Involuntary “No Reading” Blogging Break

Botanical Garden Basel

Botanical Garden Basel

Hi everyone,

I would like to let you know that I will take a possibly longer blogging break.

Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t blog as often as I used to and definitely visited other blogs far less.

I’ve had eye problems for a few months and my ophthalmologist told me I have to stop reading for a while.

As you can imagine, it’s a scary situation and not reading is very hard for me. I’m allowed to watch movies/series/TV but that’s not the same.

Unfortunately, this affects this month’s Literature and War Readalong.

I hope this break will not take too long. I suspect that while I’ll be able to read and blog again, I might have to reduce reading online even more than I already did in the past months.

I hope all is well on your side.

Take care.

Suggestions for podcasts, audiobooks, and movies are welcome.

44 thoughts on “Involuntary “No Reading” Blogging Break

  1. I am so sorry to hear that, Caroline. I hope your eyes recover sooner rather than later – it’s every reader’s nightmare, isn’t it? Is reading e-books with great magnification helpful at all?

  2. I hope you have a speedy recovery. Eye problems must be what every reader dreads. I guess audio books may help but it’s not quite the same is it? If only you were incredibly rich; you could then employ a reader.☺

  3. How frustrating for you, Caroline. I will miss your reviews but, hopefully, with a bit of TLC you will soon recover and we can look forward to some more recommendations.
    Get well soon!

  4. I’d like to add my concern about your eyes to those expressed above: I’m so sorry to hear you can’t read for a while. All of us are bibliophiles so this is like one of our worst nightmares. I’d recommend the New Yorker Fiction podcast, which broadcasts the fiction they publish in the hard copy magazine; here’s the link: If you prefer podcasts *about* books, the KCRW Bookworm is one of the best imo. Also the CBC ‘Writers and Company’ podcast, with the excellent Eleanor Wachtel.
    I hope it’s not too long before you’re able to read real print again, Caroline.

  5. Dear Caroline, I’m so sorry to hear about your eye problems. I guess it’s a given that anyone who does as much work with her eyes as you do might someday have such a problem, but that doesn’t make it any easier to put up with. I have glaucoma, which is being treated with drops, but even though it’s not part of my diagnosis, sometimes my eyes get a little weak or tired, and I can’t read as much as I like. The computer screen is a main culprit for eye problems, and you always have to remember to blink a lot with it, and I think I often forget. Anyway, here’s hoping you feel better soon. As for a good audiobook, I think you might enjoy Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch.” It’s a suspense-drama set in the art world of the U.S. and Europe, therefore right on your turf, and I would love to read and comment on a review of it by you whenever you get around to it. The hero is a boy growing up, but it’s not really for adolescents, it’s more a sort of thing like Dickens did with Pip in “Great Expectations.” I wanted to do a post on it, but never got around to it, because I couldn’t get all the names straight from having just listened to an audiobook (not good with names that way), and I was on to other things by the time the library website got a copy of the book for reading purposes. Anyway, really do give it a shot, I think you’ll like it. And get well; we need your literary expertise in this world of ours, as well as your good judgment about extra-literary happenings.

  6. You must watch Elle with Isabelle Huppert.
    I came to your blog yesterday looking to see if I’d missed a post. Very sorry to hear about your eye problem. I know the news must be incredibly hard for you. I told my ophthalmologist that my sight became blurry during reading.He asked me how long I was reading and I told him about four hours. He laughed and told me to perform these long hard blinks to re-moisten my eyes. I know your problem is different, but this reminded me about the ophthalmologist’s reaction at hearing I read for 4 hrs straight.
    Take care.

  7. I am so sorry to hear about the issues with your vision. I hope that you recover as soon as possible.

    You might want to think about audiobooks. Here in the US we can download a fair number from our library system. There is a paid site called Audible that has just about everything. I would guess that you have similar access but I know that there may be some variation on what is available when one crosses international boundaries.

  8. How distressing this instruction must have seemed! My sympathies! Maybe this is an opportunity to find some new routes for bookishness that will add to your enjoyment of life later on, even though this is a disruption to your usual routine right now. Here’s hoping!

    I second the rec’s of bookish podcasts above and add this one from BBC. (Wachtel’s interviews appeal to me because of her explorations of the writers’ backgrounds and focuses she does on individual countries’ storytellers.)

    The suggestion to experiment with some listening is a good one too because that’s something we could all stand to do, as most of us probably do demand too much of our eyes when depending so much on screens/lighting that isn’t natural. Any expense attached could be viewed as an investment in future health (and for those of us spending monthly on print, it’d only be a matter of shifting costs). I’ve really enjoyed any of the productions which have been nominated for Audie awards, even when I didn’t think the book itself would interest me.

