Seeing the title of this post, you might think I never had a reading slump in my life. But I have and I struggled with them a lot. Although I have to admit, I only hit a real, genuine slump twice so far – which is a miracle, right? So I figured: why not analyze both those slumps a bit and maybe discover how and why I got them and what dragged me out of it?
Today’s topic is supposed to be “Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump” but obviously I’m not doing that. Let’s get analyzing!
The first time I fell into the slump-hole, I know it was because I was reading too much of the same genre. At that time it was fantasy. I drowned myself in a whole lot of different worlds with a lot of world building. My brain simply couldn’t keep up with all the different rules in different books with different characters and story lines. Apart from that, I also know I risk getting into a slump by reading too many contemporary books in one go. I already struggle with them starting to look alike when I read three or four in a short period of time so I know I have to avoid that at all costs!
Then I have to mention how certain books crushed my soul. Hi Obsidio! That’s definitely another reason for my getting tricked into a slump. Obsidio did it good that time – that’s for sure. There are other books that crushed me – looking at you 180 Seconds – but for some reason, I was okay once I picked up another book. So who knows, maybe Obsidio was one of those rare exceptions?
I’m pretty sure those are the two biggest reasons for my slumps to occur – especially when combined as was the case at the time. But my last slump? That one occurred because of life demanding all my attention and energy. This is what happened in July and is still, in some way, happening right now. There are a lot of things changing – which I’ll tell you all about really soon! – and it’s hard for me to focus on reading, to lose myself in a story. My mind keeps wandering to that never-ending mental to do-list and.. well, let’s just say reading isn’t quite the escape I’d like it to be right now. Although I have to admit, it’s gotten a bit better this past week so fingers crossed?
In the end, I definitely learned a couple of things when it comes to my reading. I now know to switch genres plenty of times while picking up my next reads. I know to take some time to get over certain books when they hit me in a hard way – to maybe even consider a reread if I can’t get them out of my mind. And, when it comes to a hectic life? Let’s just say trying to get life less hectic is the only way to go for me at this point, haha. It’s working, slowly but surely, so I’ll be back on top of my reading game soon! I hope.
But those are ways to avoid slumps, to actually get out of a slump is a whole different story. I’ve tried different things that help in different ways and for changing periods of time but.. let’s just share them!
Like mood-reading, I’ve discovered mood-doing as a way to get out of a reading slump. Sometimes you have this need to do something else, to focus on a different hobby or just.. do something you usually don’t because you’re always reading. This is why, when I’m in a slump, my first step is to figure out if it’s because I feel like doing something else. Is there something on Netflix I’d rather watch? Maybe I have the weird need to go old school and play Sims for a while? Or let’s take out those photo albums and finally glue that mountain of pictures in them! There are always some other things that might be shouting your name and once you get them done, get those out of your system.. You might just be ready to read again!
I’ve also tried simply forcing myself to read, which works sometimes but only with specific books that take hold of me and we all know not all books do that. In fact, it’s pretty rare! It can always help to reread some covers of your TBR and see what book grabs your attention most, though.
Along the same line, but a bit different, is imposing some reading time on myself. I take a book somewhere outside, sit down and just start reading. It helps, if only for a short period of time. But sometimes that’s all you need – a little boost to remind yourself how you love reading in a peaceful setting. Personally, it’s more the combination of reading and being away from home for a bit that does the trick.
If that isn’t the case and the problem really is book-related, something that works best for me is joining read-a-thons, reading challenges or doing some reading sprints. I always post about my participation somewhere, simply so I actually stick to it. I’m a competitive person by nature so if I join a challenge, I want to do my best at it too. It’s often the motivation I need to read and read some more.
If there isn’t anything going on at that time? Well, then I simply set myself the goal of having to finish a book by the end of the day. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but I always end up reading more than I would’ve otherwise.
What are the ways you know to avoid slumps? To get out of a slump?
Do they always work or only sometimes?