When is a slump not a slump?
When I first started reading romance I couldn't really afford to buy many but I did borrow from the library. I seem to recall easily reading three books in a week. Now I didn't do that during school because I knew myself enough to know I would pick reading a romance over reading my history text book and I already had enough procrastination issues.
So I remember my summers off from university as very much romance reading packed. I used to get annoyed because I would have to go in to work and all I wanted to do was sit and finish my book. I remember laying on my bed for hours and reading well into the night - Hey! Does that mean I can blame romance books for my nocturnal ways? Nah. That's pushing it. - I didn't know I was a slow reader at the time, I thought every one took a good eight hours to finish a typical book.
The Kinsales that I read back then nearly did me in time wise!
Then I got out of university, and landed my first full-time job which turned out to be a nightmare of epic proportions. During this nightmare I met and fell in love with Bob. Why he fell in love with a weepy mess of a woman I'll never know but I'm grateful! I cried all the way into work and all the way home and reading time? Forget it. I barely had time to eat with Bob before I had to go home and crawl into bed so I could get up at 5:45 in the morning.
Every spare minute of my weekends were spent with Bob. I'm not sure if I told you guys this but my parents refused to meet him the entire first year we dated. Bob was still married although he and Sue had filed for divorce, he was 12 years my senior and my boss (for a time). My mother said it was her Catholic nature that wouldn't allow him to come into her house (I don't know, something about divorce). Amazingly I hadn't seen anything Catholic about her in my 23 years but okay. So basically, I woke up, showered and left the house and didn't come home until I was ready for bed.
Also, not so much time to read when you are being courted ;)
Finally a year and a half after meeting we got married and we started our life together.
Anyone who tells you the first year of marriage is bliss is LYING!!
Having never slept in the same bed as someone else, I was shocked to find this very big heat sink rolling over every ten minutes onto what should have been my side of the bed. I barely slept for the first three months of marriage and no, it wasn't for a good reason! Then there was the worry that I wasn't a good wife. Luckily I outgrew that. Poor Bob.
Anyways, I hadn't read a romance in about 2 years when I finally found time to pick up a book again. I didn't have as much time to read as I did when on summer break but I probably read a book a week in between work and home. I think also, I am more mobile than when I was younger. Bob and I like to get out and go shopping and sometimes we go out for an hour, come home for an hour and then out for another 3 hours and then home.
Then the panic attacks got out of control and I couldn't sit still because I was always thinking that I should be forcing myself out of the house. That was three years of whoop-de-doo and I only read auto buy authors during that time. I had also discovered AAR and if a book got lots of buzz I would pick it up usually to a good result. Still, maybe a book every three weeks.
Then the slump hit and I'm pretty sure I didn't read anything except Anne Stuart and Suzanne Brockmann, oh, LKH and Janet Evanovich for two years. Nobody else. So Stuart and Brockmann maybe have 4 books released in a year, and LKH and Evanovich had one each about? So 6 books in a year. Yikes.
So how is it, 18 years after reading my first romance book I feel like I shouldn't be allowed to call myself an avid reader anymore?
I'm definitely above 6 books a year so it's not like I'm at my worst. (In all honesty, I'm glad that I had someplace like AAR to go to because it was there that I found out there were such things as slumps. I mean, if I hadn't had a word to put to what was happening I'm not sure I would have done well)
I think part of my problem is I go to the 16' romance section and while browsing the books I'm thinking 'have it, read it, read her and ain't going there again, never heard of her, really bad grade at AAR, I know the name but was the book panned or recommended by bloggers?'
I definitely have a 'been there, done that' kind of feeling when I go to the bookstore nowadays. Nothing like when I first started reading and the bookstore had maybe a 4' section of romance books. Every book was shiny and new and a potentially great book. Now I have had my share of 'meh' books and 'crap, I really wish the author hadn't done that' books and then there are the authors who decided to move on.
Maybe I've become jaded. Maybe it's a world of too many options.
How can I walk into a bookstore with the biggest selection of romances available and find nothing new that peaks my interest? Why am I not making the time to sit and read instead of plunking myself in front of the TV to watch the latest and greatest? Course, I'm having a hard time sitting still for any length of time lately so half hour shows on the DVR keep me amused for a length of time before I have to pop up and do something my brain won't stop going on about.
On that note, I have been renting movies and then not watching them which is not like me either.
I don't know. I thought maybe my readership card needed to be revoked but maybe something else is going on. Let's hope I figure this out so I can sit and read like the book lover I truly believe I am! I mean, if I'm not a romance reader, then what the hell am I?