Monday, August 30, 2010

In need of a break

If you've read the recent posts at my place, you know that the last few weeks have been more than a little crazy for me. In the last 2 weeks, I've: moved into a new home with my in-laws as landlord (with the attendant repairs, polite drama, and negotiation that it involves), become a first-time landlord (with the attendant repairs, legal stuff, and negotiation that it involves), gotten my kid into school and soccer, and started a 3rd part-time job.

I've found that I have been so exhausted at the end of the day—or even in the middle of the day when I have a few moments to myself—that I've been unable to read. The energy required to focus has been non-existent. Now, I've always read, and the idea of not having an escape is impossible for me to fathom. And, lord knows, I have been in dire need of escape. So, what's an avid reader to do?

Well, I've made a few realizations during this time.

Format: Audiobooks are the way to go when I'm too tired to even keep my eyes open to read, yet feel too restless to actually sleep. There was more than one night during the last few weeks when I'd wake up at 4am and start making lists in my head of things I needed to do the next day (or things I had forgotten to do the night before). Being able to lie in the dark (no reading lamp necessary) with my eyes closed, listening to my audiobook helped me relax and got me back to sleep much quicker.

Genre: Without meaning to, I found myself gravitating strongly toward contemporary romance. The dark urban fantasy that I love felt too bleak to give me the relaxation and comfort I was so in need of. And, the complex world building of other specualtive fiction that I enjoy so much was just too much work for my exhausted mind. Yet, the familiar world and guaranteed happy ending of contemporary romance hit that spot.

OK. Sizzling Sixteen isn't actually romance. At least not in my book. However, it's contemporary, enjoyable (if I don't expect anything to actually happen wrt the Stephanie/Morelli/Ranger triangle) and light.

Location: Enough cannot be said about how comforting it was to be able to curl up in my favorite chair, my trusty polka-dotted recliner at the end of the day. I cannot even express how wonderful it felt to climb into it and put my feet up the day after move-in. (Here's a picture of my lovely, at my old place. *strokes fondly*) Even surrounded by boxes and random furniture in the middle of the room, my buzz from sitting in my chair wasn't diminished.
So when times are crazy, and you find yourself in need of a little comfort, what are the things that you do so that you can feed your reading addiction? Is it a tub full of bubbles? Relaxing music?

Is there a specific kind of book, format or genre, that puts you into the zen of reading?

Come on back tomorrow when I confess one of my reading quirks.
Also, be sure to visit me at my place, Renee's Book Addiction.


Jessica said...

I have three authors I gravitate to when I need a comfort read.
1. Hannah Howell-Highland romance
2. Lora Leigh-Breed series
3. Cheryl Brooks-Cat Star Chronicles

I know they are all different, it depends on my mood as to which book I grab. Of course dark chocolate or pop corn is also necessary!

Chris said...

I put my feet up, turn off the laptop (otherwise I'll keep checking things), and enjoy the quiet while I read.

Lea said...

Hi Renee!

I plug into my iPod, listen to my eclectic music mix and l read one of my comfort stories or dive into a book in my TBR.

Great post Renee and I hope things settle down for you soon.

Renee said...

Jessica: Yes! There are definitely certain authors that really hit the spot when I'm feeling the need to escape. Susan Elizabthe Phillips is one that does it for me. And, popcorn (with butter, of course) always makes me happy!

Chris: Right now, (on week 2 sans internet) I would KILL for some of that distraction. lol But, yes, normally, unplugging is definitely necessary. ;-)

Lea: I so love my ipod, and it's essential for relaxing. In fact this post was written listening to it (with music, not audiobks, of course)!

Hilcia said...

Love your post Renee. My iPod "reading playlist" and contemporary romances do it for me. Weather they're new or old favorite re-reads, they relax me. I know when I've had a stressful year by the total amount of contemporary romances I've read by Dec 31st. ;P

Hope things ease up for you soon.

Renee said...

Hilcia: Thanks! :-)
lol. I think my contemp reading is currently at an all time high.

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