Reading slumps. They’re like a cold; sometimes you can feel them coming on, and sometimes they hit you unexpectedly. You either shake it off and keep moving, or you crawl into bed, snuggle up with your dog (or cat or hamster or pet rock) and binge watch netflix while books are pushed to the farthest regions in your mind.
I wanted to discuss this today because I can feel a reading slump creeping its way in, and it made me wonder what causes them? How do you get over a slump? Can they be prevented? The answer, obviously, is different for everyone, but I wanted to think out loud here and see if maybe we can’t get to the bottom of my impending slump.
What is a slump?
Urban Dictionary definitition:
Not being able to pick up a book and read because you just can’t, you just can’t read.
I have tried starting three or four different books now, and none of them are sticking. I look at the bag of library books sitting in my living room and scroll through the library on my kindle and feel no urge to pick up anything. I also have three books from netgalley and one book from Kassandra Lynn to read and review. (Rookie mistake right off the bat. I requested a bunch of stuff not expecting to get approved.)
In all honesty, I’m overwhelmed. I want to get these books read and reviewed in a timely fashion so publishers see that and are more likely to approve me. What I didn’t factor into everything was life. I have school, I have work, and I have friends and family, as well as this blog to keep updated. I like to write fairly thorough reviews, so the process is not a quick one. I essentially write two separate ones for Goodreads and the blog.
How do we as book bloggers balance reading books and writing reviews while still enjoying the experience? What happens if we hit a rough patch where we’re not liking anything we’re reading? Do we go ahead and write a negative review or do we skip and just rate the book on goodreads? (Another chit chat for another day.)
So far, 95% of these read-to-review books I’ve read have been less than exciting. I don’t think I’ve given the last few anything higher than a 3-teacup rating. The Assassin’s Blade was probably last one to get a decent rating (that I wrote a review for). Continuously reading these books is starting to get frustrating, and I’m wary of starting a new one because ‘what if it sucks?’ is playing in the back of my mind. I haven’t found that book that has me on the edge of my seat, furiously scanning over the page to find out what happens next. Instead, I’ve had to force myself to finish. In short, reading hasn’t been fun.
How do I get out of it?
Now, how am I going to ward off the oncoming slump? Good question. The easiest solution for me right now is to take a break. Sometimes this means that I stop reading altogether while other times I may read a raunchy romance novel (I need to be careful with this. If it’s written poorly, this could send me into a downward spiral even faster). Either way, I want to give my mind a rest and let it recoup. Once I’ve done that for a day or two and I can feel the pull toward a book again, I’ll pick up a book and try to read it. If I can get through an entire chapter without stopping, I’m cured!
Otherwise, I’ll wait another day or two, and then pick up a book I was excited about and force myself to start reading. Yup. You read that right. I force myself to read, which may sound counterproductive, but it totally works (most of the time). I hit a minor slump while I was reading Heir of Fire; I hated reading Manon’s sections, so I’d just put the book down. Eventually, I chastised myself into push through it and I’m so glad I did! The book got so good and I was done before I knew it.
I’m personally on a mini break waiting for the release of Glass Sword (which I just checked my email and the Kindle book was released at 11PM! Woohoo!) because I know I enjoy Victoria Aveyard’s writing style. I think this will help push me over that hump and get back into the book blogging groove. If there wasn’t a book coming out for me to look forward to, I’d probably go back to something else I know and love.
What are your thoughts on reading slumps? What do you think (or know) causes them for you? How do you ovecome one? Leave your thoughts below!