Something strange has been happening to me lately, and I can’t quite figure out why. I’m just not as motivated to read as I used to be. This is a real issue, people, and I need some serious help!
Once upon a time, I had no problem at all reaching 200 books in a year. But suddenly, now, I find that when I have no definitive deadline, I put off reading. I actually NEED that deadline to motivate me to pick up a book. Without it, I choose to stare at the internet or waste time in a million other ways. What sort of strange madness has come over me?
I guess this is just a reading slump, right? I mean, I’ve heard tell of this sort of mythical creature that could ruin your reading motivation, but I’ve never truly experienced one—at least not for long.
I think I’ve figured out a few factors that have affected my reading recently. First off, there’s the fact that I’m incredibly busy and ridiculously tired all the time. Add to that the fact that we’ve had some emotional stress at home lately and the fact that I can’t seem to stop reading horrible news about our government and … recipe for reading disaster!
Here are just a few examples of my reading habits BEFORE (meaning, before now, basically) and NOW. I think you’ll see a trend here…
- BEFORE: Standing in line at the checkout and there’s a thirty-second wait after I’ve put my groceries on the conveyor belt thingy? Ah ha! Time to pull out my phone! (The Kindle app is a beautiful thing.)
- NOW: There are ten people in front of me in the checkout line, and this is going to take forever. I could pull out my phone, but the next book that I need to read for a review is sitting on my nightstand, and I don’t really feel like starting something else. Hmmm… guess I’ll glance through Flipboard and read about what a mess our country is right now.
- BEFORE: This family party is awfully fun and all, but I really wish I could get home and finish reading that book I’m in the middle of…
- NOW: This family party is awfully fun and all, but I really wish I could go home and go to sleep. So. Tired.
- BEFORE: I have FREE TIME today!! I should do some laundry or the dishes… Nah, I’ll just read a book!
- NOW: I have FREE TIME today!! I should do some laundry or the dishes… Nah, I’ll just stare at Twitter for an hour (and probably end up reading about what a mess our country is—along with some awesome bookish news, of course—it’s not ALL bad).
- BEFORE: I have twelve books scheduled for review this month, but I have these other six that I really want to read too. Oh, that’s okay, I can totally squeeze them in.
- NOW: I have three books scheduled for review this month. I’d better read them. Soon. Like, any time now… (Review is due tomorrow). Shoot, I have to read that book!!
- BEFORE: It’s bedtime! I need to go lay down and pretend I might go to sleep tonight… and read until 2 AM (because I’m practically done with the book). When I finally finish, I’ll lay in bed and think about the book I just put down for another hour or so… Very tired the next day.
- NOW: It’s 9 PM and I’m mentally and physically exhausted. Mostly because parenting is really hard and worrying (about my kids, school stuff, the world…) is my number one priority right now. I should try to get to bed early. Maybe I’ll read for a little bit. First let me check Flipboard and read the news… Yep, our country is a disaster. No surprise there. Okay, time to read for a little while… Hmm. It’s 10:00. I’m too tired. I just need to sleep… Still very tired next day
And that about sums it up. I hope this doesn’t last for long because it’s darn depressing!! I need to get back back to my normal bookish self stat!
Have you ever fallen into a true reading slump? How did you get yourself out of it? I want to know!
Our country is, indeed, a mess. But back to reading! I don’t think I’ve ever been in a really bad reading slump – not one that lasted for too long at least, so I don’t really have any magic advice, I’m afraid. People tend to say just let it pass – or re-read a favorite or something! I guess you could always try reading something like a graphic novel since those are quicker; see if that sparks something!
I have read a few manga lately, which has been nice. I feel like I’m just running myself a little ragged, and that’s probably a good portion of the issue. It’s weird, though, when normally my instinct is to grab every moment I can to read.
This has been happening to me, too. I feel like I’ve barely read anything this month or last month. It’s mostly because I’m busy. It feels like there are a billion things going on, and I don’t have time to read (or blog). I think reading short books would help. I’ve been reading huge ones, and they are taking me weeks to finish. It’s a bit discouraging.
Yeah, I’ve picked up a few manga lately because I just want something I can actually read and be done—quick and easy. I’ve also been reading a collection of short stories, so that’s worked out well because I can read a story and put the book down.
^^ This! I’ve struggled with the same feelings, and I think most of it is due to being mentally and physically tired. I also think (unfortunately) I’ve become addicted to the easy access of the internet via my phone. Why read an actual book when I can mindlessly surf Twitter, Facebook, etc.? I adore reading and don’t want to be addicted to social media.I found that reading short books, even children’s books help me. The satisfaction of actually finishing a book helps encourage me to pick up another one. Another thing that helps me is reading on my new Kindle. Instead of surfing the internet at bedtime, I will make myself put my phone up and use the Kindle. If I can’t get into a book, I will just go to bed, but most of the time, I read a chapter or two of something. Lastly, audiobooks have been saving my reading life. I put them on while I clean, drive, do laundry, etc. It is an easy way to “read” even when I’m busy.
