Book Nerd Problems #2: Reading Slumps

Posted February 21, 2013 by Debby in Book Nerd Problems, Discussions / 23 Comments

This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the many problems one can run into as a book nerd.

#2. Reading Slumps

Welcome to my second installment of the discussion feature, Book Nerd Problems. Thank you so much for your responses and positive reactions to the last one! From now on, I’m going to try to make this a weekly feature. Now without further ado.

I think at some point or another every one of us occasionally goes through a phase where we just don’t feel like reading. Whether it’s because real life has you stressed out so you can’t focus, or you just finished a book that was so epic you don’t know how to go on (a.k.a. a book hangover, which will be covered in detail in another installment of this discussion feature), or some other reason, you just feel unmotivated to pick of that next (or worse, current) read.


A reading slump is dangerous, particularly for me. In the most recent one, I just felt extremely apathetic about reading. I’d finished the epic Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff, followed by Everbound by Brodi Ashton, and nothing else was really measuring up. However, I continued on my merry way, forcing myself to read, and the result? A string of ratings that are probably lower than they would have been if I hadn’t read them during the slump. Do you ever feel that way? That under different circumstances you would like the book more but due to your mood, it just doesn’t work out that way?

Here are some ways to get yourself out of a slump… but by no means are they foolproof.

1. Take a break from reading.

Maybe the best solution is to just take a step backward and not read for a while. In those instances, I usually turn to TV. Mindless staring at moving pictures tends to de-stress me at those times when I’m so stressed and tired I just don’t want to read. My last slump almost got me through all six series of Doctor Who. Yep, I’m a nerd.

2. Switch it up with some nice, light contemporary.

For some reason, contemporary reads manage to pull me out of slumps quite often. Especially those guilty pleasure type reads seem to work well for me. I think it’s something to do with at that moment just wanting to be entertained without having to go through a dark, complicated world or plot, by which you have to think a lot and read critically.

3. Pick up that highly-anticipated/highly-rated read you haven’t gotten around to yet.

Even though you may have a pile of review books stacked high, or a to read list in a very specific order, maybe the only way to get yourself out of the slump is to go for a book you know will be so epic it will force you out. You can do this with a long awaited sequel or one of those books that all your friends have read and loved that you haven’t gotten to. This is what most recently worked for me, with Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi.

4. Reread one of your favorite books.

I know, who has time to reread books, right? But at the same time, going back to a favorite could reignite your love for reading and remind you of awesome characters and feels. It just might be the spark you need.

5. Go to your favorite bookstore.

Just browsing the shelves and maybe finding some little known gem can be a real inspiration. For me, just looking at all the pretty covers in the store and stroking them gets me excited. Wow, that sounds dirty *cough*.

6. Read a book together with a friend.

I haven’t tried this one before, but I can only imagine that it really works. By reading together you can keep each other motivated and reading, and having someone to discuss both the positive and negative points with can be a huge relief.

Let’s Talk!

So what about you? When was your most recent reading slump? What caused it? How did you get out of it? Let me know in the comments!

Β When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done. Dr. Seuss

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23 responses to “Book Nerd Problems #2: Reading Slumps

  1. I just got out of a book slumped–that was caused by a book hangover. I read If I Stay by Gayle Foreman and just loved, loved, LOVED it. However, it was also incredibly emotional, and nothing I picked up to read afterwards seemed to keep my attention for longer than the first thirty pages. I really like all your tips–I definitely took about a week break from reading(and introduced myself to Doctor Who and got through series 2 in about 4 days, so I’ll join you in the nerdy corner). I’ve also found that writing helps me get out of reading slumps. I know not every reader is a writer, but for those of us who do write, even occasionally, writing your own story that you’re passionate about is a good way to feel drawn to stories and books again, at least in my experience.

    • Oh that totally makes me nervous because If I Stay is high on my to read list, haha. Good to know it’s that great though πŸ™‚ And YES for Doctor Who!!

      [im]http://i1359.photobucket.com/albums/q799/snugglyoranges/gifs/tumblr_inline_mgp67obX9s1rdfj3d_zpsc8d4eaf1.gif[/im]

      That’s a good point! I’m not a writer, but I can imagine that that really would help as well πŸ™‚ Thanks for the input!

