The Urban Dictionary defined a reading slump as: A readers worst nightmare. Not being able to pick up a book and read because you just can’t, you just can’t read.
And i couldn’t agree more.
It’s a new kind of hell when you can’t bring yourself to do you’re favourite thing in the world. For readers, this is the reading slump; it’s when no matter how hard you try for some reason you can’t see to either stick with a book long enough to finish it, or you do stick with a book but actually reading it drags on until you can barely even remember the plot line or the original excitement that thrums in your veins at needing to know what happens next dulls into a distant hum.
Reading slumps can occur for many reasons, personally for me its because lately i have university work up to my ears. Bu there are also numerous other reasons such as…
- Busy with work.
- Haven’t read in a while.
- Read too much of the same genre.
- Just finished a soul shattering (in a good way) book.
- Just read a really bad book.
No matter the reason behind why you fell into a slump, it’s still hard to shake. I don’t quite have it down to a science (yet) but here’s my personal method that i use to defeat my reading slumps, which are now seemingly becoming an almost monthly ritual.
firstly i take a look at the books i’ve been reading lately to really get a feel for the type of books I’ve been reading as of lately; i don’t specifically look at genre, i look at the emotion and the style of the books I’ve been reading for instance, if i’ve been reading something like The Hunger Games, I would come note that those books had themes of death, war, a love triangle, angst, and anger. So, if i’ve been reading books that, let’s be honest challenges my faith in humanity its better to read a book that has a more positive outlook on life and a way of living and i would definitely stay away from a dystopian novel for the time being.
I recommend to get out of any reading slump, a contemporary book. But the problem is which contemporary? There are so many sub-categories within the contemporary genre that picking the perfect book to help you through the slump can be challenging. Before i get to how to pick this book i’m going to defend my Contemporary rule for a little bit. Contemporaries are the best books in my opinion to help with a reading slump. When an athlete has an injury and tries to get back into their beloved sport, you don’t see them on their first day back trying to work at the same level as they were before their injury, if they pushed themselves they would do more harm then good. For avid readers who are experiencing a reading slump starting off with a content heavy series that is written to ruin your life e.g the Mortal Instruments, Divergent series… you (the athlete) are just going to pull a muscle that’s going to prolong the period of inactivity. So, starting off with a contemporary novel that’s preferably a stand-alone is easing yourself back into reading in the most gentle way possible. It’s usually an easy read, with an ending that can make you feel emotion without feeling like you’ve been overwhelmed as if you’ve just conquered a massive series that would mark the end of a period of your life, and they usually involve a cute sappy romance that makes you believe in love; and… if ended correctly that can re-ignite the need to pick up another book immediately.
The hard part is picking the perfect contemporary to start you off properly on your reading journey or renewal. To bring back the example of The Hunger Games, when picking a contemporary novel if those books are the last ones you’ve read before try to go with a novel that has themes opposite of those in your last novel. So, as i said earlier the Hunger Games has themes of death, war, a love triangle, angst and anger; in order to negate the reading slump that this book helped you fall into going with a short contemporary that would have the general idea of a boy-meets-girl classic genre with little emotional trauma in the way of plot. Something simple and sweet with character growth and a happily ever after ending would be the perfect book to get out of the slump as it would make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. It would encourage you to explore this genre further and eventually you can evolve your reading habits to include contemporaries with more intense sub-plotlines and then before you know it you’ll be picking up another dystopian series in no time. Books i would recommend to start off with in this case would be…
- Stephanie Perkins. (Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and Happily Ever After).
- Rainbow Rowell (Attachments and Fangirl)
- John Green – Paper Towns.
- Lauren Myracle, John Green, Maureen Johnson – Let it Snow.
- Nicholas Sparks – Safe Haven.
To all those battling a reading slump i wish you luck! x
Til next time!
Urban Dictionary Source: