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August: the Month of No Worries

August 11, 2010

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I find myself in the middle of a slump, here at chez grey-armchair-formerly-known-as-striped (for the record, when I began the blog, there was a striped armchair). Both a reading slump and thus a writing-my-thoughts-about-books slump (oddly enough, this is not the same as a general blogging slump, since I’m rather content to write about more general book-ish things).
I wasn’t particularly worried about the slump; we all have them, and I figured I would just ride it out. But then I suddenly remembered that books, and reading, are some of the most joyful things in my life. If I didn’t want to pick up a book, something must be wrong.

So, I’ve declared the rest of August to be Eva’s month of no worries. I shall be reading completely at whim, with a reckless disregard for challenges, resolutions, and my standard practices. There shall be no keeping of stats, and no tallying at the end of the month. For the next 20 days, I’m going to read as if I’d never heard of blogging.

I’ll still be blogging of course, but I’m freeing myself from my usual loose blog-y format and schedule. And I’ll still be reading your wonderful blogs, which will definitely influence which books I decide to pick up. But I want no obligations reading…to follow where a string leads me and abandon books as I see fit, even if they’re good books, simply because the timing isn’t right. I’m going to spend this last full month of summer delighting in the written word, going on pleasure binges like I used to to gear up for the school year.

I’m normally someone who adores challenges and lists and arbitrary self-imposed rules. But every once in awhile, I need to kick up my heels and just renew my passion. Because slumps? Who needs ’em?

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41 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2010 3:50 am

    Good for you, Eva! I’m also a hyper-organized person who hates to deviate from my preordained list. But it’s really important to do so now and then. I hope you enjoy the next couple of weeks, wherever it takes you!

  2. August 11, 2010 4:44 am

    Great post Eva. I think thats spot on, I have always admired how you take on your challenges and been rather in awe as I just couldnt do it. I have done the odd one, but never more than two. I am finding reading a huge amount of submissions for an award longlist a little ‘scheduled’ for me but am trying something new too this august it would seem.

    Oh and random point but I had real review rage this morning… at myself. Nothing I wrote was write or was happy with so I had to have a major moody strop with myself and walk away. I still havent dared to go back yet.

  3. August 11, 2010 5:07 am

    I hope this helps with your slump- I’m too schedule paranoid to do something like this. :)

  4. August 11, 2010 5:43 am

    I completely rebel against lists when I make them for myself, so I know the feeling. I can’t stand having a schedule or obligations – it just never works out! I hope you enjoy your obligation free month and I look forward to seeing what you read when you read by whims alone.

  5. August 11, 2010 5:44 am

    Great idea Eva! There is nothing better than sitting in the summer sun reading a book just because it is so good that you can’t not read it. Just letting yourself drift away on the waves of great storytelling. Have a great august :-)

  6. August 11, 2010 6:07 am

    I love it Eva! I think we all need to go completely at whim occasionally, so I hope you enjoy it and read some excellent books!

  7. August 11, 2010 6:30 am

    Enjoy yourself. I wish you the best August of no worries ever. You can even extend it to September – I give you permission:).

  8. August 11, 2010 6:43 am

    I’ve taken a much more relaxed approach to things this summer so far (just three posts a week instead of every day) and it has been tremendously rejuventating; I think I’ll be quite content to return to a more demanding reading life in September. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

  9. August 11, 2010 6:46 am

    I’ve been trying this new thing where I pull at least 8 books off of my shelves to read for the month. (This allows me some extra room for books that I see at the library that I want, etc.) Then, if I don’t finish those 8 in the month, they get pushed into the next month, limiting my whim books. I’m not sure how this is working out yet. . . :P

  10. August 11, 2010 7:00 am

    What a great month! Enjoy August!

  11. August 11, 2010 7:32 am

    Yea Eva! I completely agree w”no worries”, enjoy the rest of August.

  12. August 11, 2010 8:15 am

    I would just like to say, “WORD” and give you a virtual fist pump.

  13. August 11, 2010 8:50 am

    This is similar to my newish philosophy for the whole year. It works into my life so much better. Enjoy your carefree month!

  14. August 11, 2010 9:31 am

    I’m in the same boat! No obligations reading sounds like just the ticket to liberation.

    Freeeedom! (singing like George Michael)

  15. August 11, 2010 9:50 am

    That’s a great idea. August is such a blah month and I’ve been very slumpy and chronic fatigue-y and generally out of sorts. Declaring time out is a very good practice. Although my reading has been fine, perhaps because I decided to treat myself with just what I wanted anyway. Good luck with kicking back and I am sure you’ll soon feel wonderful for it.

  16. August 11, 2010 9:57 am

    Right on. Enjoy yourself!

