already at the halfway point?

4 Responses to 5 Reasons Why It’s Taking Me Forever to Finish We Hunt the Flame

  1. You can most definitely still call yourself a book blog – it’s your blog, so call it what you like!

    I’m sorry to hear you’re a bit burned out, but it sounds like that quality time with your son is lovely. If you’re really not enjoying a book I don’t think there’s anything wrong with DNFing it – it doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to give it a try another time, and I’m a big believer that we read certain books at exactly the right time. It could be that you need to read something different, perhaps a fast-paced, easy YA contemporary, or you might just have to embrace the slump – and that’s fine, too!

    Reading and blogging should be fun, so if you’re in a reading slump there’s nothing wrong with taking a break from it, watching Netflix and letting yourself reboot until you’re really excited to start reading again. 🙂

    • I think it’s frustrating me that I have like, 3 books I’m “reading” right now on Goodreads, and I think I need to just drop them and try some other things for a while and then come back to them in the future, if I think the time is right. I think that would help.

      Sometimes it just feels like if I get in a slump, my blog falls behind and I feel so excluded from the community, which is a real bummer. ? Blogging really is like having a second job if you want to feel included the community!

  2. I think it’s totally fair that you want to spend time with your kid! I think many parents think this stage (and all other, lbr) will l st forever, but the hard truth is… it doesn’t. So spending time with him is a 100% totally valid reason not to spend that time reading!

    Also… the book is just not that great. It was a tad painful for me to get through the whole thing and then at the end I gave it two stars. It was just such a generic fantasy with the same tropes as every other YA fantasy out there… but not executed as well.

    As for genre slumps I definitely suggest reading something completely different. Try historical murder mystery! When I had my worst slump ever I read an historical murder mystery and it was so different to what I usually read that it pulled me out straight away.

    I hope you find time to read something good soon, that doesn’t feel like a sacrifice for other things 🙂

    • Gah, I already miss the infant stage, even though I tried to 100% live in the moment with him when he was teeny tiny. Now he’s walking, and talking, and developing a personality of his own (kinda scary, tbh) and it’s so fun (and I’ll be honest, frustrating at times) to see him grow into a little human. So I know I need to pay him as much attention as I possibly can.

      I have seen lots of not-so-good reviews on We Hunt the Flame, which sucks. It makes me want to put it down all the more. Hm, do you have any recs for historical murder mystery? Might give it a try. ? I just finished a smut novel and I feel a little rejuvenated. ? Thanks Chiara! I miss talking to you, don’t be stranger! ?

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