Thoughts on… Reading Slumps

I like routines especially when it comes to my blog. On Monday’s I post a film review and on Thursday’s I post a book review and if there’s something else I want to write about it’ll go live on any other day – that’s how I’ve done it for years now. I’m pretty consistent when it comes to that “schedule” but it’s tough to keep up with it when you’re in a reading slump.

I’ve read two books this month and I’m currently in the middle of two more; The Dry by Jane Harper on audio and I’m reading a physical copy of Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi. It’s not unusual for me to be reading one book on audio and another in physical format at the same time, but what is unusual is that it’s two and a half weeks since I started the physical book and it’s less than 300 pages long.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a reading slump.

I think this one has been brought about by life being a bit more busy than usual. I’ve started a new job, I did a movie marathon for charity, and I have family-related things I’m perhaps I’m subconsciously worrying about. I say subconsciously as I’m very much a person who doesn’t think they get stressed, until my body gives up in some shape or form and I realise I wasn’t feeling that great. Time to read and being in the right headspace to read is definitely the main factor. And while I do find the premise of Frankenstein in Baghdad interesting and I like how it has a large cast of characters, I never feel compelled to pick it up even though when I am reading it, I enjoy it. It’s a weird situation to be in.

This long weekend I plan to either finish Frankenstein in Baghdad or consciously put it aside and pick up something else. I can always go back to Frankenstein in Baghdad when I’m more in the mood for it. Because that’s something I’ve learnt about myself over the many years I’ve been reading – I am a mood reader.

That’s why my TBR’s are often pointless as I might read one or two books from them but the rest of that week/month/whatever I’ll read completely different things. With my Read the World Project I do think I put pressure on myself to read certain books and quickly. The plan with that project was to read a book from every country in the world before I turn 30 which is in less than two and a half years now and I have about 100 countries still left to read. While I enjoy reading books from different people in different places, and I’ve certainly found some favourites that I would never have heard of if it wasn’t for this challenge, there’s sometimes an underlying sense of guilt if I’m reading books that don’t fit for the challenge.

I think really for me, reading slumps are something that happens when I’m drained, can’t focus on the physical act of reading, and can’t find a book that suits my mood. To get myself out of reading slumps I tend to go to graphic novels as they are so much shorter and quicker to read than a novel. If I read a couple of graphic novels, I feel like I’ve achieved something and can then attempt to read a novel next.

I’m still learning to tell myself that putting aside a book to try it again at a later date, or just admitting that it’s not for me and DNF-ing it, is absolutely fine. I haven’t “wasted time” on that book and it’s totally OK to just have a break from reading if my mind is not up to it – blogging schedule be damned!

I hope this all makes sense. I was trying to write through how my feelings on reading and how that relates to blogging. I also have a clearer idea of how I’m going to think about my current read, my reading slump, and what kind of book(s) I want to read next. Have you ever had a reading slump? And if you have, how have you gotten yourself out of it? It’s always good to hear other people’s tips and tricks.

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4 comments

  1. This makes absolute perfect sense to me – you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t get slumps. I get them for reading books, though I get them oddly enough for movies more often. I guess it’s because I’ve read every night before bed since I was probably 10 yrs old. Sometimes though, like you, I had a hard time deciding to put the book down if I truly wasn’t interested because I felt like I should be more vested or it would get better, or most of all, the book club I was in picked that book and I should just read it. Now, I don’t get so anxious about it all anymore. Though sometimes I still definitely get this more on movies as I get writers block more than I like to admit and it can take me a while to churn through it. Sometimes a break is just good, especially if you have regular life things to do.. you’ll be back.. you always know you’ll be back!! 🙂

    1. It’s good to hear it’s a universal experience – I get it a bit with movies as well. Especially when I can’t decide what I want to watch. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have the attention span to pay attention to anything new but then I kinda feel bad about rewatching an old favourite because there’s so many new films out there to see.

      I definitely need to teach myself it’s OK to put down a book if I’m not feeling it right then. Like you say, I can always try again, or just be like nope, it’s not for me.

  2. Hope you get out of the slump soon. I often find the same feeling where I do not feel pulled to pick up the book I’m currently reading but when I’m reading it, I really enjoy it. Maybe picking up another book would be a good idea to switch things up a little! 🙂

    1. Thanks! I did get out of the reading slump (I’m on my eighth book this month!) and it did help to read something else, even if it was a few magazines that didn’t require much thought.

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