Shelf Talk: Reading Slumps


Welcome to Shelf Talk, a bi-weekly discussion post that covers a variety of topics including, but not limited to, gardening, video games, cooking, crafting and of course books. If you have any suggestions for topics that you would like to see on future Shelf Talk posts, leave it in the comments or send me an email, and I’ll do my best to cover that topic in the future.

Let’s talk reading slumps, because I am going through on right now.

This didn’t start out as a regular slump. I have been extremely busy for the past month and it got to the point that I barely had time to sit down each day and when I did, I was simply too exhausted to read. Instead I turned to watching TV for a half an hour or so as my late night relaxation. Sure, I still wanted to read, but I know that when I’m physically and mentally exhausted I don’t absorb stories well. So the idea of reading and not being able to remember anything didn’t make sense. Well as the weeks went by, I soon realized that while I was still busy, but not as busy as before, I still had no desire to read and thus had entered a reading slump.

Years ago, I never even knew that reading slumps existed. If I didn’t want to read a book, then I didn’t read. I honestly didn’t even give it a second thought. I figured it was like those times when you don’t want to watch TV or you don’t want to go to the mall. Then, the next day, or perhaps a few days later, I would be eager to pick up a book and read again. This non-reading thing didn’t have a name, it just existed and I didn’t care.

But now, since I’ve become a book blogger and seen the word reading slump plastered all over the internet, I swear I have them more often and they last longer than ever. And of course every time I have one I start to get a little worried. What if this reading slump lasts for weeks, or months? How will I provide content on my blog if I haven’t read anything in a while? What do I have to do to break through this slump? But mostly, I wonder why I’m so concerned about it? It’s obvious that many people endure slumps, sometimes on a regular basis, so there’s no real reason to be too worried about it.

I have tried to do some reading over the last week and a half, but it hasn’t quite been successful. I tell myself, that I will sit down a read 10 pages or a whole chapter and be satisfied with that. Well, I grab my book, sit down and then next thing you know I’m somewhere else in the house doing something and I don’t even remember putting the book down. When I go back to look at the book I’m often still on the same page I was before, or perhaps a couple pages later.

So, I have decided to ignore my reading slump. If I feel like reading, great. If I only read a couple of sentences, that’s fine. If I read nothing for weeks on end, then so be it. I will let it run it’s course. The truth is, I have other things to do outside of reading and I know that in time, I will return to my books.

I’m curious though, when you have reading slumps, do you have a certain way to get over them? Do you force yourself to read until it’s fun again? Do you let it run it’s course? Let me know how you deal with reading slumps?


2 thoughts on “Shelf Talk: Reading Slumps

  1. In the last year I’ve been able to reduce the number of reading slumps I go through thanks to changing my reading schedule. I was giving myself way too many deadlines to read books; whether those were library books or ARCs, it just became a little stressful. So I made an effort to reduce those and read what I want, when I want and I’m much happier.

    But in the past, I would get over them by starting a variety of books at once and seeing what one grabbed my attention the most. If it’s a particular book that is giving me a hard time, I just read bits at a time until I finish it.

    Don’t stress it! You’ll get over this soon!

    • I used to get way too overwhelmed with keeping up with ARCs and such that I’ve all but stopped that. This year is dedicated to reading my own books, with just a few ARCs mixed in for fun. It’s worked out great so far, even with this slump bringing all my reading to a halt. It’s also helping me get rid of books that having been cluttering up my shelves for years.
      I have tried starting a bunch of different books to see if one jumps out at me, but so far I haven’t found anything that grabs my attention. I’m fine with that because most of my time is not spent writing instead of read, so I’ve temporarily switched from consumption to creation. I know in time I will return to reading and my books will be waiting for me when that happens.

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