The dreaded reading slump. Why does it happen? Is it because some strange occurrence in the universe watches and realizes that it seems we are having simply too much fun reading more than one book every 6 months. This strange power then grabs hold of us that turns us into procrastinators and we ignore our books. We hear the calling from our TBR piles and every now and then we dip into a book… and read 17 pages before turning once again to Netflix and the internet. Or perhaps it is simply because we become far too busy to give any free time to reading, those dreaded times where life just takes over and the notion of spending 5 hours reading in one day seems to be the stuff of daydreams. Sometimes it seems to be our own bodies that turn us away from reading. Those days of working late, eating late and more or less falling into bed results in 3 pages read and then book meeting face as my arms give in and sleep takes over.
Ok so reading slumps just happen. And I completely understand that, for many people, they are not a big deal. But they are annoying and my main annoyance comes from the randomness of their occurrences. There is no rhyme or reason behind them, so this post is more like an attempt for me to understand them a little better.
In the past year I have found myself in a slump for the following reasons (I think):
- Finishing an amazing book and finding myself in a slight hangover/daze where your waking moments are filled with recapping every…single…moment in that wonderful novel.
- Finishing a book where something awful has happened to a character that you love. This must be empathy at its most weird. It may be that they died (understandable), the OTP you shipped didn’t work out (it’s a kind of soul destroying punch in the feelings), or sometimes its a random reason like they lost their favourite shoe (this event has never actually happened but you catch my drift.) I think it stems more from good writing rather than the event. It’s those moments where you feel completely in-tune with a character.
- Having a conversation with myself which resulted in the decision that ‘Of course I would rather watch every episode of Gilmore Girls than read, or eat, or see people, or leave the house (only joking….of course I ate, come on).
- Not being able to find an actual book for your current mood. Every time I read I want to delve into a different genre. Sometimes I’m in the mood for fantasy, sometimes contemporary, sometimes a thriller. And sometimes I can’t decide and end up moving between different books.
Whatever the reason, slumps happen. And it’s so frustrating. The following examples are ways that I have either got myself out of a reading slump, or it is something that someone has recommended to me:
- Read a short book – for me this was a Graphic Novel and really did the trick, you go from finishing nothing all month to reading two ‘books’ in one day.
- Don’t fret about it. No one is recording your reading habits but you. There is no reason to put pressure on yourself to read a book when you really don’t want to. In fact this is how I have been put off reading in the past.
- Do something that you really want to do. If you want to watch Netflix, do it. If you want to watch a film, do it. If you want to go for a walk, do it. It will end up being that the thing you really want to do is read.
- Talk to people. Ask for recommendations – get on Instagram to ask around for advice and book ideas, go on YouTube to find a book that people are saying is un-put-down-able.
- Read what you really fancy, I hate book snobs – read what you want to read, not what you think people will be impressed by.
So as I sit here now, sort of in a reading slump, I find that actually just writing this post has encouraged me to read and pick up something new.
Does anyone else have any tips and tricks to get out of reading slumps? Or do you have a reading recommendation of the perfect slump elimination book?
If so please comment.
It’s time for me to go and find my next book.