I really have to force myself to read lately instead of just surfing random social media or Flipboard at night. Reading is much more fulfilling, but I still find myself doing random stuff instead.
I think maybe you’re pressuring yourself too much. This is a busy time of year, and yes, the news is sooooo depressing. In fact, I know it’s not a good technique, but I’ve pretty much stopped watching it. I feel better living by that little river called “D-Nile.” Get some rest and I bet in no time, this slump will pass.
I used to always ignore the news—I was very good at it. Lately, I can’t seem to tear myself away, though, even though I know it’s going to make me crazy. I’m hoping that by the time the holiday season is over, I’ll be feeling more rested.
Interesting. I have never had a reading slump. The only time I might put a book off is if I finish one late in the day and don’t want to start a new one with so little time left to read. Otherwise, I finish one and immediately start the next. There are just too many to read to let good reading time pass!
That’s how I’ve always been too… until lately. It’s so frustrating!
I definitely understand your frustration. I’m sure it’s only a blip on the screen.
I actually ended up getting sick, which helped, believe it or not. I couldn’t do anything but lay around in bed and read, so I did!
I so understand this feeling. I’ve been struggling to read for a few months now and it is a terrible feeling. I’ve been doing a reread of a beloved series to try and get my reading mojo back. It’s sorta helping I guess.
I’m not much of a re-reader, so that thought doesn’t really appeal to me. Shorter reading options has helped a little—manga and short story collections. Hopefully I can snap out of it!
Oh Nicole that sounds awful! Can I recommend you just delete that app on your phone? Of course, we all want to know what is going on in the country, in moderation though. If it just makes you tired and sad then that is not healthy.
I hope you are able to find something that makes you excited about reading again soon.
Yeah, I really should just try to ignore Flipboard. I used to be really good at ignoring politics, but lately I just keep getting sucked in. It’s probably not a great idea, but that doesn’t make me stop.
I think we’ve all been there, and reading slumps really suck. The only way I’ve found to get out of them is to just go with it and not force myself to read if I don’t feel like it, or if I’m too tired, because then it becomes like a chore. Eventually I’ve always got back into it naturally, although I know that doesn’t actually help that much when you’re in the middle of it. Maybe try rereading an old favourite if you really want to get through the slump? I hope this helps, and that you get through your slump soon 🙂
Re-reading just never seems appealing to me. But I think not forcing myself makes sense—sometimes I just need to give myself a break and not push too hard.
I think many of us have been there. I know I have. It always makes me feel a little anxious; like I’m afraid my reading life will be over… but it never is. I think you just have to do what pleases you at that moment. I don’t ever want reading to feel like a burden or an obligation. That said, I have certainly extended, and at times over-extended, myself so that I was teetering on the brink. I’ve gotten out of it at times by just reading an old back-list book that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I guess I think of it as giving myself permission to read “for fun”.
Yeah, I think I’ve been pressuring myself to read certain books—even backlist books that I feel like I “should” read—instead of just picking up whatever makes me excited to read in the moment. I should probably just stop pushing it.
I can’t help because I’m having the same problem lol. I feel like I’ll be lucky if I finish my current book by the time the year ends. I’m assuming it’s just a temporary slump though. Hopefully! Like you, I think it’s just a combo of being tired and stressed and all the crappy stuff happening all over.
Yeah, I’m trying not to get too obsessed with the political news, but I fail most days and then I find myself with just no energy to read!
I think I’m getting ready to fall into a reading slump. I know that I need a break from reading. The best I’ve found for meeting school-imposed deadlines on readings was to read different genres (instead of fiction, read poetry). I’ve also found that I really need a break from reading. Go watch YouTube or a movie, or go make something. Those are the only things I’ve found that have definitely broken me out of reading slumps.
Lately I’ve been watching a bit more TV, which I’ve decided isn’t a bad thing. I’ve gotten too focused on the “goal” of reading instead of the enjoyment.
Ugh, I feel you so much. I think that the country going straight to hell is a BIG part of the problem. Like, I am re-reading The Hunger Games right now and I’m just like… “well, okay, I should expect a tweet about this becoming a real thing next week, right?” I think it’s that real life is often scarier than ANY fictional world so it isn’t even an escape when you’re low key wishing to be in Panem, or try to survive Praimfaya, you know?
And then add emotional crap? Yeah, it’s no wonder you’re exhausted. You know I am having some similar junk happening, and I am in a huge rut, and I have found that the only thing that *kind of* helps is having a bit of an ARC schedule. Otherwise, I may never read again haha. BUT I also think that just letting ourselves BE in a slump, especially in this situation, may be okay for a little bit too. You have to take care of you first and foremost.
I hope your slump ends soon, or at least, lessens. And your graphics are ADORABLE, so at least there’s that! 😀
Yeah, the scheduled books are the only ones I’m managing to read right now. And I know I should just schedule reviews for ARCs that I’m not technically on a tour for, but that doesn’t seem to be enough motivation—I can’t trick my brain into seeing those as deadlines right now (normally it works just fine).
