Discussion: Reading Slumps


There’s no wrap-up for November, because the only thing I read was a short story. I worked on some other books, but I didn’t finish any. I barely read at all. Anyone who reads and shares their reading, whether it be on booktube, on a blog, or even Goodreads, feels the strain when they’re “not reading enough”. We all look at our space where we put reviews and share our love of books, watch a tumbleweed roll by, and wince.

That’s when it becomes pertinent to discuss the idea of the slump. Is that what it is? Is that a bad word? I might be slumping in books, but I’m active in other areas. I’m researching a project for the new year that involves a whole new hobby of mine. I’m getting ready for Christmas, and high-five me if it’s been a time-consuming trial, because I feel you. I’m writing. I’m doing housework and running errands. I redecorated a minor bit. I’m doing things all over the place. I’m just not reading. The word “slump” implies that I should be reading all the time, and the fact is, I shouldn’t feel pressured. I should read when the mood strikes, not because I have to meet some quota.

On top of everything, not to get overly personal, but this time in 2013 was when my father was very, very sick. On December 21st of that year, he passed away. He’d been diagnosed with cancer, and while I was aware that it was bad, we were gearing up to fight it when he suddenly died. It’s easy to see how that would affect my mood, especially when I’m trying to get in the holiday spirit, which is hard for me since then. Sometimes books are my haven. They’re where I go to escape. But sometimes I don’t have the level of concentration that requires, so I don’t try. I slip into the easier things, like watching shows I love (lots of Mystery Science Theater 3000) or funny YouTube videos, rather than strain myself.

In a case like that, it also makes me not want to call it a “slump”. That feels like undue pressure. I don’t need to view it as this thing I have to break out of or else. Because the truth is the urge to read always comes back to me. I’m never without it for long. This is a temporary feeling, and forcing it will only make it worse as well as making me feel worse about it.

What else contributed to this state I’m in? You’ve heard the usual suspects. I read a bunch of crummy books that I’m stuck in the middle of, and the desire to read started to bleed away. Also, I hit my yearly goal very early. The usual drive those goals make you feel to read more, to succeed, is no longer there. I could’ve upped my goal and kept going, but I’m glad I didn’t, simply because I don’t think it would’ve helped me. It probably would’ve only served to make me feel worse about taking the time off from books.

I don’t know if others are like this, but I tend to work in cycles. Sometimes I’m reading non-stop. Sometimes I only want to watch movies. Other times I spend days writing, totally dedicated to my own stories. I’m used to these cycles, and I don’t ever say that I’m in a movie slump or a writing slump, so I don’t consider myself in a reading slump either. I follow my enjoyment wherever it takes me, and I’m content with that.

What’s your opinion on slumps? Is it a word you dread hearing? Do you not sweat it at all? Lemme know! And as always, happy geeking!

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