Sunday, 6 June 2010

Reading Slumps

I have a confession to make...I haven't finished a book since May 22nd over two weeks ago.

I am officially in the middle of a reading slump.

Since Persnickety Snark has been in existence, I have found myself in this position two times prior. Once was due to sheer reading overload. I had been reading and reviewing a book a day (sometimes two days) for approximately two months to keep my TBR (to be read) pile manageable. I failed at that and then I had an entire month where I couldn't read. I would pick up books and I just couldn't do it. The longer it went on, the more stressed I got and the less I wanted to read. It ended up serving as a wake up call for the way I wanted to blog. I contacted publishers asking to scale back on review copies and refused more authors that contacted me about reading their work. Blogging should be fun.

This time it's not about fun. I am having more fun blogging in a more relaxed way this year than I did last year. I have no idea what is going on.

It has nothing to do with how keen I am to read something. For instance, I received Jennifer Echol's Endless Summer in the mail a couple of days ago. This is a book I was burning to read...I just can't. I have tried. I have only read 50 pages. I am enjoying it but I am simply not in the reading mood.

I am a little worried.

It is part of being a review blogger. Your enthusiasm comes in ebbs and flows. Your reading slump can hit you like a tonne of bricks. You can read non-stop for weeks on end.

My question is...how do I get back on the reading horse?

29 comments:

Book Whisperer said...

I suggest taking maybe a week off. Don't even stress about it all those books will still be there in one week. They aren't going anywhere. I have times like this I may have a week or two that I don't read, but I find I can get back to it if I don't spend that whole time stressing about not reading. The stress is making it ten times worse, and making you not want to read at all. This is a fun hobby don't make it a chore. Just take a week or so and do something completely different, but this time don't pick up a book. Don't worry about it enjoy something else. At the end of that time pick up a book and read see if your mojo is back. LOL

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I've gone through this before as well. What works for me is to give myself permission to not read at all for a couple of days, or until I feel like I need to again. Reading is not fun when it becomes a chore. Usually, a couple of days off for me equals a desire to spend a whole day reading feverishly. Maybe the same will be true for you? Best wishes.

Laura said...

Adele, we've all gone through this! It's definitely reading overload! Take a break, do something that does not require reading and you should be fine.

I'm on a reading tear, but sometimes it takes just that one book to completely ruin it for me.

Good luck and don't obsess!

Laura

Kristen said...

To be honest, I usually listen to a book slowly or do a reread when I'm feeling the reading slump. Either that or taking some time off reading and catching up on favorite TV shows or watching a lot of netflix for a week or two instead.

I would definitely suggest trying an audiobook. . . these also help motivate me to clean.. lol. :-D I am horrible when it comes to cleaning and it's nice to have something to think about besides UGH why won't this kitchen clean itself?

Robby said...

I definately suggest just waiting it out. It happens to everyone. :]

MsM (Elizabeth Jules Mason) said...

I take a week off then go to my keeper shelf and read one of my all time favorite books ever to remind me how much I love a good story. Usually after reading one of my favorites I am reading to dig into something new.

:)

MsM

Terra said...

Reading slumps are completely 100% normal. In fact, I am in the exact same situation right now. I finally have my hands on a book that I have been itching to read for ages, I started reading and then... haven't touched it in over a week!

Like you said, enthusiasm comes in ebbs and flows. The important thing is to give yourself permission to relax and take a week or so off. You should wait to read until you are in the mood for it rather than letting it become a chore. I sometimes hide my TBR pile away when I am in a slump. "Out of site, out of mind," so they say.

Chachic said...

It really is weird that a reading slump happens for no reason, I mean it's not triggered by anything. I guess you just get burned out by reading when you do it so much. I agree with the suggestions in the other comments and just take a couple of days off, don't stress about not reading. I'm sure you'll be able to shake it off soon.

I'll be waiting to here what you think of Endless Summer, it hasn't arrived here. :)

Carin said...