    Hope to hear, at some point in the future, about all the wonderful new things you’ve unearthed (and the new stacks of print you’ve inevitably gathered even while not reading those things). Take care!

  9. I hope you get well soon, Caroline! As for the podcasts, I recommend “Tea or Books?”, “Backlisted”, “Lit Up”, “The Casual Academic”, “The London Review Bookshop” and the BBC’s “World Book Club”. I recently listened to Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” as an audiobook, and really liked it. Take care! You will be missed here! X

  10. So sorry to hear about your eye problems, Caroline. My very best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Have you discovered the Backlisted podcast hosted by Andy Miller? It’s one of my favourites as they discuss an old book in detail, usually a favourite novel chosen by the guest presenter for that particular episode. Previous episodes have covered authors such as James Salter, Raymond Chandler and Jean Rhys. I think you’d enjoy the discussions.

  11. I’m sorry to hear about your eye problems. I hope taking a rest from reading, especially reading on a screen, will help you get better quickly. I’m currently listening to Nele Neuhaus’ The Ice Queen, but I suspect that you, as a crime fiction lover, might know the book already. Two of my favorite narrators are Richard Grant for Agatha Christie mysteries and Adenrele Ojo, who has narrated Someone Knows My Name, The Mothers, and The Turner House; all three well worth listening to.

  12. How challenging. I am so sorry. I listen to audiobooks nonstop, and really like most of them. There are only a few cases nowadays when I don’t care for the reader. Are you able to borrow them online from a public library, or do you have friends closeby who might have books on CD? It’s an older format of course but I am surprised at how many are still around. Best wishes for a smooth recovery.

  13. Get well soon, Caroline! If you are in need of a good audiobook, listen to A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I’m about 50 pages from the end. I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly.
    I hope you get back to reading as soon as possible.

  14. I am sorry to hear this and can only imagine your frustration. Thank God for audiobooks! Don’t forget that many can be found in your local library.

  15. Caroline, I’m sorry to hear your news and hope you recover soon. I’ve not got into audiobooks myself but I know there’s a lot of good stuff out there so hopefully that will tide you over for a while. I hope you get better soon.

  16. So sorry to hear you’re still having problems, Caroline. Don’t worry about visiting blogs–they’ll still be there when you’re better. I don’t do audio books, but that might be a good temporary solution. Take good care….

  17. I can’t imagine how deflating this must be for you. But I’m glad you are taking care of yourself, and am also glad that there are audiobooks, podcasts and other audio options that did not exist years ago (though it sounds as though spending time on-line might be even more of a strain than reading books, YouTube, for example, also offers a dizzying number of spoken word pieces by authors and poets). Take good care. Caroline, and best wishes for a gradual return to reading.

  18. Audio books are a godsend for migraine days too. Difficult to recommend not knowing what you like? Recently I’ve relistened to Terry Pratchett, and now I have Garth Nix Goldenhand lined up. I love Kate Mortons books and the fact that she reads them herself!
    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    • Feel free to delete (since I can’t), I confused your blog with an other I subscribe to. I blame it on day 4 of a migraine (but I still had to log on to renew my subscription), saw this and thought light entertainment, since I can’t think straight when this is going on. Anyway, Feel better soon.

  19. Pingback: Involuntary “No Reading” Blogging Break — Beauty is a Sleeping Cat | David Falor

  20. Hi Caroline–I have been thinking about you and am so sorry to hear you are having eye issues. Do take good care of yourself and your eyes–better to take a break and give them a rest so they stay healthy. It is a very scary thing, so I sympathize. Some of my favorite audio listens have been BBC radio shows–I have listened to Coraline as well as a few Bradbury plays (it is fun to hear all the other sound effects as well as the story rather than a straightforward reading). I have also listened to some crime shows like dramatizations of Nero Wolfe and the like. You might also enjoy Katharine MacMahon’s The Alchemist’s Daughter which is one of the best audio experiences I have had as well as H is for Hawk–if you have not already read those. Anyway, take care and I hope you are back in good health soon!!

  21. I hope you’re doing ok and recovering. Just wanted to let you know I mention your blog in an article I wrote for Tilted Axis Press on reading in translation. There’s a link to it on my blog. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  22. So sorry to know this, Caroline! I hope you get well soon. Please take care. Sending you happy and healing thoughts and prayers. Looking forward to seeing you back soon.

Thanks for commenting, I love to hear your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.