I love reading. Love it in so many ways that I feel at a loss when I don’t have a book with me. But for the last few weeks, I’ve felt like I have nothing to read.

This is not the actual case — publishers send me a lot of books they hope I will read. Most of the titles I review on this blog are sent to me directly from publishers. I’ve started in on a few books that seemed interesting but, after the first 30 pages, were a bore. Even the last book on this book a week series didn’t spark anything in me, but I was on a train with nothing else to do, so I read it.

Last night, I went to Barnes and Noble. My goal was to wander the store and pick something. Still, after a half hour, I left empty handed. I spent another half hour going through the titles on my shelves, and still nothing.

As readers, do you ever get like this? I’m surprised. I can’t remember a time when it’s happened before. My solution has been, so far, to read magazines, but they don’t usually supply the same experience a book can. And I’m worried about this un-readerly thing since I’m going to Key West in a few weeks and planned to bring a stack of books to read on the plane and by the pool. What if I find nothing of interest? What will I do then? Nap?

This morning, I put a big order in at bn.com, a mix of books I’ve heard others rave about, one that I read about in the Washington Post. I’m worried that I’m back in the position I was when I started this book blog — that I won’t read something unless I can write about it, and that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.


  1. Marisa on April 28, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Jen, I feel like these days, I spend more time in the state of not having anything to read than I do feeling like I have a queue of great books at my disposal. And, my apartment is absolutely filled with unread books, so it’s not for lack of material.

    Sometimes I wonder if there just aren’t as many good books out there, or if my expectations have gotten unreasonably high.

  2. Carol C on April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I go through slumps too. I enjoyed When Will There be Good News by K. Atkinson. I recently read Love Walked in by M. De Los Santos. It might be more appealing to a younger person like you, but it is set in Philadelphia. I believe that there is a sequel.

  3. sexy on April 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. B.J. on July 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I felt that way last night. I've just finished my Master's comps and had the summer to myself to read what I want, and I am in the mood for nothing on my shelf or anything that I've seen elsewhere. I generally don't get this way; there are always books I want to read, but lately, I've been antsy and indecisive. I spent two hours last night just searching my personal shelves going through books I've not read, and nothing at all seemed worth reading.

Leave a Comment