Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reading Slump

I always feel so guilty when I reach a point where I can't seem to concentrate on anything that I am reading! Sometimes I go into a slump after reading an amazing book, but more often than not it is caused by being 'meh' about the books I am reading. I did finish Daughter of the Forest last week, but that was a book I have been working on all month, so it didn't really cure the problem. I think reading slumps are made worse because of guilt, though. You worry that you aren't reading and you have commitments, so then you start to feel bad because you are letting people down and next thing you know... you are even more disinterested in reading than you were before! I just need a really good read to get me going again, but I am really struggling here.

I made it halfway through The Spiritualist by Megan Chance before having to put it aside because I got disinterested. I like the book, but I just can't seem to pay attention to anything at the moment. And, of course it is one of the Inter-library loan books I had out, so I can't renew it. Since I am supposed to read it this year, I have two choices: Decide I like it enough so far to buy a copy or Heather gave me two more alternate choices.

I also feel bad about the books that lead to the slump in the first place:
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
A Fine and Private Place by Peter Beagle
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

I have to admit that I think the Bradbury might be partly my mood after the two disappointing reads before it. I think I might have liked it better if the timing was different.

So, what is my solution? I bought four books yesterday:
Bluestockings by Jane Robinson
Troublesome Young Men by Lynne Olsen
Singled Out by Virginia Nicholson
Terribly Twisted Tales by Martin Greenberg

The first three are non-fiction books I have really wanted to read for a while. I didn't read enough non-fiction last year, so would like to remedy that this year. The last is total whim. I saw it mentioned, not even a review of it, looked it up and the library didn't have it, so I said 'what the heck...' It's not like there are not many, many books that the library doesn't have that I want to read, but for the moment I went with this one. I am hoping some new books in the mix from somewhere other than the library might spark something.

How do you feel about reading slumps? What are some of your solutions for overcoming them? And, not like I need anymore suggestions, but what has been your favourite read so far this year?


  1. I have the opposite problem--I've been chugging madly through stacks and stacks of books I really want to read and am enjoying! What I need is more time...

    But when I do get into a slump I tend to re-read old favorites.

    I hope yours clears up for you!

  2. I don't think I have had a reading slump for a long time, mostly because I am now making sure I have enough time to read in my schedule rather than having time and not feeling like reading. I don't really feel guilty about slumps, though. I honestly think it's because I have accepted significantly fewer review copies in the past several months. So I'm not really on tight deadlines and I'm not on anyone's schedule for reading challenges or anything- I can read what I want, when I want :-)

  3. So far this year, my favorite read is Jo Walton's brand-new book entitled Among Others. I can't imagine it wouldn't get a reader out of a slump because it's about reading, and the magic of it when you're young.

  4. I hate reading slumps. don't know how to cure them, either...

  5. Hate reading slumps! Especially when I HAVE the books I thought I wanted to read, and then don't want to read them.

    Right now, I want to read, but I don't want to review about 8 books that have been hanging around. Better get to it soon, because it is almost time for me to return them to the library. Reviewing slumps are a pain, too.

  6. I never really had a reading slump, but I haven't booked blogged for long and I suspect that the two things are often interconnected (like you said, people start feeling guilty and it just makes things worst).

    One that I would recommend in audio format, read by Matthew Macfadyen: The Coma by Alex Garland. Only about 2 hours, but very good.

  7. I don't know -- I think I go for audiobooks.Try your favorite escape genre.

  8. *ugh* sorry to hear youre in a reading slump...I hate when that happens.
    When I get that way, I try to read a cheesey romance. Something light and fluffy to help me get back into it.
    good luck!

  9. I find that one way to avoid too many reading slumps is not to take on too many reading committments. When I absolutely *have* to read a book I lose all interest. My favourite read so far this year is the sci fi novel, The City of Pearl by Karen Traviss.

  10. Let me echo everyone else by saying how much I hate reading slumps. Hate them! Whenever I'm in a reading slump I turn to a reread of a favorite or my comfort series which is usually J.D. Robb's series. For a suggestion of a book to pull you out, I would recommend Feed by Mira Grant. Best book that I have read this year so far!

