Has it taken you a week or more to finish a 300 page book? Is your TBR list growing rapidly out of control? Are you finding it difficult to concentrate when reading?
Well, my friend *pats bed beside me, inviting you to sit down* (yeah, yeah, I’m blogging in bed today, just get in the damn thing, okay!?), you’re quite possibly suffering from a condition known as reading slump. Reading slump affects all of us from time to time, but it’s particularly frustrating when you’re a book blogger and reading is something you kinda, well, have to do. I’m in the midst of a mild reading slump right now and figured it might be a good idea to compile a list of potential cures for this affliction. Before we begin, let’s get comfy, okay?
…be creepy and snuggle and…
1. Ask yourself this question; why are you in a reading slump? Very often, my reading slumps are a reflection of my overall mood. It’s no massive secret that I have depression and when I’m having a period where I’m feeling particularly low, I find it a struggle to do the things that I enjoy. I find it difficult to focus on things such as reading and writing and I find myself feeling extremely lethargic. I’ll pick up a book and find that I either can’t concentrate or I just don’t want to read it. When I’m feeling like this, I try and figure out why I’m feeling more low than usual. Sometimes there isn’t a reason. Sometimes there is. If I do manage to pin point a cause, I work on a way of eliminating it, be it through talking to a friend or trying to change the way I approach whatever it is that has made me feel like that.
2. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I feel this ties in with the first point, particularly when you can’t determine the exact cause of your reading slump. As book bloggers, being in a reading slump is distressing. Your eyes frantically scan your blog, locking on the date of your last review. Last week, two weeks ago…it doesn’t matter how long ago it was, it will still induce feelings of guilt and make you feel like complete and utter shit. Criticising yourself doesn’t help. Hell, if anything it makes it worse. By making yourself feel useless as a blogger and bookworm, you bring yourself down and the whole cycle starts again. If you’re in a reading slump, don’t sweat it, okay? Your followers and blogging friends will still be there when you return to the bookish blogosphere. We get it completely and you don’t need to feel bad about it. This knowledge alone can help immensely.
3. Magazines! Magazines are a god send when it comes to tackling the ol’ reading slump. If the above two points don’t apply to you, that’s fine. Sometimes reading slumps arise from just needing a break from heavy reading. Magazines offer a bit of light relief and give your brain a mental break, all while still enriching it. It’s a win-win situation when it comes to magazines! Happy days!
4. Try something different. At the tail end of last year, I went through a massive reading slump and it was primarily because I was sick to the back teeth of paranormal romance. It’s the genre I initially built my blog around and, consequently, I felt I had a duty to read that genre and that genre alone. I began to feel as though I was reading the same story over and over, but with different characters and maybe a different location. I was bored and just couldn’t be arsed to read anymore. In January 2017, I decided to change things around and pledged to read more widely. Now, I dabble in all genres (well, I don’t literally mean all. Were you aware that dinosaur erotica was a thing? Nope? I’m sure your life was better without that horrific tidbit of information, so I apologise) and as a result, reading became exciting for me once more!
5. Switch off from social media for a while. Social media…ah, it’s a great yet terrible thing, isn’t it? On the one hand, you get to meet shit tons of new people and keep in touch with friends, old and new alike. On the other…well, it’s distracting as hell. Two months after buying Charles Bukowski’s The Pleasures of the Damned as a bedtime reading book, I’m not even a quarter of the way through it and do you know why!? Because I lie in bed watching videos of sloths being bathed and hung out to dry or guinea pigs playing tug of war with lettuce leaves! There! I admitted it! My point is that social media can be distracting and very often, I’ll leave my phone on charge in my bedroom while I go have breakfast. As a result, I usually fit in at least an hour of undisturbed reading in the morning (well, work depending). I’m not saying you should go on a social media detox (those guinea pig pics on Instagram won’t like themselves!) but more you should hide your phones and tablets for an hour or two each day. It works wonders!
Do you often suffer from reading slump? If so, what do you do? Let me know in the comments below!