So, as I sit here staring at the last three chapters of book that I’ve been reading for the past year, I wander how the hell I managed to drag this book out for a year. Its a 659 page thriller from an author that I absolutely love (The Shining by Stephen King if you’re interested) and yet I seemed to drag my way through this entire novel.
Which irritates me because I managed to read IT in 3 months and Lord Of The Rings in 1 month -Which was a whole different behemoth of a task but still- it shouldn’t have taken me that long to read this but here we are.
The only thing I could think that slowed me down is that I’m in a bit of a reading slump. Sure, I’ve read this book bit by bit, and a couple of anthologies but those were to give out reviews.
Otherwise, I just haven’t been in the mood to read.
Reading slumps are just one of those things that happens to book lovers on occasion. You can have an amazing year where you read 50 some odd books and the next you drag through maybe 10, or none.
Reading is an act that supposed to be relaxing. A way for people to escape their every day lives and just enjoy someone elses happiness- or troubles if you prefer crime or horror- but its not supposed to feel like a chore.
And I think that’s where my troubles began. I started telling myself that I need to read this book to learn from it because it fit into my genre, and I needed to read that book to keep up with trends, and read whatever is new that I forgot to actually enjoy what I’m reading. I was no longer reading because I wanted to but because I had to and it just threw me off.
So how does one get out of these reading slumps?
Well, I’m not sure if I’m the best person to come to for this considering my current state, but I’ll give a few tips for how I’ve gotten out of it in the past. These are things I have been trying or will try now.
So here we go…
Tip #1: Just don’t push it. There are various forms of media out there besides reading. There are movies, video games, whole series that you can binge. I’ve been doing a mixture of all three and while I’m gonna continue watching X-files and play Last Of US 2 that is coming out next week, I’m still feeling that urge to pick up another book already set in.
Just got to decide which book.
Tip #2: Go for shorter stories. There is plenty of novellas that you can pick up that are no more than a hundred pages or so that make for quick reads. Anthologies are an abundant source of short stories that you can read through and pick at your leisure.
You really don’t have to go for a full fledged novel all the time.
Tip #3: Change the type of stories that you are reading. Sometimes that reading slump is just a lack of excitement. When you read in the same genre all the time you pick up trends, or cliches, and those cliches can get boring after a while. So if you typically read YA fantasy try going for the mystery novels, or historical fiction. Mix it up, who knows you might actually find stories you enjoy.
Tip #4: Try an audio book. Maybe the issue isn’t you don’t want to read but you don’t have the time. Audio books offer a great way for you to get those reading goals in while you are driving or moving around the house.
Tip #5: Just pick through one book at a time. This is what I’ve been doing for the past year. I haven’t felt like reading any other books but I slowly made it through one book. During random breaks throughout the day, waiting in the car etc. Hence how I’ve managed to read it least one book during this slump.
And it’s not that I didn’t enjoy the story. Like I said, it is a book written by one of my favorite authors and The Shining is such a classic story and yet I picked through it. Slowly but surely made it chapter for chapter. Sometimes going weeks without touching it.
Just because you go long periods of time doesn’t mean you are not a book lover. We all go through slumps where we stop doing things we love just because of burn out. After a period of time we usually wind up picking up those hobbies again like we never dropped them in the first place.
Until next time!
So, what are some of the things you do during a reading slump? What was your longest period of not reading a book?