My Reading Lapse, with Grief

Reading has been hard for me since my mother died last May.

Part of it, I know, is because I associate reading with her.  My mother was not a great reader, but she insisted I become one.  She read to me all the time as a child, and as soon as I could read myself, I devoured books.  I received book shopping sprees with each straight-A report card, and in the 80s, $50 could do some mean business in Waldenbooks.

Words are my life, my passion. I read books and write books for a living.  I’m a professor of literature, and still, I struggle to get through novels for enjoyment.

To read for school?  I do it, because I have to.  I can’t not read for school; it’s my job.  But for enjoyment?  Every page is a torment, every percentage on the Kindle hard-fought for.

I’ve spoken to my psychologist about it, and we both agree I need to shut off my brain, which has been impossible since Mom died.  I have so many other things roiling just under the surface that I can’t seem to concentrate.

And then, of course, if I do, I feel guilty, as if I am betraying her memory in some way.  By not thinking about her.  By doing something pleasurable for myself.

I want my words back.  I want them all.  I want this guilt to fade and the love to remain in its place.

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2 thoughts on “My Reading Lapse, with Grief”

  1. I’m so sorry your mother died. I used to struggle with reading for pleasure too and then I found romance fiction–something easy with a happy ending. You might want to try it. Harlequin offers groups of novels on amazon.com for kindle.

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