Monday, March 12, 2012

I Can't Seem To Get Hooked...

Reading slumps. Ever had one?

My schedule has been insane the last while. I've blogged about that before, so I'll spare you the details. That's not the problem, or at least I am guessing it isn't, at this point. I seem to be going through a massive reading slump of epic proportions. What are the symptoms?

Nothing I read sticks: I start a book and read for a bit, but I am not really retaining it, clicking with the characters, etc. I'm not being drawn in and 'leaving my chair' the way that normally happens. I do not actually feel that this is the fault of the books I am reading because I have tried several.

Lack of attention span and motivation: I have hundreds of books here, a great many of which are ones that I bought because I am dying to read them... Some are sequels like Tiger's Quest, The Iron Daughter, Lenobia's Vow (which is a spin off novella, but still...), and some are new books I've been dying to read like Shatter Me, Across the Universe or The Summer I Turned Pretty. Yet I feel almost asleep in a way.

Pressure build up: If I am not reading, I am not really blogging. That annoys me. I like blogging. While I do have things to talk about, like my thoughts on the TERA beta, my rage at the ending for Mass Effect 3 and my progress for Moon Dance, I Write, I Read, I Review is suppose to be a book blog, which means that at least 50% of it's content is suppose to be book focused. (And generally I try to keep that average a lot higher).

I suppose that the best way to find a solution for this is to figure out what is causing it. If it is simply pressure build up, then I need to realize the world will not end if I don't have a review scheduled every Tuesday and Thursday. (In my perfect blogging world, that would always happen.) I also need to access whether I am reading for pleasure or reading for my blog, because if I have stepped into doing the latter that could be a real problem. I suppose, also, the truth might simply be that I've been too busy, or that since I am in the middle of huge revisions for Moon Dance that is eating up my 'book time' and focus. (One thing I am noticing when I try to read something is that in the back of my head I am going "You are stalling! You could be getting editing done!")

Here are some ideas I have come up with as possible solutions:

(1) Let it sort itself out naturally. I love books, so it's not like I am never going to read again.

(2) Sort out my library and go through all the books I have as if I am in a book store, waiting until one of them jumps out at me with the "read me now!" factor that undoubtedly got me to buy it in the first place.

(3) Don't push myself to read and place my focus on this round of Moon Dance revision so that is a weight off my shoulders, and then (I am hoping!) get back to enjoying reading once I have that out with betas.

(4) Push through the pain. Everything I was doing -- TERA, the singing contest, revisions, ME3, etc. really messed up my reading schedule. If there is anything I know about me and reading / writing it's that it's like exercise. If you suddenly stop doing it every day and have to reform the habit, it can be a real pain.

(5) Go back and read an old favorite, purely for enjoyment, and see if that breaks the cycle. For me, the characters in books that I love are truly alive and while I don't go back as much as I use to (way too busy with the blog!) I do enjoy reading through something I love more then once every now and then.

So, I am wondering if something like this has ever happened to any of you. What did you do about it? 


  1. I was having the exact same problem. It happens to me every few months. Either I go out and buy a book because I really really want it: not because it's popular, or that every one is reviewing it, or it's a debut. Only because I really, really just want to read it NOW.

    Or I go and read an old favorite. When 2012 started it was just a whole reading slump for me. So I went and I reread the Hunger Games trilogy. I got to revisit old friends (characters), read something I know is wonderful, and it got me excited to read more.

    Hope I helped =)

  2. I'm going throught the same thing! Everything I read just doesn't stick with me. I'm enjoying a book but not completely interested. The only way for me to enjoy a book is to read it fast, if it takes a coupld days to get through it, I loose interest.

  3. Kathy, I went through the same thing for a while. A lot of mine had to do with health issues (severely complicated pregnancy) which just totally killed my enthusiasm for doing anything other than existing and sleeping.

    Why not find a guest reviewer or two? If you take some of the pressure off and don't expect yourself to do reviews, eventually you'll get back into the swing of it. Read for pleasure, review only if you want to!

  4. Rereading a favourite is a method I've tried before, and it worked - but just made me want to re-read more favourites :)

    One thing I've done several times is pick up a short story collection - then you can read in short bursts, feel like you have achieved something quickly and by the end you will probably be craving a full length novel with more plot and character development. It's also a great way to discover new authors!

    Good luck and don't put too much pressure on yourself - we'll still be following even if you don't post a review every Tuesday and Thursday :-D

  5. Rereading a favorite helped me, or just taking a little break. It's supposed to be fun, anyway, so don't force yourself to read if you can't. You'll get the feeling back.

  6. I'm in a reading slump. I've started 3 books in the past month and haven't had the motivation to pick any back up. One, Hushed, I really, really, really want to read, but if I'm reading then I'm not working on my writing and I want to get that done. I also have a few stories of friends to beta read. Usually, when I get like this I need to step back and take a deep breath and stop worrying about everything I want to do because it doesn't need to all be done at once.

  7. I agree with what's been said. I'm kind of going through a reading slump too, but I think for me it's because I have writing on the mind, and I'm really trying to get Snow White done. Sometimes taking a break from everything - and I mean do nothing reading/writing related for at least a day - helps. Watch a movie, nap, paint your toenails, go window shopping, or go read at a different location, like a park (if it's pretty out).

    <3 hugs Don't stretch yourself too thin. Stress is a major creativity/fun killer.


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