  2. I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote, Debby! Reading Slupms are terrible and I feel like I’m in a constant one right now. School work and life has been stressing me out and I just can’t bring myself to read. After I finish a book I’m always like ‘Wow, that was amazing!’ and then I fall in a reading slump again. But I do have to agree on your advice! Especially discussing a book with a friend. Me and bff do that for every single book and it helps a lot clearing your ideas and just sharing thoughts feels nice!
    Well that turned out long, but reading slumps are just the worst!

    • Aww, I’m so sorry about your reading slump πŸ™ I think I’m sort of in the same situation because school has gotten so difficult with my thesis and everything.. I’m glad discussing books with friends works! Sadly, I’m the only one in my social circle who obsessively reads, haha. And my friends, when they read, have very different tastes. But thankfully, twitter blogging friends are helping too πŸ™‚

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m almost afraid to say it, but I hardly have reading slumps *knocks on some wood* I sometimes feel a bit stressed out by the overwhelming amounts of books, but I always try to remember: I read, because I love it. So enjoy the book you are currently reading and you’ll see what comes next. I know that feeling where you think nothing can compare to your last book, but I always try to see them separate. And that works most of the time. If not, I will pick up a fairy tale, that always does the trick πŸ˜€ Reading together with a friend is impossible, unfortunately. Nobody else reads :(.

    And I always love to go to my favorite bookstore. Just walking between all those books <3 Heaven, haha.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

    • I’ve came up with some new things:

      -Waiting A WHOLE YEAR (or something horrible like that) for the next book.
      -Hating the second book after loving the first book.
      -Horrible main characters, how to deal with them?
      -Re-reading books you loved/love.

    • Oh, I’m totally jealous. I try to see books as separate but when my last read was really good or really bad, that stays in my head for a while. Nice though, with the fairy tales, haha. And I can related, my friends don’t read either. πŸ™

      Haha, thank you so much for all your suggestions! πŸ™‚ Adding them to the list, which is getting quite long, haha.

  4. I’m kind of in a reading slump right now. It’s more of a half-slump, because I can read and enjoy books – I loved Burn for Burn – it’s just a problem with finding motivation. It’s driving me crazy because I have so many books that I am DYING to read (review and non-review copies) but I’m reading at a snail’s pace.

    It started because Scarlet was SO. FREAKING. AWESOME. and then I read three books that were okay/good/mediocre/boring. So… Gah.

    I find that reading a good contemporary helps! It certainly worked with Burn for Burn, because I think I’m slowly getting out of it now. I can’t say that TV helps much because I watch too much TV anyway so it wouldn’t make much of a difference XD

    Doctor Who was an excellent choice, I must say!

    • Yeah, I think I’m in the same kind of half-slump. I think I’m going to blame it on the cold weather. It sucks the life out of me. No motivation to do anythgin.

      Hahaha, I really need to get around to Scarlet, everyone keeps raving about it :3 but my listttt urgh.

      I’m glad you think Burn for Burn was so good! I read the premise and thought it could have easily been so clichΓ© and awful, but I may need to put it on the list anyway.

      Thank you! πŸ˜€ Still need to finish series 6 though… I really want to be caught up before the new episodes start again. πŸ™‚

  5. I so agree with #2! Instead of reading contemporaries though, I read historical romances or light fluff books that are just full of fun.
    And oh, #5 is dangerous. I go to the bookstore and come back out with five new books – money I shouldn’t be spending.

    • Ooh, historical romance is a great idea as well! Sadly I don’t have many of those on my list.. I might need to find some more πŸ™‚

      Hahaha, I can imagine, yeah. But at least, if there you buy five books you may be inspired to read them again and get yourself out of the slump πŸ™‚

  6. Reading slumps are the worst. And even worse? I get them all the time. The thing is, I get really invested in books – like “can’t stop reading, can’t stop thinking about it, major book hangover” invested. And after I just don’t feel like picking up another book. I had my last reading slump after Just One Day because it was just so damn GOOD. (First Perfect rating in a long time.) I could just relate to Allyson so well and I was so emotionally invested in her journey that that was ALL I could think of for days after. And, yes – like you said – I turned to movies and TV shows because I just couldn’t get myself to read another book. Arghhhh.

