Competitive Streaks and Reading Slumps

I have a competitive streak. I think this would surprise some people, but to my family it's a well known fact, a trait exhibited throughout the years, usually where card or board games were concerned.

I have a particular talent for games of chance, and less of one for those involving strategy. My battle tactic for chess is basically just kill them all. I'm also terrible at scrabble. I hate scrabble. And boggle. All the word games really. I'm well aware of the irony.

In contrast, my twin sister is very skilled at word games. She also doesn't get annoyed when she loses and she's never flipped a chessboard over in frustration. Not that I've ever done that … I believe there's an extra level of competitiveness involved when your opponents are also your siblings. And when one of those siblings happens to be your twin … well, let's just say that competitive feeling is amplified.

Lately this feeling has extended beyond games to our individual reading lists. While my twin powers through book after book, I'm having trouble finishing just one.

Yep, I've hit a reading slump.

At present I'm half-way through two books, 'Paris Letters' by Janice MacLeod and 'A Conjuring of Light' by V. E. Schwab. While I'm having no problems reading a range of articles I haven't been able to concentrate long enough to finish either book, reading and rereading the same paragraphs over and over until the information sinks in. It's incredibly frustrating. The ridiculous thing is I'm enjoying both stories. 'Paris Letters' is an engaging and illuminating memoir and 'ACOL' is the conclusion to my favourite trilogy.

The last time I hit a reading slump it went on for months and was only broken once I found a new series to hold my focus (Sergei Lukyanenko's 'Night Watch' trilogy, except it's no longer a trilogy. Douglas Adams would approve). But this time I'm reading a book ('ACOL') I desperately want to finish ( I need to know how it all ends! I have this horrible feeling someone is going to die. Please don't let it be Kell. Or Lila. Or Rhy. Or … just anybody) and so I'm trying a different approach.

Yesterday I had an epiphany: buy the eBook.

I know this might sound odd. My reasoning is this–I only have a couple of paragraphs to read per page and, in theory, this means my mind won't be able to fixate on previous paragraphs quite as much purely I can't see them on the page. I also won't have a physical representation of all the pages I still have to read.

Of course it's only early days, but I think this might just work. I might beat this reading slump (and my sister–just a bit of healthy competition!) yet.

Until next time,
Miss Fif