Okay, so first of all, this post title is probably more dramatic than it needs to be because what I’m writing about is just books. It’s just books! Books are good! Books are not scary and bad and problem! At least most of the time. Also, apologies for the weird and rambling nature of this post, it’s just a lot of words and thoughts spilling out with no organization, so sorry.
Anyway, onto the point of the post: I don’t know what’s wrong with me, and, specifically, my reading tastes. I know my tastes and reading habits have changed a lot since I graduated college and specifically since one of my best friends from high school died of a rare heart condition, as I discussed in this post, but it’s just frustrating that I can’t read what I used to love reading.
I can’t read serious or depressing contemps anymore. Even if the book has nothing to do with my own experiences and I can’t find any way to relate to the protagonist’s situation, I just can’t do it if it’s depressing and serious. I get too stressed out and reading books like that caused me anxiety. I tried to read YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE by Rachel Lynn Solomon recently, and throughout the whole book I practically felt sick to my stomach because of one of the “romances” and because it was just too dark for me.
I know there’s nothing WRONG with gravitating more towards fantasy and fluffy contemps, but it just doesn’t feel like ME. I used to love gritty, lyrical, sad contemps and everything I read had to be SAD and INTENSE. Now, I just can’t read stuff like that. There are lots of books like that that I would like to read, but whenever I try to read one, I find myself wanting to DNF it because it’s too anxiety producing. Is there something wrong with me? Is it my PTSD kicking in? I know in my head it’s okay to read other things, but I just miss my old reading habits.
I don’t know if I should abandon those types of contemporaries completely for now or keep trying to get myself to enjoy them again. I know there’s no reason I HAVE to read that kind of book, but I just miss it. I miss being able to read whatever I want and have an emotional response, but not an emotional response that made me want to stop reading.
If anyone has dealt with similar experiences, please feel free to share. I am just feeling down about it lately and beating myself up for it a bit.