  11. I don't really get into reading slumps much any more and I think that;s because I read so much manga and graphic novels. If I don't feel like getting into a book I just read a GN.

    My favourite book this year is most likely Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

  12. I think when I get in a reading slump, I try to pick out something totally random to read. Something that's not on the agenda, or that I feel any pressure to read. Usually it's also short, so I feel accomplished. That usually helps me. Good luck!

  13. I never know what to do about reading slumps either. :( Usually I just sort of keep plugging away the best I can and wait for them to pass. Which is a pretty pathetic solution, huh? :P

    I'm so sorry that Something Wicked This Way Comes was a disappointment for you, Kelly! I just adore that book. But I hope your very next book is just the one you need to pull you out of this slump and put the joy back into your reading!!!

  14. I just recently went through a mini-slump and I feel exactly the same as you do -- guilty, because I have commitments, which only makes me slumpier. The usual cure is to read something really quick and easy and fun, like YA (my current slump-breaker). If that doesn't work, I sometimes throw out everything in my sidebar and start over on a new set of books. If I can't get into any of the ARCs, I'll just go with whatever calls to me. Usually, a combination of those will de-slump me, but sometimes it's just the weather or my mood or who knows and then . . . time for a few nights of movies.

    I just looked to see what my favorite book has been, so far this year, and I realized I'm not reading things I love. Hmm. No wonder I went through a recent slump. It might be shallow of me, but I think I'd have to go with How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier. It was just pure fun.

    Just noticed Alexandra's recommendation and I'll give that a second thumbs-up. I loved Coma.

  15. I hate reading slumps! My last one lasted four months. I guess my best advice is to re-read something you know you love. Something Wicked This Way Comes was a good book but I can easily see how it would hurt rather than help. I liked the few books I've read so far this year but I don't really have a favorite unless you count my re-read of Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank.

  16. Reading slumps, a reader's curse! My solution has already been to read something else. If I just read a lot of fiction, I'll just go and read non-fiction, graphic novels or magazines. It's not a miracle cure though, and it doesn't always work! Sometimes I just need a time away from books. I hope it goes away soon for you!

  17. I usually don't resort to nonfiction to cure my reading slumps, but I can see it working. Especially since you have Bluestockings which I am DYING to read, it looks so cool!

  18. I'm new to your blog, and I can't tell you how reassuring it is to hear that other people struggle with the reading slump. For awhile I always thought I was doing something wrong. Generally when I'm dealing with dissatisfaction in my books, I turn to my writing. Other than that I don't know how to handle it. Great blog!

  19. *Charlotte: I was having that problem, but then I read a few dud books... Hopefully I am back on track again now! More time would be nice, yes.

    *Aarti: I am not too strict, either. I think it was just the disappointment of bad reads that fizzled me out. It's disappointing when you want to like something and just don't...

    *Jeanne: One of my next 'priority' buys is Among Others. It looks REALLY good!

    *Amanda: Sometimes I can, but other times I really struggle trying to get back on my feet...

    *Jen: Getting behind on reviews is another problem that I have. When I get really far behind I get overwhelmed and then don't want to tackle the project...

    *Alexandra: I will keep that in mind, thanks!

    *Beth: I need to do audios more. The library has a new program and I can't get it to work! It's very disappointing!

    *naida: Yes, getting out of my normal zone and reading something 'thoughtless' is a good idea!

    *Cath: The City of Pearl is on my list to read very soon!

  20. *Samantha: I should have read an In Death book. I want to make some progress in that series. Unfortunately I can't find my copy of Seduction in Death and haven't tracked down a used copy yet.

    *Nicola: That WWII book looks really good. I have it on the list to get at some point. I can't remember if my library had it or not off the top of my head.

    *Kim: Yes, I wasn't really novels for a bit, but I did read some graphic novels and manga to feel accomplished.

    *Debi: Thanks!

    *Tink: My library doesn't have Alas, Babylon. Maybe the second hand bookstore will next time I am there!

    *Kay: I actually did read a non-fiction book and I think it worked. :)

    *Jenny: It is about the exact opposite of what I was reading, so it worked. :) I want Bluestocking to hurry up and get here. It shipped, but I just don't have it yet.

    *Jessica: Welcome to my blog! Thanks for stopping by!


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