As readers there are some books we instantly fall in love with, some we fall out of love with, some are slow at the beginning, some fades into nothing, some we power through, and others we give up on.
There are also those books that are just hard to read, be that because of the language, the story building, our own interest, or something completely different.
I’ve read books that are 500+ pages in no time at all, and then there are books that I use weeks on even though they’re just a couple of hundred pages.
But lately, I’ve been reading some books that really take their toll on me.
For those of you who’s been around for a while, you know that I love historical fiction and non-fiction based on World War II. I usually get through at least 2-3 every year, but for the last 6 months or so I’ve read a lot more of it. And even though I find the stories super interesting and I still enjoy diving into them, the stories of the Holocaust are so horrific and (often) graphic that it completely drains me. Some days I get completely engulfed in the story and can’t put the book down, other days I just need to read something completely different to have a little break.
Why I need a break? Because reading about the cruelty and hardship of the Second World War tends to send my mind spiraling into a pretty dark place where I wouldn’t like to be stuck.
It’s hard to place oneself in the minds of those who suffered, and in the minds of the people who were the cause of the suffering.
I think my interest when it comes to reading historical fiction and non-fiction about the war is the same as why I find True Crime so interesting. It’s something about trying to understand how people can get to a place and a mindset where they are overtaken by evil. A way of trying to understand how a mind like that works.
Maybe it’s macabre, or just human curiosity, I’m not even sure. But the truth is that I’ve had to take breaks more often lately to read lighter fiction like children’s books or comics, just to get the darkness at a distance for a little while.
That being said, I think that it’s extremely important that we read the stories that are hard to swallow. We learn from the echos of our history.
And even though some of the stories are extremely hard to read, they are amazing reads and I can’t wait to share some of them with you soon.
One thought on “Hard to Read”
My mother is a retired teacher and she’d have a holocaust survivor talk every year she taught because it was important to remember and push back against the deniers.