I'm going to be up front about this and just say that currently...I'm not reading anything.
That's not exactly true--obviously I read things like emails and street signs and cooking directions; I read for my internship and for school; but when it comes to pleasure reading: nope. Nada. Zilch.
I've been in this reading slump for months. I had a nice little burst at the start of the summer where I knocked out a few short story collections, but lately it's like every time I pick up a book it exhausts me.
This is pretty strange, given that I've always been a devout reader. I'm very much a "read the whole book in a day even if it means making terrible sleep decisions" kind of person, so my late lack of motivation to read even a short story is both odd and very sad.
I've seen a lot of people in online communities like the book/literature side of Tumblr (Booklr) and the book community on Instagram experience worry over similar reading droughts. A lot of the academically-minded seem to feel like failures and the more casual readers feel like a vital piece of them has been lost. In both cases, you get the clear sense that people feel like there is something wrong with them for not reading the way that they used.
For my situation, I believe many factors are at play: I had a terrible, soul-sucking job this summer, senioritis/academic exhaustion is kicking my ass, my health has been even worse than usual, financial and other life stuff is stressing me out, etc.
In some ways it does feel like a personal failing that I haven't read a full book in forever, but at the same time I think it's important to keep some things in mind:
1. Interests change, and that's okay. You have no responsibility to be exactly as you were 5 years/months/even minutes ago.
2. You can define your own successes. Maybe I'm failing to read but I'm succeeding in keeping my life together, doing well in school, getting out of bed today, etc.
Of course, none of this stops me from occasional panics...
I don't think this slump is forever. I'm sure I'll pull out of it once things slow down and I have a little more time to myself. For now I'll keep on trucking and drink a lot of tea and enjoy this nice fall weather while it lasts.
Over and out,