Way back in the summer of 1995 I came down with strep throat and had a very bad reaction to the antibiotics I was given for the infection. To make matters worse, we were travelling at the time and I was away from my regular doctor. I saw a “doc-in-the-box” who refused to believe that I was having an extremely painful reaction to Erythomician. All-in-all it took me six weeks to finally feel better. One consequence of feeling so poorly was that I lost my appetite and had to make an effort to take even a bite of something I normally liked.
I’m feeling the same way right now about reading. I’ve lost my appetite for books and have tried to make an effort to read. Last night I went to bed early, thinking I would pick out a book I’d been wanting to start, then read in bed for an hour or so. I sat in front of my bookshelf and nothing looked “appetizing”. Books I bought years ago looked dry and boring. It was like I was sitting at a feast and just picking at my food, unable to take the first bite. I ended up playing games on my phone for an hour then going to sleep.
This morning I remembered what I did that summer of strep throat to get myself to eat: I made myself eat something I liked for 5 minutes. After a while my hunger kicked in and I remembered that food was good. This morning I chose the most appetizing-looking book on my shelf, set a timer for 5 minutes and read.
When the timer went off I was already involved in the story and surprised that 5 minutes were already over. That I put the book down and searched for information about the story online doesn’t necessarily prove that the experiment was a failure — it means I was so intrigued with what I read that I wanted to learn more. Tonight I will go to bed early again and see if I can read for an hour or so. Look for the book in in the sidebar to change soon. (FYI: Pale Fire was excruciatingly boring).