Monday, June 18, 2018

Ramblings from the Stacks - Reading Slumps and How to Fix Them

My reading has been on the meh side lately which was confusing as the books I was reading were actually really good.  I realized that I was actually in a slump which got me thinking about the different kind of slumps, their causes, and the solutions that I have found kind of work for me.

The Slump:  I hate this book, this author, the cover, the people the book is dedicated to, everyone mentioned in the acknowledgements and everyone even vaguely connected with the publishing of the book.

The Cause:  This is very much a case of "It's not you, it's me".  The book is normally absolutely fine but the problem is I'm usually forcing myself to read something that I'm just not feeling like reading for whatever reason.

The Solution:  A bit of yoga breathing to get all the annoyance out followed by a reread.  Barbara Michaels'  paranormal romantic suspense with all their ghostly Gothic-ness are usually the perfect fix but if I'm not in the mood for a bit of spookiness a short story collection from Rosamunde Pilcher, L.M. Montgomery or Agatha Christie will do the trick.

The Slump:  Are their words on this page?  I can't make my eyes actually focus on them.

The Cause:  This slump happens usually when summer starts.  Between crazy humidity and the shakeup in my schedule I'm distracted and a bit tired.

The Solution:  This slump is kind of annoying because it's hard to fix.  I've had the best luck with going through overdue review books and just picking what looks good but not forcing myself to keep reading if it isn't working because otherwise I'll get into the first slump.  Memoirs or other light nonfiction have worked well in the past.

The Slump:  The "meh" slump.  Everything is fine but nothing is really clicking.  I'm not really enjoying the actual act of reading.

The Cause:  Genre fatigue.  I'm reading a lot of one genre and not mixing it up much if it at all.

The Solution:  A random wander through the library or my collection of books and pick up and read any book that appeals to me even if it's not on my schedule.

The Slump:  Every time I sit down to read I doze off.

The Cause: Normally I'm burning the candle at both ends.

The Solution:  Take a bit of time off and just watch tv and try and go to bed early for a few nights.

What different slumps do you have?  What solutions have you found?


  1. I love that first one. Sometimes we're just mad at everything for no reason lol. Your solutions are pretty good though- injecting some variety into my reading does often help. I do get some genre fatigue too from time to time!

  2. I get the 'too much to do' slump where I have blogging to do, tv series to catch up with, films to watch, reading to do, other time consuming things...I can't decide which is priority and I get nothing done!

  3. I have definitely had the not being able to focus one and the meh one. Sometimes a break from reading helps me and bingeing a show or something. Or rereading a favorite sometimes helps too.

  4. Such a great post! I can relate to all of these slumps! I'm actually in one now, though I'm still reading. I did put aside a bunch to find the ones I could get through, and those were nonfiction.

    So usually going outside my comfort zone or choosing a nonfiction gets me going, giving me a break from my relentless schedule of psychological thrillers, suspense, cozy mysteries, etc. I need something totally different so I can feel refreshed. Maybe for you that would be a humorous title, as I remember you enjoy those too.

    Also a slump can be brought on for me by thinking about sad or stressful things: the news, an illness in the family, money troubles, etc. Then I lose my mojo for a while. At least we always find our way back, right? :)

  5. I don't get into slumps very often, though I can relate to all the ones you listed here. And I like your solutions, especially Ammie, Come Home. Ha! Anyway, it's tough around our house then 'kay can't read'. My husband definitely notices and usually asks me if I've been reading a 'literary'-type book - you know the kind - no happy ending or gloom and despair all the way through. He'll usually say 'pick up a nice murder or serial killer book' and that usually works. I do know that when life throws curves at me - sad, stressful, horrible curves, I have a hard time calming down enough to read. And it's really what I need most. I have used rereads a lot - books that I love and that have happy endings. Robyn Carr's Virgin River books work well or Debbie Macomber's books. Or, like you, Barbara Michaels or Emily Pollifax or Miss Marple. Nice post, Katherine!

  6. I loved this post - also, I think an Agatha Christie book will solve all my slumps expect that slump after I read too many of her books in a row and end up hating Poirot so hard that I cannot read any other word (that doesn't happen to Ms. Marple).

  7. I have some of those slump sometimes! lol I always have to run to my go to genre cozy mysteries to get out of my slump or some times a total genre change like reading a romance or something like that.

  8. All of these are spot on. I can relate to them all. I think the one I find myself in most often is the last one. Especially these days. :-S

  9. Great post!! I seldom get into reading slumps because I just pace myself and don’t allow this hobby to begin feeling like a job. I like what you said about taking a break from a scheduled read to read what you want. I can relate to that one for sure.

  10. I so rarely have actual slumps. The worst I have is when I just can't get into a book. These are all great ideas though for these instances! Fun post!

  11. I had to giggle at the first one! Yep, I'm familiar with all of them, though I'm mostly plagued with the "meh" and "dozing off." I try to check out something from the library that wasn't on my TBR schedule.

  12. I don't dnf review books because too many people whine that I should have read 10% more, 25% more, 70% more, 99.6% more... because thats when the book "gets good", so your first slump type is a killer for me because I have to continue reading. Ugh. 🙈 You r description was too funny. 😂

    I wholeheartedly agree with the changing up the genre approach. I can't bear to even think about royal court and kingdom Fantasy right now, and I know a good dose of SciFi will help. Short story anthologies help me out, too. 📚

  13. I tend to get bored with reading and everything slows down if I don't mix things up. I know that so I rarely read more than a couple of the same genre in a row. I have had to pull out a favorite book to get me excited about reading again and sometimes I just need to do something else for a day or two.

  14. I pretty much have all of these slumps but I've never really thought of them this way. Thanks for the tips on working through them!