I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what stories I want to read because I’ve been in a bit of a slump in terms of reading/watching films/anything! I just can’t settle on what I want to consume. I’ve also stopped reading or watching a few things I enjoy because the themes or stories are too close to home for me. If they feel too real to me, in terms of something I’ve felt or been through before, I’ve had to put it down and stop. This is unusual because things like this don’t normally affect me much at all. I’ve been able to read or watch things which could be quite a triggering subject for me but I’m okay with it and sometimes I think it can even help
One example of a book I’ve had to put down is Hold Still by Nina LaCour. It was one of my reading goals this year to read all of her books but I don’t think this is something I will finish. She is one of my absolute favourite authors because of her stories and how realistic I find her writing. The way she writes emotions is stunning and I find it so easy to empathise with the characters in her books, even if I have never felt the same way before.
Hold Still is a struggle for me because it deals very heavily with mental illness; specifically, depression and suicide. I knew this going into it as it’s the main plot of the story, but I didn’t realise how much it would affect me. As I mentioned earlier, I’m normally okay with reading stories about things that have affected my life but this was different. I’m not even very far through the book at all but I just couldn’t carry on with it.
I think some of it is because the writing feels so, so real. Again, a testament to her talent as an author! However, right now, I just can’t delve into the story and not be affected in too negative a way. I’m a very sensitive person anyway, so most things affect me in some way, but I now realise there is a point where I need to stop and look after myself if it becomes too much for me.
I’m hoping that soon, I will be able to pick Hold Still up again and I can appreciate it without overly upsetting myself to the point that it impacts my life. It’s just a matter of figuring things out before I start again. At the end of the day, looking after yourself is the most important thing! I will definitely read this book at some point but right now, I’m not in the best place emotionally to do so.
Are there any books you’ve struggled through or not been able to get through because of how real and close to your heart they feel?