Losing my reading mojo
A couple of evenings ago I found myself roaming around the house, looking for something to read. Nothing tempted me. I would pick up a book, flick through it, put it down again. It is not as if there isn’t plenty of choice for goodness sake. I have lots of books that I haven’t read (not to mention all the ones I’d be happy rereading). There are books by friends that I’ve been looking forward to reading – including one that I want to get to soon because I’m going to interview the author on my blog. But it didn’t feel like the right moment for any of them. I’ve been binge-reading Nicholas Blake’s Nigel Strangeways novels, but I wasn’t tempted by another of those. I was at a loss. There ought to be a German portmanteau word – perhaps there is? – for that feeling of wanting to read something, but not knowing what. It is a bit like being hungry, but not fancying anything specific to eat. This is something that has happened quite often during these times of coronavirus.
In the end I took two books up to bed with me. One was Magdalen Nabb’s The Marshall at the Villa Torrini, which I have read at least twice. Marshal Guarnaccia is one of my favourite fictional detectives and it’s always nice to renew my acquaintance with him. The other was a recent purchase – on a trip to an actual bookshop! – A Claxton Diary: Further Field Notes from a Small Planet by Mark Cocker, good for dipping into. But though these are both fine books (and I recommend them both), they were place-holders, really, still not quite what I was in the mood for.
And then the next morning over breakfast, I began Mortmain Hall, the new crime novel by my friend Martin Edwards. I was gripped right away by the splendidly sinister opening and now I am romping through it and loving it. With all its echoes of the Golden Age, and of famous crimes between the wars, it might have been written for me. I have got my reading mojo back!