Have you heard about the Shiny Penny Syndrome? Shiny Penny Syndrome is when you have a core focus, whether it’s a person, job, thought, or even a BOOK, but you get distracted by someone or something new and shiny. Over and over and over again. Well…this is me, but with books.
It is something I’ve struggled with for years since having kids (is that mom brain? I don’t know). Moms (and people in general) are juggling so many things all the time. So many conversations. So many tasks. My brain is always running at high speed. Reading, though, is supposed to be a relaxing hobby, but with an overactive brain I find myself starting a book and then seeing another one with a pretty cover or interesting plot. The new book with the pretty cover now has my attention and I’ve added it to my #tbr, but I can’t get it out of mind and contemplate ditching the book I was actually reading (and enjoying!) to start this new one.
I also believe some of my inability to focus on one thing at a time is due to my phone and social media in general. So much quick scrolling. So much switching between apps. Emails and texts coming in and posts to IG and Facebook going out along with music being played in the background. Sometimes I just need to close my eyes and breathe. I completely understand why so many people take breaks from social media and their phones. It’s so wonderful to slow your brain down and be in the moment. Enjoy the chapter. Listen to the song.
I thought it would be interesting to take you down the path of one of my most recent Shiny Penny Syndrome spirals because I have a gut feeling that I’m not the only one that this has happened to in the past. Here goes!
- I’m currently reading “A Dream Called Home” by Reyna Grande.
- I’m scrolling Instagram and am searching #adreamcalledhome because I’m loving the book and it’s beautifully written and I want to see what others have posted so far.
- I see in that search a new book called “The Undocumented Americans” by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. OMG it sounds amazing.
- I go to Amazon and search the book and find that it doesn’t come out until March 24, 2020, but I REALLY want to read it so I’ve now added it to my #tbr.
- Underneath the book on Amazon is the section “Customers who viewed this item also viewed”. In that section are the books “The Girl With the Louding Voice” by Abi Dare and “Children of the Land” by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo.
- I’ve seen a lot about these and now they’ve both been also been added to my #tbr.
- I go back to IG and now search #thegirlwiththeloudingvoice and read the reviews and it sounds so amazing.
- Now I’ve ordered the book and decide to start reading it as soon as it arrives.
- DETOUR! DETOUR! The route guidance has changed.
This. This is my brain with Shiny Penny Syndrome. It also has a “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” vibe to it, but that’s for another day. I was ENJOYING “A Dream Called Home”. Like truly enjoying the book. I had no intentions of changing, but now I’ve got a new book coming to replace my current one and it all happened in a matter of minutes. It’s brutal and unfocused and stressful.
Today is the day I stopped this hamster wheel of a thought process. I continued with my purchase, BUT I’m going to give “A Dream Called Home” (by Reyna Grande) the full attention it deserves. I’m going to remember why I love to read in the first place. I’m going to slow my brain down and force myself to not get distracted. “The Girl With the Louding Voice” will still be there when I’m done; it’s not going to disappear. If only we had 50 hours in a day to read all that we wanted to read, but we don’t. We get one shot to live this life and be in this moment and new and shiny things will ALWAYS be there, but I only get ONE first read of “A Dream Called Home”.
I really am going to make a conscious effort to give each author’s book my complete attention this year. They write these beautiful stories for us and it feels wrong to be cheating on them all of the time with all of these side glances. Here’s to being in the moment and appreciating the beautiful words that are right in front of our face.
Does this happen to you? I’d love to hear. Please leave a comment below and share!