Over Coffee: Let’s Talk about Reading Slumps
Over Coffee is a segment at A Novel Idea in where we discuss all things bookish. Ranging from events, tips, book releases and predictions, and how to’s.
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It hides in the shadows, waiting for the right time to strike. Watches you as you enjoy every single book to touch your hands, slowly creeping closer. You start to feel disinterested, unable to focus on the words, disconnected. Your excitement for the book is gone and you think to yourself, “I’ll just put it down for now.”
It strikes. Grabbing a hold of you and you spend days, months, and in worst cases, a year not picking up the book. Not picking up a single book.
Reading Slumps are frustrating and a bane to all readers’ existence.
What is a Reading Slump?
Readers’ perceptions as to what a reading slump technically is, vary. For me, like many others, a Reading Slump is a period of time when you cannot read. You can’t focus on the characters, words, or the events of the book. Information about the book no matter how many times you re-read the page can’t be retained or it’s when reading suddenly feels like a chore.
How do Reading Slumps happen?
There isn’t really an explanation as to why it happens but for me, Reading Slumps happen when:
- I’m reaching burn out.
- Depression hits.
- I’m stressed out because I gave myself too many project to work on at once
The fact that the brain is also a muscle and needs rest evades me sometimes. I’m so used to multi-tasking (thanks to retail) that I don’t realize when I’ve overworked my brain. Not saying that reading isn’t relaxing, because it is, however constantly reading when you’re doing mental tasks all day can have its toll.
How do I get out of a Reading Slump?
Busting through a Reading Slump varies with the reader. In my case, I re-read a favorite book, breaking down reading time to an hour a day and scheduling time to do nothing or work on another hobby where I don’t have to think as much. (AKA Playing the Sims)
I’ve come across other readers who just ride the wave. They put their focus on something else for that time and then one day just pick up a book again. Others combat it by switching over to another format like audiobooks or instead of reading physical books, they pick up ebooks.
Everyone has their own methods and none are an exact science. Reading Slumps are something we have to deal with as readers and how we go about defeating it (yes, defeating it because it is our personal villain), depends on the reader.
How do you get out of a Reading Slump? How long were you in one? Let me know in the comments below!