I’ve Lost The Magic

Can someone please tell me how to read a book and enjoy the story without being analytical about it?

I remember there was a time in my life when I read a book, any book or story and in the end I either liked it or not. But that was a very long time ago, it seems. I just finished reading a book by yet another bestseller writer and towards the end all I could think of was how to force myself to finish it. And it took me two whole days to read the last fifty something pages.

Forgive me if I don’t mention the author or the book. Suffice it to say that she is one of my favorite writers. As much as I love and enjoy reading, it seems I have lost the magic of late. I remember (when I was still in high school) when my uncle told me that after he had visited Hollywood he wondered if he would be able to enjoy watching movies now that he was aware of how films were made. After taking all those creative courses where they teach you to study the works of writers you like and learning to read with a critical eye, I haven’t been able to enjoy a book like I used to before. I read it for the story, no more no less.

Same with the book I just read. I couldn’t even go through the book without criticizing the author for character flaws, or for her exaggerated scenes and overdramatic turn of events. The surprise elements that the author threw here and there in the story were way too made up to give the story plausibility. But the most annoying part for me was when three of the main characters each in turn had fights with their parents and ran away from home. In each case the author showed us page after page how angry their fathers were and how they denounced their daughters and vowed never to see them again. Then somewhere later in the story, the author wrote just one sentence saying “she had already made her peace with her father” for all three of her characters. Come on!

So am I doomed? Once a critic, always a critic. Is there a way that I can skip the analytics and read to enjoy?

I desperately seek your advice. Any suggestions anyone, please?


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8 Responses to I’ve Lost The Magic

  1. I enjoy your blog. Take care. Betty

  2. Hi Ms. K!
    One thing I can suggest is perhaps reading something more immersive. There are a number of fantasy series that come to mind such as George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” and Steven Erikson’s “Malzan Book of the Fallen” to name a couple. There was a period where I just wasn’t enjoying books the same way I used to, but actually trying out the fantasy genre rekindled my enjoyment. I personally think that George R.R. Martin creates very interesting characters and I haven’t really found any inconsistencies or blatant character flaws. He weaves this enormous fantasy universe with a huge amount of characters and does so in a coherent fashion. If you haven’t already I really suggest reading that series.

    Hope all is well and that you can find enjoyment in reading again!

    • chichikir says:

      Chris! It’s so nice to hear from you. I hope you are happy and living your dream. And thanks for the suggestions I haven’t read any George R.R. Martin, I’ll definitely do so. All the best always. 🙂

  3. It’s possible the author you were reading, who you once loved, is having a hard time coming up with new and exciting story lines and characters. Perhaps she was under deadline with her publisher and that’s why it seemed forced. It may not be indicative of your new critical awareness of flaws but his/her inability to write something fresh – although you’d think their editor would have fixed stuff like that!

    Don’t give up on reading because you fear that you can no longer enjoy the stories. It is annoying when an author doesn’t live up to expectations. Maybe their next book will be brilliant – providing all errors and inconsistencies get caught before publication! 🙂

    • chichikir says:

      Thanks Susan. I like her stories but she is so present in story as an author, you feel her lines to be forced and her plots to be so fabricated. The story doesn’t flow. I was thinking of taking a break from reading the bestsellers for a while and going back to literature and the classics and maybe try fantasy as Chris suggested. I just want to get the magic back 😦

  4. Pingback: Why do they read it? « Live Life

  5. FourReasons says:

    like you said in your ‘Habits’ post – you’ll change when you’re ready. 🙂

    I am quite interested in changing, making changes and what motivates them, so I found your “biting nails” anecdote very interesting.

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