Why Can’t I Read Non-Romance Books??!

I know I’ve said this in posts past, but I’m finding it so hard to read emotional books. I keep buying them, I keep starting them, but I continue to quit over and over. It’s been a real struggle for me. Any non-reader may say I’m being dramatic, but I think you guys will all understand. I feel like something inside me has been broken. I have always loved to read contemporary YA stories with a focus on our current social issues, and I’m so behind the times because I can’t bring myself to finish them. The moment the story turns dark I find them impossible to complete.

Am I hiding from the struggle?

When I try to talk my anxiety down, I ask myself the two questions I’d ask anyone else:

First, what is the rush? If you’re not feeling it, they’ll always be there later.

Well, that is true, but the problem is I feel left behind. Contemporary YA reads mean a lot to me, and I’m missing all the dialogue. I still haven’t read The Hate U Give, and the movie is already out. I’m missing the conversation, and that kills me. By the time I read them, everyone else will be talked out.

Second, I’d ask them if maybe they could be okay without those books in their life.

I’m NOT okay with it! I can’t stand how I keep starting these amazing books, and a third of the way into them I put them back down again. There’s so much I want to say, but I don’t feel right reviewing a book I haven’t completed. So, I end saying nothing.

It isn’t okay. It’s awful. I need to fix it!

I’m not one of those readers who looks down on any genre. I love YA. I love Comedy. And I’m a HUGE fan of romance novels. In fact, I’m finding that the only books I finish lately are fluffy and lighthearted. These I can tread insatiably. I’m even finding myself leaning more toward the old style romance’s too, with the half naked historical dude on the cover, with a buxom blonde posed seductively on his lap. I haven’t read bodice ripping historical romance in years!

Is this what having a hard year causes?
Does you lose all substance?
If so, how in the world do I get it back?!

I’m currently stuck in this loop with The Wicker King. I’m loving it… but I know it’s about to get sadder and I’m really struggling with picking it back up to read! I’m going to try my hardest to push through it. Maybe that’s the secret? Maybe I just need to tackle my mental block with blunt force. Plow through it. If I can, then maybe I can go back and try Sadie again. And After the Fall! All these brilliant books with something to say. That’s what I want. I want to read light and fun, and I want to read dark and intense.

Has anyone ever experienced this before?
Seriously, I can’t be the only one!

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

21 Responses

  1. Sahi

    My whole of 2018 was kinda similar… I love fantasy but I just couldn’t read a lot because I didn’t feel I could handle the intensity… I mostly stuck to genre romance, both YA and adult because I knew I would get my HEA … of course I got into some dark books by chance but avoided most of them…
    I don’t know if I’m really out of it yet, so I can’t say what you can you do next though… Just have fun with the books you are able to read…


  2. I can totally understand this. I haven’t had this as a long term thing but there have been periods where I just can’t face another emotional rollercoaster of a book. And, like you, I flip to the light and fluffy reads (and yes the bodice ripping historical romances).

    I don’t think there’s any point in forcing it or putting yourself under pressure to pick up emotionally charged books when you’re not in the right frame of mind. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, not a chore. I’m pretty sure if you give it a bit more time, and stick with the light and fluffy (and enjoy them rather than feeling guilty about the books you’re not reading), you’ll reach a stage where you’re ready to pick them up again.


  3. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. I think you just want to read happy things. It is a mood thing. I would stick with what you love until you’re in the mood for a change and then dive into one of these.


  4. Yap, you are not alone in this, for me sometimes it gets hard and I need to read something simple and fluffy and see if I can get in the mood for an emotional read afterwards… I try not to force it and use that opportunity to explore books i wouldn’t otherwise grab 😊


  5. Absolutely not alone in this. After you’ve been through (and still are) a period of time where serious shit is happening that is out of your control, you just can’t tolerate it for awhile in any area you CAN control. For me – it’s the grocery store and the mailbox and TV (I even dropped This is Is!) I don’t know when or if I’ll get to the point where I don’t feel panic or anxiety with them.

    My therapist had some great advice for getting things back that you wamted back: start small. Have someone you trust recommend a YA book that might ease you back in. Start shallow, keep going as long as your head stays above the water line.

    Or I could just yell at you from my office. Ha!


  6. I think it’s harsh to accuse yourself of losing all substance. In fact, I would argue the opposite (after our many conversations,) that you are so full of substance right now that you need some escapism, and light and fluffy is best for that after everything you’ve been through this year. Stop beating yourself up and let it be what it is. You’ll get there. It’s just not the right time. And (JMO) it’s never a good idea to push through a book. Reading should be more organic so it can be enjoyed.

    Also, I love how we are so opposite in everything. I hate reading hyped books. I want to miss out on the dialogue and then read it when it’s fifteen minutes have passed. LOL

    Great post.


  7. I only read romance, I know that makes me seem less refined as a reader because I don’t read for education or knowledge and I’m not into the classics. But I generally switch between contemporary and YA/NA depending on what I’m “craving”. There are times I’ll read a description and if it sounds too heavy for my mood I’ll chicken out and read something fluffier. But I’ve never had to deal with your readers block, I feel for you. I try to force myself to finish a book even if I’m not enjoying it. Though I’ve been pep talking myself that it’s ok to not finish a book, it’s still hard. I hope you can get over your block.


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