Monday, March 02, 2015

A Reader's Slump

On my post for How Much of the Book Do You Read? this comment came up:

Bonnie @ A Backwards Story has left a new comment on your post "How Much of the Book Do You Read?": 
I try so hard to read a book all the way through--especially if I've bought it!
If it gets to the point where I'm just skimming to read and don't care and am not retaining what I've read, I'll stop. Every once in a while, I'll skip to the end to see if it gets better (And I never read the end first!).
Sometimes, it's hard to say if the book isn't for me, or if it's because I'm headed into a slump. I think I'm headed into a slump now. I didn't love a major YA title that many other people are loving and buzzing about. I put down two other books without finishing them for the moment because I wasn't enjoying them, and I've been looking forward to both. I picked up the one again two days ago and managed to finish it BUT didn't really enjoy it and I normally love the author! 
So am I slumping? Did I just have three not-me titles in a row? I don't know! 

And I think it's a great question. Do you ever have a reader's slump? Those times when you seem to hate, or not like, or just are bored by everything you read?

Sometimes I think we need a change of pace and sometimes I think I read for my mood. I find that I read heavier things in the winter or crave classics (lately I've been craving both  Little Women and Pride and Prejudice). In the summer, I want a wonderful romance or a fast-paced suspense. Something quick and easy. When life is hard and busy and hectic and I want something that's going to easily take me away from it all. Other times I just need a good cry. In all of those cases where I need something from a book another genre isn't going to work. If I need a good cry, something light and funny is only going to aggravate me. 

But Bonnie, I've been there, I've been in a place where I'm fidgety and another book won't help. Is it a slump or just a reader feeling unsatisfied. 

I don't know the answer to your question. However, I would like to know if you ever finished and enjoyed those books.



Julie said...

I just got out of a slump myself. Usually I find the slumps only last about a month, but I can't be satisfied by titles I would normally enjoy. What I find works (and did this time again), is completely switching genres. Usually something short and easy will make me feel accomplished when I finish it, and I feel motivated to read another. It works for me, anyway.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Because my writing is primarily non fiction, (I'm a columnist), I need books that surprise me and take me away. Unless the story grabs hold of my collar and busts buttons, unless it gets me thinking outside my own circle and beyond the mundane of everyday life, I probably won't get past the first few pages.
I write so much,I have little time to read, so it's gotta' be good.
No slump here, just simply little time to devout to what I love to read, and no time for that which does not (cliché alert) knock my socks off.

ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) said...

My best way out of a slump is to read something quick and light-hearted. Often for me this means the controversially named "chick lit" and even better, chick lit romance (such as Jennifer Crusie). Otherwise, jumping genres helps and even better, reading YA since more often my slumps come after a string of adult fiction.

What I think would help me, but I am less apt to do now than several years ago, is to re-read books I love. I have fallen into the trap of thinking "too little time, too many books I haven't read" which is a shame, but I haven't yet figured out how to get out of that trap.

I have gotten better about not finishing books that don't grab me (this has been a difficult thing to develop), and there are a few out there that I keep thinking I should finish one day, because they seemed to be ones that I let go due to my mood. However... I have yet to actually return to them because "too little time, too many books..."

Really, it's not a bad problem to have. :D

Elissa M said...

I can't recall having a reading slump exactly. I don't have time to read as much as I'd like. If a book isn't holding my attention, I just put it down and do one of the many other things clamoring for my attention. I pick it up again when I have a moment, which could be days or weeks later.

I only read one book at a time, even if it takes a month to finish. Sometimes a book that doesn't grip me and keep me reading until the wee hours is a blessing because I need my sleep. ;)

One thing should be pointed out about "slumps" though. Not enjoying activities you usually enjoy is one sign of depression (an illness I've struggled with most of my life). If you're experiencing such a slump, make sure that's all it is, and not an indicator of something more serious.

Kaye George said...

I think nothing looks good to me right now because I have my head in several projects at once. I don't think I can put it into another one, even to read it. I am reading books for review, so I'm not reading nothing, just nothing for pleasure.

ADominiqueSmith said...

Changing genres always gets me out of a rut. Whenever I feel like I just can't like anything, I generally look back at the type of books I've been reading. If they are all the same, I know it's time for a change. Sometimes I just need a super fun, sweet story to make my heart sing and pick up my mood and then everything else seems better.

LynnRodz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LynnRodz said...

It use to be, once I started a book, I'd finish it even if it was no longer a pleasure to read. Now as ProfeJMarie said, "too little time, too many books". It doesn't happen often that I don't finish a book, but I find switching genres helps. I'll read non-fiction (self-help), then a novel, then heavy reading (astrophysics or physics), then a memoir or autobiography. Right now I'm reading Carlos Santana's The Universal Tone, great book by the way. It also helps to switch languages, I'll read something in French one time, then switch to English, or Spanish, so maybe that's why I don't get in a slump often.