The Dreaded Reading Slump; Why is it That I Get Them at the Same Time Every Year?
I have been a bookworm since I was a baby; I pretty much came out of the womb with a book in my hand. As I journeyed through my childhood and teenage years, I would read whenever I got a spare hour or two. Holiday time, where school had been ditched for a week or two as mandated by the government, was heaven! I could read all I wanted for two weeks! It became an agonizing decision to try and decide what books I wanted to read.
However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve unfortunately fallen prey to an unfortunate reality; being a college/university student. Why is this a drama? Because for the last 3 and a half years I have had little time to read for pleasure. These last three and a half years I’ve read until my eyes ached and spent hours upon hours of reading, highlighting and note taking. I’ve read more scholarly articles and textbooks than I care to recall.
But reading the books I really want to? Sorry, aint nobody got time for that.
Besides the fact that during session I simply didn’t have the time to read for pleasure, I was also severely book hungover from all the articles/books I HAD to read for my course. Every semester I would attempt to read for pleasure, but would always get a painful reminder in week 2 that it was a bad idea.
Between sessions, there were those glorious days called ‘holidays’, where you were free of classes, books and course content for a blessed few weeks. Between catching up on sleep, binge watching TV shows, taking on extra shifts at my part time job, and seeing friends, one of my favourite hobbies and uses of time was being forgotten; Books.
Because in a cruel twist of fate, the times when I could read for pleasure, I couldn’t find the will to pick up a book.
I know, I must have been seriously ill or something, but it still doesn’t explain the fact that every year without fail in my winter or mid-term breaks, I was unexpectedly unable to pick up one of the many books in my to-read pile and finish them. I still wanted to read… I just couldn’t summon up the will. I was, for lack of a better term, in a reading slump. A slump so mighty that it crushed my bookworm heart. Every June/July without fail I would fall prey to this terrible beast. And every June/July I would wonder what was wrong.
Fast forward to the present- July 2015. I am a University Graduate with my bachelors and currently undertaking another qualification (Insane? I know! But there is literally zero jobs out my way looking for a Bachelor of Arts graduate). Even though I’m undertaking a technical Diploma, a much different style of course compared to the previous book-laden University Undergraduate degree, I’ve found myself stuck in the same rut as the previous years.
In these blissful two weeks of winter holidays… I cant pick up a book.
My “50 books in 2015” goal is starting to look a bit out of reach.
Like most members of Generation Y, when faced with a serious life question, there was only one suitable place to turn to… Google
After a brief google search where I was overwhelmed with a veritable lexicon of blog posts and online discussion boards, It quickly became obvious that I wasn’t alone. Multiple bloggers offered ‘tips to beat reading slumps’ and while it has become clear that no one is really sure of what brings these dreaded slumps on, everyone is determined to beat them.
Urban dictionary defines a ‘Reading Slump’ as “a readers worst nightmare. Not being able to pick up a book and read because you just can’t, you just can’t read.” Lauren over at ‘Lauren Reads YA’ describes my thoughts on the matter perfectly and offers some helpful tips to overcome the disaster. For example, her seventh suggestion “focus on writing reviews” is the method I was immediately drawn to, hence the reason for this blog post. Lauren also suggests reading books outside your comfort zone, picking up a reading buddy, or reading a fast-paced or shorter book. All valid suggestions and all ones that I will employ in an attempt to kick this slump in the ass.
fangirlfeeels.wordpress.com offers some more suggestions; attend a book event, set daily goals or watch book reviewers on YouTube. There are a multitide of blogs offering different suggestions, how helpful they are depends on how/why you read and your personality type.
What gets some people out of their slump may be different to others. From previous years of experience, probably the best solution I’ve found is to just wait it out and keep trying.
So, what can you, dear reader take away from this?
Don’t fear if you’re like me and get reading slumps. It happens. Why? who knows. Just don’t despair and give up when it does. Maybe, like me, yours might occur annually or within a cyclical period. That’s ok. Just wait it out. Reading sessions are ahead.
That’s the good thing about books; they’re always there, just waiting for you to pick them up and come back into the fold between their pages.
- fangirlfeels 2014, “20 Tips to Get You Out of That Reading Slump”, accessed 7 July 2015, <https://fangirlfeeels.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/20-tips-to-get-you-out-of-that-reading-slump/>
- Lauren Reads YA 2012, “How to Get Out of a Reading Slump”, accessed 7 July 2015, <http://laurenreadsya.tumblr.com/post/21211897149/how-to-get-out-of-a-reading-slump>
- Urban Dictionary 2015, “Reading Slump”, accessed 7 July 2015, <http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=reading+slump>