Poking at books and then shopping instead

by Jackie Ferrari in #AmReading

i don’t want to feel any feels so i can’t read any books

Remember all those books I took on vacation? I read… parts of some of them. Why? Partly because I was reading a book in Spanish, which is super slow for me (Lo Que La Nieve Susurra Al Caer). Partly because… I took the wrong books? Or I wasn’t in the mood? Or because I took something I “had” to read that really wasn’t my jam and it weighed the other things down but I don’t know.

I just couldn’t open up to being in a book. Even on the plane. I took naps and scrolled. (New super soft comfy jeans! Poshmark for a new sweater and to replace some leggings I ripped. ALL THE SUBSTACKS ABOUT CLOTHES: The Wardrobe Edit. The Cereal Aisle. Five Things You Should Buy and then In Pursuit of Clean Countertops just to remind me that we are ALL buying things to try to be someone and maybe I should think about who I’m trying to be and why even if I still buy the jeans.)

I think maybe I didn’t read anything because I don’t particularly feel like feeling anything right now, and scrolling and online shopping don’t ask anything of me except the effort involved in ordering things and then… shipping them back. (Is that a hobby?) Also on my list of weird things I do for fun—yesterday I wanted to “treat” myself after mailing some things… back, yes, okay AND ALSO a couple of real things to real humans—but I didn’t want to buy any more books (I KNOW WHO EVEN AM I) and I had a house full of chocolate and cookies and it was too late in the day for coffee. So I went to Starbucks and purchased a “Lavender Creme Frappuccino” fully expecting to hate it.

I did. But it was pretty and some sad thing inside myself was soothed by its purple and the whipped cream topping, at least until I poured it into my sink when I got home and it sat there for a disturbingly long time before melting, because binders and other non-food ingredients, I guess.

Here it is.

And here is the reason I didn’t buy any books (although I’m going out today to buy How to Be Old: Lessons in Living Boldly from the Accidental Icon, by Lyn Slater ):

I finished Fangirl Down and liked it (more on that next week) and started Happily Never After and am liking that, but I got to the part where there’s about to be a big hot steamy sex scene and I’m not in the mood but maybe I will be later so I stopped (that’s probably a whole email topic in itself right there no?) so then I started Canadian Boyfriend. I’m craving “keeps my attention” but also “does all the work for me” and “only asks for just-right emotional investment” which almost doesn’t exist. (If you’re in that space, try Sarah Adams’ The Cheat Sheet or Sarina Bowen’s Shenanigans.) It’s pretty specific.

Then I thought, maybe some non-fiction? Witness my #AmReading shelf, below: I could finish Airplane Mode. (Traveling with and without US passport privilege, basically, and while good not the “fun and irreverent travel memoir” it was marketed as). That would at least provide a sense of completion. And I know I’ll like Slow Productivity, Cal Newport practically lives in my head. BUT I DO NOT FEEL PRODUCTIVE right now.

First Lie Wins is too stressful. The Brandon Sanderson is too long and demanding. I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons is… I dunno, I don’t want dragons right now? The Dawn of Everything is too heavy. Literally.

Maybe How to Be Old will be the book that pulls me back in, and maybe my next missive will instead be about Duolingo and Substack newsletters. Or maybe the sun will come out and my funk will evaporate with the coming of spring [intentionally does not look at weather forecast].

Or maybe I will just eat the rest of these, the best cookies ever IF AND ONLY IF you replace the heathen raisins of horror with chocolate chips (and don’t soak them, I mean, you probably could have guessed that right?).

In closing, I am not in the mood to do ANYTHING and I hope that changes soon but thank you for indulging me. Go buy some books. OH I KNOW buy MY books. Right now I don’t feel like I will ever write another one but I probably will (honestly it’s probably why I’m so cranky) and then you will WANT to have read the earlier ones! So you can compare and contrast! And also because buying my books and telling me you like them will cheer me up and then I will read more and recommend more books and we will ALL WIN SO:

Playing the Witch Card is the witchiest and also has Tarot and a poodle.

The Chicken Sisters has dueling fried chicken restaurants and sisters and reality TV.

In Her Boots has bffs who will do anything for each other but probably shouldn’t have, and also literary fraud and a farm and mini-ponies.

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