    Your tips are the best! Light contemporaries usually get me out of a reading slump, or else a highly anticipated read or readalong. You know, anything that makes you flip the pages like a maniac. Buying books always helps haha, but that is my therapy for every time I feel like a mess, so not just reading slumps πŸ™‚ (HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE AMERICAN BOOK CENTER? I got 3 books for 20 euro there yesterday, two of which were hardcover!!! Still excited about it haha!)

    LOVE your book nerd problems post! I hope you do post them every week πŸ™‚ Also, how can you post GIFs in the comments?! I want that tooooo!

    • Haha, I don’t mind your novelesque comment, that’s what these discussion posts are for!! I totally relate to how you feel super invested in books, I have that too. I’m still kind of in this after-reading bliss phase from Pivot Point, though I have started a new book.

      β™₯β™₯β™₯ Just One Day. My copy can arrive any day now. I might want to reread it immediately.

      Yay, I’m glad my tips help! I have been to the American Book Center, but only once and the prices I saw weren’t THAT amazing. 20 euros though? WOW. Did they have a sale or something? I should go more often but AMSTERDAM. *cough* I dun really like that city πŸ˜›

      Haha, thank you! I will try, definitely. I’m having fun writing them and I have a long list of ideas, so it should work out fine. The images in comments thing comes from a script I put into my blogger template. Instructions are here. πŸ™‚ I can’t live without gif comments.

  7. Oh I love all of these and I have found they have each helped in different situations! During my last reading slump I made it through the first two season of Psych. Not a single word was read until I had my fill of Sean & Gus. At other times though, I go through the super cheap (most the time free) e-books on Amazon. I look for some fun, light-hearted read and that always seems to do the trick (it also helps that they cost next to nothing!). I also find that reading reviews helps me through a slump. If I check out some blogs and see what books they are all giddy and excited about, it almost seems to make me giddy and excited about books too!
    -Katelyn

    • Oh my word, a Psych fan! 12847046 cool points to you!
      [im]http://i1359.photobucket.com/albums/q799/snugglyoranges/gifs/30iercwjpg.gif[/im]

      Good call on the cheap/free e-books! I bet that really would help and save a bundle of money. And yes, reviews from other bloggers definitely help as well πŸ™‚ Thanks for your input!

  8. I really love contemporaries for the reasons you listed – they don’t make you think too hard and you don’t get caught up in thinking critically about world-building. They can be such a relaxing read!

    But I think the thing that restores my love of reading more than anything else, is reading those books I’ve been waiting to get released! Most of my slumps are caused by reading books I have gotten ARCs for, versus reading the book I want at the moment.

    • Yes, definitely. I used to say I wasn’t a fan of contemporary at all, really, but I cannot continuously read about complex worlds and dark plots. Contemporary is such relaxing entertainment indeed.

      I totally agree. Now that I am gradually getting more access to review copies, I can tell it’s taking its toll. I think I’m realizing more and more I just need to take it easy on requesting books I’m not sure I’ll love.

      Thanks for your input!

  9. I thought I would NEVER be in a reading slump…and here I am. Ever since I got back from my trip I’m indifferent to everything BUT I am totally doing one of the things you suggested and it totally helped! I re-read Catching Fire and The Book Thief and reminded me WHY I love reading so incredibly much. I’m not on the hunt for the next book I LOVE! LOVE This post Debby!
    Kelly @ Belle of the Literati recently posted Top Ten Things I’m Grateful ForMy Profile

  10. Cathy

    I’m glad I found your post about reading slumps because I’ve definitely been in one lately. However, it’s not so much that I’m not reading, my issue is that I’m stuck in this cycle of rereading books and I’ve been reluctant to read anything new. I’ve either been stuck on wanting read continuations of the stories I recently finished or stuck in wanting to read books in an extremely narrow genre.

    Has anyone been in that slump or have any thoughts on how to combat this issue?

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