The Dreaded Slump

Updated: Jun 1, 2021

I may be over here talking about my love of reading, that books are my escape, that it’s World Book Day and we should be encouraging each other to read and tackle that TBR pile but I have a confession to make…I’m currently in the throes of a reading slump!

I’m currently 4 books behind on my 2021 Goodreads Challenge (you can find my account here if you’d like to be friends) and I haven’t had a streak going on Bookly in so long! I was flying through books at the start of the year but then I stumbled and now here we are.

I haven’t finished a book since 28 February and that was Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss and Redemption from the New York Times. I’d seen the Amazon series and loved that so I knew there was a high likelihood that I would really enjoy this collection of stories too and I wasn’t wrong.

So where did the stumble come from? I think I only have myself to blame. At the start of this year I collated a list of themed topics for each month ie Black History Month, Pride Month, International Women’s Month etc, you get the drift. So when March arrived, which is International Women’s Month, I decided that I had to read a book with a feminist focus and I chose Feminists Don’t Wear Pink, curated by Scarlett Curtis. I’m enjoying it but it wasn’t what I wanted to read next. On top of that I’ve been distracted with general life and therefore not making the time or effort to read that I want to or that I should.

Here’s the question, what do you do when you’re in a slump you don’t think you can get out of?

Sometimes a book hangover has led to the slump, I’m just so caught up in the book I just finished that I can’t even think of or decide on what I want to pick up next and sometimes you just have to go through the motions (we bookworms can be dramatic and get attached to stories and characters, don’t judge us!)

Sometimes it’s because you keep picking up books that you ‘think’ you should be reading as opposed to what you want to read.

Other times you really just can’t make a decision on what it is you want to read, it’s like spending half the evening trying to decide what to watch on Netflix only to end up picking nothing and watching old Youtube videos.

Therefore, the first plan of action is to decide why you’re in the slump. For me, I know right now that it’s because I’m reading a book, I thought I should be reading as opposed to picking something up that I was really in the mood for. I could have stopped and gone back to it another time, but I have a very annoying stubborn streak. Good news is that I’m nearing the end and I’m promising myself that next on my list will be something that my little bookish soul has been looking forward to (not that I haven’t been looking forward to Feminists Don’t Wear Pink!).

If your slump is induced by options one or two you might just have to wait until the moment passes because if experience is anything to go by, nothing is going to grab your attention.

Once I’ve figured out the cause, i.e. reading something I’m not 100% in to in this case, I need to decide, do I continue or do I stop and find something else? In most instances I’m going to continue, it’s just who I am, so I need to focus, carve out time and just get into the reader mindset, even if it’s only 30 minutes a day or one chapter, before I know it I’ll be back in the swing of things.

However, I’d also say that if you aren’t in the reading mood don’t force it! Reading should be fun, it should be an escape not a chore, so don’t sit there trudging through a book or forcing yourself to pick your next read when you really aren’t interested. Binge Netflix, see your friends, do whatever else it is that you’re in the mood for and enjoy that because books? They aren’t going anywhere, if anything that TBR pile is just going to keep on growing!

Happy weekend reading, but no pressure if you don’t even look at a book this weekend!

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