Give yourself permission. It's fine, we've all been there. If you really want to get back on the horse, I suggest four things: a funny book, a super-short (maybe children's) book, a reread of an old favorite, and an audio book. Good luck! The books will still be there when you get back.

Michelle said...

It's really okay. :) I think as bloggers we're too hard on ourselves a lot of the time. We're only human and things like this one as well as others just happen from time to time.

As far as getting back on the reading horse I'm not so sure. I usually continue reading through my slumps. The pace is much slower and I even go through days where I don't read at all but my desire and drive to read always comes back.

I recommend maybe taking a little break. :)The desire always comes creeping back.

cat said...

Adele, it'll happen on its own. I started one last summer and it lasted almost up to the end of the year. I'd read a book here or there but I'd never finish one. It was only during my Christmas holiday from work that I started really reading again and not feeling like every book was just a repeat of the other. It was my longest slump ever and I was scared I might never read a book again.

Some of the things that can help - try picking up a book that is different from what you normally read that you think looks very interesting. Also, as Carin mentioned, a re-read of a favourite book helps, too.

Or, just find something else to occupy your time right now. Everyone and their brother seems to have taken up knitting these days, maybe try that? ;) Focus on photography maybe, you have a TON of stuff where you are now that it beautiful and maybe capturing that might help.

Stress, health and big changes, all of which you have been dealing with, lead to reading slumps I have found. Take a deep breath, focus on YOU for a little while and next think you know, you'll be picking up a book and it will be like chatting with a long lost, dear friend and it will be wonderful.

Mel said...

I am relatively new to blogging on a regular basis. I have had my blog for about 2 years, but I didn't really start posting regularly until a few months ago. Before I just posted for myself whenever I felt like it.

As people began to follow me and read my reviews and even comment, I began to start reading more for them than for myself, and at first that was a bit daunting. I kept wondering how you, and the other extremely prolific bloggers like you get so much read and get so much done. I am amazed with all you do and with all you post.

On average it takes me a week to finish a book--I am a slow reader and always have been. I also have a husband, a two year-old, and a full time job, so that can slow a girl down too. I have hit reading slumps before, but never with the pressure of blogging on my back, so I know where you are coming from. Most of the time when I hit one it is because the last book I read, I simply wanted more of and I am not in the mood for anything else. I force my way through it--audio books help with that, but it is frustrating.

I guess what I am trying to say in a rather long and round about way is that I am simply amazed by what you do, how much you read, and the quality of your reviews. You are awesome. Everyone needs to take a vacation and when you blog and read like you do it is a full time job--so take some time. We all hit slumps...My advice, is to take some time to relax. We will all be here when you get back!

And please remind me what I just said when I hit my next slump! :) Best wishes!

Khy said...

I've been in a slump for like a month. I have yet to read anything OMGAMAZINGOMGOMGOMG that will bring me out of it. blaaah.

Amanda J. said...

I agree; just take some time off from writing and do something else you enjoy. Don't worry about all of the books or all of us. We'll still be here when you get back, and the books aren't going anywhere either! :)

You could knit, or cook. If you like those kinds of things, personally I find them both relaxing.

Good luck getting your groove back!

Carla said...

I think its just a natural thing. One month I can't get enough books, I like eat them without chewing, then another month I just can't read at all. If I force myself too, it means I just end up hating the book i've read, which isn't really good, especially if I *know* if I didn't force myself to read it, I would've loved it.

You know what I do? I buy or rent movies or tv series and watch them like non stop. Last time in my reading slump I watched two seasons of Greys Anatomy and a season of Friday Night Lights. I think the total cut off from books all together makes me want to actually read something instead of watch tv. Try it, it works like a charm for me.

Alea said...

I'd say pull out some dvds or watch some tv or something, that usually does it for me. Take some time to enjoy your other interests for awhile. :)

Splendibird said...

This happened to me a couple of weeks ago (for the first time since starting my fairly new blog). I watched a few movies, caught up on some TV and also re-read a book that I've read several times before and love. After a few days I started to feel better, then my TBR pile started to look interesting again. I'd also stockpiled some reviews so was able to keep posting a and not worry about leaving my blog just sitting there. I am sure you will feel like reading again super soon, for now just relax and have fun!

