I’ve been pretty lucky in that I haven’t gone through a lot of reading slumps. Though I haven’t always been a crazy reader, so maybe I just haven’t put in the time yet. Earlier this year, I was working like a madwoman on the blog, getting TONS of review books, and just doing way too much at once. This led to my first major slump, the month of May, where I read only three books.
This is something I didn’t want to happen again.
We all seem to go through reading slumps and part of me thinks that it’s unavoidable. Hopefully no one else has gone through a reading slump over an entire month like I have, but maybe we can find a way to make the slumps not happen.
It’s important to remember that a reading slump and a break aren’t the same thing. A break is something you CHOOSE to do and a slump is something that HAPPENS to you. A slump is a time where nothing looks good and you just don’t FEEL like reading. You might pick up a book to read and just can’t get past the first 10 pages, or you might not even pick up a book at all.
The first thing, I think, we need to do is figure out WHY we’re in the reading slump. Maybe it’s because we’ve overscheduled ourselves and are just too busy with life, blogging, and reading that our brains are telling us we need to stop. Or, maybe it’s because we’ve read too many mediocre or BAD books that we’re scared to pick up our next read. Or, it could be the opposite, with us reading so many GOOD books, or maybe a series that was so unbelievably good, that nothing seems to measure up.
Once we identify the problem, then we can try and fix it. Here are my suggestions:
Reading Slump Due to Being Too Busy
Honestly? Take a break. Tell yourself to just drop everything and take a weekend – or even a week off. Maybe even take that time to go through the books that you may have on your plate, like review books or books for a book tour, and schedule them in order of importance. Something I found was that I couldn’t read too many review books in a row. Maybe alternate a review book with something that you really, really want to read.
Reading Slump Due to Bad Books
This has happened to me. If I start to read so many mediocre or bad books in a row, nothing looks appealing. I’m scared to try something that I’m really looking forward to because it might ALSO be bad. In this case, I would try to reread something that I absolutely loved or something new that I KNOW I’ll love (like, say, if Stephanie Perkins’s new book was out, or Lisa Genova’s, or maybe even the next book in Beth Revis’s Across the Universe series). I would read something that I know wouldn’t disappoint.
Reading Slump Due to Amazing Books
This is tricky. There has been the odd time where I’ve read a book – or a series – that was just amazingly spectacular that nothing will live up to it. Each and every book I try afterwards seems like it’s trying too hard or just can’t compare. When this happens, I usually take a break. I work on some blog things, or write up some reviews or discussions, or maybe just watch some of my favourite TV shows. It can be hard for a book to live up to something you love, so just stepping away and letting your brain continue the love fest helps.
Of course, sometimes we just go into slumps for no apparent reason! We just stop reading and nothing looks good. While I’m a big advocate of stepping back and taking a break, I don’t want anyone to fall prey to the too-long break or even feel like they need to stop reading altogether, or stop blogging altogether. That ALMOST happened to me and I want you all to succeed!
Here are a few more suggestions on how to get through a reading slump:
- Try an audiobook. Sometimes our eyes are tired and we can’t focus. Throw on something that looks fantastic on while you’re out for a walk, or cleaning the house, or running errands and it might turn things around.
- Try a different genre. We all have our favourite genres. If you notice that the books you keep trying are all about the same time, maybe try something completely different.
- Read with a friend. There are so many great short novellas out there that sometimes it’s nice to pick one and have a friend read it along with you. When you’re finished, you can both discuss it and talk about your likes and dislikes.
- Reorganize your books. This might seem like an odd one, but maybe scouring through your bookshelves and rearranging and cleaning up your books will help you find that one book that you had totally forgotten about.
While these suggestions might work for me, they might not work for you. Everyone is different! All I can say is don’t think that a reading slump is the end of your reading – we all need to take breaks once in a while and a slump might be our body’s way of letting us know we need one.
How do you get over a reading slump? Do you have any other tricks of the trade you can share?
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