Friday, March 24, 2006

Reading anxiety

I've been obsessed with blogs and blogging lately, at the expense of reading, reading real books, that is. That's not to say I haven't been reading them, but I haven't at the rate I usually do. I'm reading Ha Jin's novel Waiting, which should be quick, but I'm progressing through it very slowly. The thing is, I place such a high value on reading, that if I'm distracted from it by something else, I start to feel guilty and anxious, like something's wrong. I shouldn't be reading blogs, I should be reading my novel! I'm getting sucked into the distracting world of the Internet, and I'm afraid I won't emerge! I'll never be a serious reader again -- oh no!!!

But, of course, what's really going on is complicated. Part of it is that things at my job are difficult right now, a problem which extends itself into my time away from work, leaving it sometimes difficult for me to concentrate. So reading other people's blogs is a nice way to deal with a lack of concentration -- I can move from short post to short post and not have to focus for too long. And this is something that will pass eventually.

The other thing that's going on is simply the excitement of discovering a new thing, reading blogs and writing one, which will be distracting for a while, but then will settle down into being normal again. I can find a way to fit blog-reading into my day without taking too much time away from reading. Although, at the same time, there are so many good blogs, it's hard not to feel like I'm missing a ton of good writing. To my fellow blog readers and writers, how do you keep from spending all your time reading blogs?

Does anyone else occasionally feel an irrational anxiety about reading? This is reading for FUN, I'm talking about here -- why should there be any anxiety involved at all? The answer to that one, at least as far as I'm concerned, would, I'm afraid, be long and complicated and involve a lot of self-analysis. I'll spare you that. At least for today. I'd like to come back later and post a poem for Poetry Friday. And look for my thoughts about Waiting soon.