  17. Kathleen permalink
    August 11, 2010 10:01 am

    Enjoy August. I love that you will only be focused on reading for fun! And I have a feeling I will hear about some really good books from you!

  18. August 11, 2010 10:17 am

    Great call. A reading summer vacation, of sorts. Have fun, Eva!

  19. August 11, 2010 10:46 am

    Life is too short to create any lists that “restrict” you, instead of giving you the freedom to just savor life. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

  20. August 11, 2010 11:25 am

    Good for you. :) Even though you might feel obligated to make sure you get all the reviews/challenges, etc. done for your blog readers, you need to chillax. You need to do it for yourself and make sure you’re enjoying it – Otherwise it becomes a chore and you start resenting it. :P

    Enjoy the rest of your month in a relaxing reading way, hun. :)

  21. August 11, 2010 12:17 pm

    So very true. If you’re reading and blogging for fun then why make a stressful endeavor out of it? Enjoy renewing your passion. :)

  22. August 11, 2010 12:36 pm

    I needed my August to be just like that, so I completely understand!

  23. winstonsdad permalink
    August 11, 2010 12:56 pm

    have some fun and don’t worry eva ,all the best stu

  24. August 11, 2010 1:29 pm

    I’ve been in a similar kind of slump! Perhaps I should adopt your challenge! :)

  25. August 11, 2010 1:54 pm

    This is the way I have always read, and still do. There are so many ‘musts’ in life and reading is one of the things that is pure, pure pleasure. No strings, no rules, no requirements. I have joined a few challenges just because I liked the idea of them and quit in almost no time. I just can’t read what I am ‘supposed’ to read. I want to read only what I want. I do write book reports on my blog but they are for me to be able to look back on to see what I thought of a book. Oh, Eva, may this reading vacation always stay.

  26. August 11, 2010 2:02 pm

    Enjoy, my dear! I imagine that you’ll still manage to read the most wonderfully diverse, eclectic selection of books imaginable!

  27. August 11, 2010 2:45 pm

    Very sane, very sensible.

  28. August 11, 2010 4:58 pm

    Good for you! I was in a reading slump for a week or two until I got back into the swing of things, but now I am in a blogging slump. I think I just feel to obligated to my blog and I really don’t like that feeling. I have been trying to step away and remember why I started my insane project in the first place, and that helps.

    Anyway, enjoy your fun reading! I know I have a fun read planned on the 24th (Yes, I have to go read Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins) so I am certainly looking forward to that!

  29. August 11, 2010 8:41 pm

    Wheeee, this sounds like a great idea! Enjoy!

  30. August 12, 2010 12:18 am

    Sounds fantastic! Isn’t it weird that something that we love can become tedious and limiting when approached the wrong way?

  31. August 12, 2010 2:59 am

    Sounds wonderful! Hope you have a very relaxing August! :)

  32. ana permalink
    August 12, 2010 5:16 am

    Your kicking over the traces post recalled a novel title. Took a while to surface but here it is. Edna O’Brien’s “August is a Wicked Month” . O’Brien was a favourite writer in my high school years. Reading [surreptitiously] her “The Country Girls” nearly caused my precocious friend to be suspended from our convent school. That’s the early 1960’s for you.

    Enjoy following your whims. We will enjoy hearing about your adventures.

  33. August 12, 2010 12:41 pm

    This sounds like a great idea. What a perfect way to end the summer!

  34. August 13, 2010 5:53 am

    Good for you! I find this is exactly the kind of thing I need when I am suffering from reader’s block brought on by too many challenges or obligations.

  35. August 13, 2010 3:26 pm

    I say this is the way to get out of a slump. All the challenges, reviews, etc. are great fun to do but sometimes it does start to feel like a chore. And, that’s when you’ve gotta go read at whim. It’s the best. Enjoy the freedom :)

  36. August 14, 2010 3:44 pm

    I had a similar experience at the beginning of the summer. I was so bogged down with book tours and reading for school that I just wanted to be out of it. Honestly, I feel kind of bad because I know I let some people down for book tours& didn’t do as good of a job, but I learned a lot. Especially that book tours just aren’t really my thing. It was nice for traffic and for the free book, but I have a library and is that really what my blog is about? No. I’m so much happier as a blogger now!

  37. August 21, 2010 3:14 pm

    Good for you! I like challenges and group reads, but I simply had to admit to myself that my unstable tendencies (particularly when it comes to reading) make these activities impractical, if not stressful. Now I always read at whim :)

  38. September 9, 2010 9:34 am

    I love reading this way. It sounds like you had fun!! Now I’m off to check out what books you read on your meandering path…

  39. September 15, 2010 3:09 am

    My reading always tends to be like that :) That’s why I have resigned myself to failing all reading challenges that I take up :(


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