I've lost my appetite for reading

This conversation with my dad took place a long time ago. ”Why don’t you young people read newspapers anymore?” ”Don’t have time for that” ”Then how you know what’s going on in the world?” ”…” Then he offered to buy me Helsingin Sanomat (newspaper) for a year and asked which book I wanted for Christmas. ”Nah, buy me a text book for my next exam - there are no copies available in the library…” 

In law school we really have to read a lot for the exams. Our Professor Emeritus of Family Law and Inheritance Law once showed us a picture of a man standing next to a pile of books, taller than the man himself: all the books we have to read (and learn by heart) to get a degree. I’ve heard that he was very keen on showing that picture. 

All the reading and rehearsing (and fighting over the few copies in the library) has made me lose my appetite for reading. When I try reading something just for fun I find myself going back a few pages every now and then, to check if I’ve fully understood what I’ve just read, until I remember I’m not studying for an exam. My eyes hurt, I’m bouncing from line to line, I’ve lost the flow. 

In the past 12 months I’ve only read two novels - both of them biographies actually. The first was a Tove Jansson biography (200 pages, most of them pictures), the other was a biography of a Finnish wrestling legend Marko Yli-Hannuksela.

But I used to read a lot. And I enjoyed it. Jostein Gaarder, Roald Dahl, Tove Jansson (not just Moomins) to name a few authors I liked. On the 7th grade came the fantasy genre: Harry Potter books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Douglass Adams…In high school I was really into Game of Thrones and always wanted to be the first to get my hands on the next book of the series. Now I’m like blah.

I’m jealous of people who can enjoy reading. My sister tells me how she has read Erlend Loe’s Naïve. Super. multiple times now and just can’t get enough. Once I even spoiled myself the end of Miika Nousiainen's Maaninkavaara, which was a very good book but I didn't have time to finish it.

I wish that one day I could be able to enjoy reading again. I was really looking forward to the holidays to give fiction a second chance. But then I checked my calendar. Oops, a big exam coming 9th of February. Criminal Law, 2116 pages. I guess there won’t be time for Jo Nesbø, Stieg Larsson or Juha Vuorinen this year either. Christmas holidays: cancelled. So don’t bother buying me a best-seller for Christmas - a box of chocolate will do.



Suositut tekstit