Monday, February 28, 2022

Taking a break from reading

Guy taking a break

Oh no! I do not mean that I've stopped reading. Was that what you thought when you saw that I said I was taking a break from reading from the post title. Sorry to mislead, I'm mean more specifically while I'm reading, although, I do take a breather between books now and then.

What am I blathering on about, you ask? Well, let me tell you... I am a wuss. I like my books to be enjoyable, entertaining, and fun. I don't mind a little edgy, intense, and gripping now and then too, but I'm big on low angst and drama. I do not do angst and drama and I definitely do not do dark. After all, reading is my escape and I am big on taking care of my mental health.

So what do I mean when I talk about taking a break from reading? I recently decided to take a step outside of my comfort zone and try a book that was branded as a dark mafia romance. Now, I quite like the whole mafia concept, men who take what they want and damn the consequences, but most of the time, mafia seems to go hand in hand with dark so I mostly avoid it.

Bloodied Hands by Adelaide Forrest

With this recent book, I had read this particular author in the past and enjoyed her writing so I wanted to give it a shot since it's quite a hyped up book/series and very popular. I did ask in the author's book group how dark was dark and the author kindly responded by saying it was not that dark. There was a forced pregnancy where the hero replaced the heroine's birth control pills with placebos so that she would get pregnant and a kidnapping scene, but it was not that dark at all. More of a light grey and I could tolerate it since it didn't have any extreme dark elements. Yay!

But... it was intense. The hero was intense, the heroine was feisty and intense, and the pacing was intense. They seemed to go from one catastrophe to the next catastrophe and there was always some big thing they were dealing with that was on the verge of blowing up in their faces. Plus the hero was the head of a mafia crime syndicate so of course his whole life is dangerous.

Pregnant woman

It was tiring to read that kind of intensity. I felt exhausted reading the book though I did enjoy it for the most part, but... exhausted. I usually read a short book in a day and a long book over a couple of days. This book took me three days because I needed a break in between reading it. While I was reading, it got to the point where the build up and the intensity got to me and I needed to take a little breather. I think I was about 60% or so into the book, but I set it down in the evening when I was done reading for the day and I didn't pick it back up till the day after and not the next day. The next day, I surfed the internet, scrolled Facebook, and watched some YouTube videos because I needed the distance to come off that intensity high. Of course, it picked right back up again when I started reading the book again, but at least I'd had a little time off from it and I was able to get back to it feeling a bit more refreshed.

Even with the break though, by the time I got towards the end of the book when the heroine finds out about the pregnancy and she's freaking out (again! She freaks out a lot, that got tiresome too!) I started skimming a couple of chapters. I couldn't deal with the heroine's hysterics anymore. That chick needed to calm the eff down.

Girl freaking out

This is a very popular series and I'm glad I gave it a shot. I think I enjoyed it well enough but not enough to rush off and read the rest of the series in a binge. I need a break from it and I think that I would slowly make my way through it over time when I'm in the right kind of mood for this type of book. The thing it didn't do was convert me to the trope and make me a raving fan of dark-ish mafia romance.

That's just one specific book, but in general with reading, I do need a break between books even when I've enjoyed the book. Maybe I suffer from a mini book hangover after every book, but after I'm done with a book, I always write the book review for it immediately or as soon as possible. I feel like it's a bit of a purge for me to review and let go of the book I've just read so that I can move on. But I tend not to pick up a book immediately after I've finished one book. I tend to limit myself to one book a day, or if I finish a book early enough and there's enough time in between that I'm doing something else then maybe starting a second book later in the day that I do not finish.

Pile of books with Kindle

I've seen a lot of people say that they move onto the next book immediately after finishing the previous one. And they read about three or four books a day. I can't do that. If the books are very short, say under a hundred pages, I could possibly read two books a day, but that's rare. I think after I finish a book, I like to spend some time digesting what I've read and letting the feelings the book invoked rumble around inside for me for a while. Some books take more rumbling than others because they stay with me longer and I like to dwell and reminisce and think about them. I like to turn the characters around in my head and like to relive scenes I've read in my imagination a little before I'm entirely ready to let them go. I don't know if other people do that, so this could just be me being weird.

If I jumped from one book to the next immediately, one after the other, I could probably read a lot more books than I do now, but I try to remind myself reading is not a race, it's a marathon. That said, I can't help but feel like it's not a marathon I will ever finish since I'm forever adding more to my to-be-read list and there are new books being released every day. Sigh. The lament of every book reader out there, maybe?

Anyway, I'm wondering, do you take breaks between books or do you jump right into the next one after you've finished one book? Please tell me I'm not the only weirdo out there who takes a little mental and emotional break between books.

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  1. I shall swerve that one then. Not keen on a forced pregnancy. At. All. Other than that I usually dive straight into the next book although there have been times when I've had to re read various passages, or chapters, if the book has grabbed me. KJ Charles' Society of Gentlemen series springs to mind here

    1. If a book is really good and I can't let it go quite yet, I will reread certain scenes and the epilogue a few times before I can finally let it go. I tend to keep thinking about it and replaying it in my mind over and over.

  2. That book doesn't sound like something I would like, for me yes I often go straight from one book to the next, I usually write up my review first depending on when I finish the book and have my next book ready to read most times it is fine although there have been times when it has taken me a bit to get into the new book especially if the last one was fantastic :)

    Have Fun


    1. It's a super popular book and series but I think it depends on the person and their reading tastes.