If you're a person who reads regularly, then you know the feeling of getting into a slump. You may be in one right now, especially if you've had a busy Holiday season. Here are some of the ways we get back into reading when we've been slacking!
Julie – If I’m in a slump, it usually because I’m busy and my mind is whirring about other things. I find that this is not the time to attempt the medieval works, Faulkner (I started blogging about why I couldn’t read As I Lay Dying before, but I couldn’t make myself read enough of it to make it work, and if you like the guy…fine…he just can’t find much of a resting place in my brain…I’m willing to blame myself) or Moby Dick for the hundredth time. Page five of MD and I skip to the end. So, if I’m stuck in a rut, unable to concentrate, I go to my comfort zone and hang out with old friends in familiar places. I can dive in, relax for a few minutes and then return to whatever soul sucking mess I have going on in the real world.
I stick to old favorites, sometimes going all the way back to children’s literature. The Mary Russell series is favorite, Jane Austen, and Poe if I’m feeling up to being an adult. But sometimes, I just pick up Alice in Wonderland, or Winnie-the-Pooh or The Princess and the Goblin. In crazy times, I tend to go for a setting where I’m happy, Regency England, the Hundred Acre Wood, or even the creepy bridal suite in Ligeia. But as the Wise Man said in Labyrinth, “Sometimes the way forward is the way back.” There’s no shame in a wise retreat.
Morty – If I’m not reading, it’s probably because I’m partying. There’s nothing wrong with getting in a slump, something that’s especially true for me. Time is actually not pressing on the dead. But if I get stuck in a reading slump, or a reading rut, I read short stories. You can take a break with a smoke in the bathroom - if you can stand to hear the other party-goers pounding on the door for twenty minutes or so – and I can – or wake up late, shake the cobwebs out of your skull and focus on something short, sharp and sweet, for a tick. Then you can crawl right back in the coffin for a good nap and dream about what you just read.
I suggest Vonnegut short stories because they’re simple on the surface and go down easy. Maybe some Kelly Link if you want your brain to take a little trip somewhere weird.
Jarad- My reading slumps always tend to occur when I’m busiest. I find myself carrying around a book I haven’t touched in a week, then I’ve forgotten the plot and have to start over. I think when people say, “I don’t have time to read” that may genuinely be true in the moment, but it is not true all the time.You make time for what you care about and what you value, that is the simple truth, so to get back into reading, I carve out time to read.
Before class (and sometimes during, not that I’d admit that to my professors), before bed, any spare five minutes you have, can be spent reading. I also have to force myself away from my phone, which for me is a big contributor to my slumps. Also, if you don’t like a book, you don’t have to finish it. I always think that people who power through to the end must be miserable. You shouldn’t have to force yourself to read, and if you are, you’re reading the wrong book. I always find myself going back to The Stand by Stephen King, one of my all-time favorites, or any other book by him. Other than that, I can’t really think of any books or series that I continually revisit. Typically, I pick a book with a theme that
I really enjoy, like politics or a good witchy novel, or both.