Marie said...

I've been feeling the same way lately. I think it's just the stress from school getting to me.

Maybe taking a break would be a good idea, then you can come back feeling refreshed and ready to go again!

Steph Su said...

When I'm in a slump (often, sadly), I either watch a ton of mind-numbingly chick-flicky movies (or whatever else floats your boat), or I reread books I enjoyed in the past, and tell myself not to feel guilty that I'm reading books I've already read when I've got a ton waiting for me to review, read for the first time, etc. Good luck!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I have found that you just have to go with it when you're in the midst of a reading slump. Any attempts I have made to read myself out of one have been unsuccessful. That is usually when I catch up on all the tv that I haven't watched because I am busy sleeping.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

LOL. That was supposed to say busy reading. I guess someone is sleepy.

Sandy Shin said...

I don't read as many books as quickly as you do, but I've been in (mild) reader slumps before. It helps to just clear your reading list for a week or two. Give yourself permission NOT to read, and not feel guilty about it. Afterward, ease into it again by reading your favorites, reading them with no intention of reviewing. For me, that usually helps. Good luck! :)

in which a girl reads said...

I'm in the middle of a reading slump right now. I have several books lying around that I want to read but just can't.

But here's what helps me:

If I watch lots of TV crammed in at once it usually works. For some reason, lots of TV makes me want to read a book afterwards. I think it's because watching TV is being entertained with a story, and it reminds me I'd prefer to be reading to be entertained by a story.

But I hope you can read again soon :)

Michelle said...

I think we all have these highs and lows and as you've mentioned it's pretty terrifying when your blog is about reading! I think what it comes down to is decreasing the pressure we put on ourselves to meet deadlines. Scaling back isn't a bad thing, shifting focus for a period of time isn't a bad thing....in fact, it can go a long way in building entheusiasm back up. I say hang out and do what you want that is non-book related then one day you'll likely wake up and be excited to grab a good read and jump back in.

Bibliovore said...

Oh, I hate reading slumps! They're so depressing, especially when you've been looking forward to something and can't finish it.

Okay, this is going to sound nuts, but I stave off the slumps by . . . reading. No really! Every weekend I try to switch out from the YA/children's and read a romance novel. It's a mental change that clears my head. Sometimes I feel like my brain is so littered with previous books that I can't concentrate on the one that's in front of me. Plus, since I don't blog about romance novels, I don't have to ponder whether I'll review it or not, and what I'll write if I do. This is not about "fluff" vs. "real" books, but just a different genre without any obligations attached to it.

I guess what I'm saying is, relax and take some time and pressure off, however you need to. This should be fun. :)

Angiegirl said...

Well, you've gotten a ton of advice. So I will just offer some hugs *hugs* and say I usually go with an old comfort read or a favorite movie. That or sobbing into my little pillow. ;)

Marg said...

Definitely something that every one goes through, a bit like the times when you are really inspired and could write ten posts in a week. Ride it out for a week, post about some other things maybe, and then see how it goes!

By the way, I have recently started a directory for Australian Book bloggers hoping to be able to connect people up for blogger meet ups among other aims. If you are interested in having a look the details can be found here

Michelle said...

I think my last reading slump happened because of my blogging!! I put too much pressure on myself to read something because I was due to blog. ... disaster... I'd forgotten that I started the blog for FUN and reading is for FUN. I just took a break and when I did start again I read some books just for fun and didn't even blog about them... pressure free *bliss* and now I'm back to normal.

challengingthebookworm said...

I am slowly getting out of my reading slump that lasted about two weeks. Stress from family, friends, and work just took it's toll. Instead of reading at night, I'd vege out in front of the tv or computer for hours. I'd regret it afterwards, feel guilty, and this huge cycle started. Finally, I forced myself to pick up a book and basically put on my blinders on and read for eight hours in one day. It felt soooo good!