I AM pretty proud of those graphics, though. 😉
I felt like I kept jumping slump to slump this year – oddly because I kept having mini-streaks of 5 star reads and then I’d be terrified to read something new. I mean, what if it wasn’t as good? Stress plays a big part too – I just hit my Goodreads goal today and suddenly feel zero pressure or desire to read…. kind of just want to watch Christmas movies 🙂
Oddly, one of the things I’ve done in the past is to make myself read a book I know I’ll hate. Usually, about 60 pages-in I’ll realize I can find something WAY better and then feel more motivated for a re-read by a favorite author or jumping onto Amazon and picking-up something I have my eye on. Good luck getting out of the slump – they’re the worst!
I’ve been trying to pick up books I think I’ll hate lately too—it’s like I’m not in the mood to read, so I don’t want to ruin a good book, so instead I pick up something I figure I’ll be meh about anyway. It’s weird logic, I know.
This is EXACTLY how I feel, minus the Flipboard and caring to read the news bit. I learned I didn’t need daily news at a younger age because it just makes me angry and upset with the world. I am at school from 7 AM to 7PM every day and most days it is later than that. On Tuesdays it is 11 to 11:30 pm. I am doing good just to keep up with clothes and personal care…and now add my new diagnosis on top of it all.
I never used to pay attention to the news, and I think I was better off—it’s just too depressing!
I’ve definitely been in reading slumps before. For me they tend to happen after I finish a book and before I start another one. Starting a book that might be horrible is not very motivating when you don’t feel like reading to begin with. To get out of my most recent reading slump I just had to force myself to start a new book (we’ll see if I can stay out of the slump as the book I chose is not very good so far!).
I never really had that book hangover issue before, but the slump is real!!
People change. 200 is a lot xD maybe you pushed yourself too much? Sometimes we need to rest. I do understand that super busy part… And super tired. Those seem to always walk together. Audiobooks help 🙂 I think it’s also easier, uhm, to be exhausted when it’s the wintertime. It’s dark, it’s cold… So that’s understandable.
You know, it’s perfectly fine to not read 200 books a year 🙂 just read as much as you feel like. I had my goal of 100 this year, and I’m going to exceed it, but… I think I might only be setting maybe 50 next year, because I don’t feel like tearing myself apart again. Even if I exceed it. Now worth it 🙂
Either way, I hope your slump leaves you alone. Or rather, that you can start feeling a little more energized. I really do know how you feel, I’ve pretty much always been this way. That’s why I work from home now. I don’t know how people manage to have families and dress well and have immaculate make up. They must be super human. I can barely handle getting up in the morning 😀
You’re totally right that it’s fine not to read 200 books. My concern was more with the fact that I haven’t felt like reading lately than the actual number of books read this year. Ironically, I got sick this week and I’ve been reading like a madwoman. I needed a break from “serious” books, I think.
I totally get what you mean. Serious books are great, but man do they get you down if you don’t balance it down!
I hope you get well soon, although it doesn’t hurt to catch up on that reading 🙂
Yeah, sometimes you just need some fluff!
All I can say is preach! This sounds exactly like me right now. When I’m reading I’m loving it but I am often missing the motivation to pick up a book. Too often instead of reading I am reading about the next bad thing in the news or browsing Twitter and generally doing anything to avoid reading and that’s so unlike me. I’m hoping the break over Christmas will sort things out for me, the chance to relax should give me the chance to enjoy reading again (I hope).
I guess lots of us feel this way this time of year!
Right now I have the same thing. My head is just too full to really focus on a book I think and that my son is teething really isn’t helping either. I tend to have this around the Holidays a lot though. That weird itch. It tends to go away in the new year. I hope the same is true for you.
Getting sick actually helped me with this. I couldn’t do much besides lay around in bed and read—and I did!
Hang in there! I think we all go through book slumps. Do what feels right for your physical and mental well being……the rest will fall in to place!
Strangely, getting sick helped get me out of my slump. I had nothing to do but read!
Boy, I can relate, and it seems we’re not the only ones! I had a major crisis hit this month and I barely read anything for two weeks which is strange for me, but I’m slowly getting back into it. You might re-orient to different kinds of books which are more suited to your energy level, or have to just sleep more for a while (it’s okay!!!). Hope you find your way into reading happiness soon.
So sorry to hear that you had a crisis—reading when under stress can be … stressful.
I feel this entire post. Up to this week, I hadn’t read a fiction book in almost six months. I started and stopped nearly a dozen books, but they were all more boring than the trash fire that is our country, so I never made it past 5% on any of them. Somedays I would find myself mindlessly scrolling through FB hoping to find good political news and then hours would go by and I’d have done nothing. I finally found a book this past week that has captured my attention and I’m up to the 50% mark on reading it, thank FSM. It’s been a bleak year for reading. (Incidentally, audiobooks have been great, though. Listened to plenty of those.)
Yeah, audiobooks have really saved me during the times I’ve had trouble getting the motivation to read. By the way, I’m sorry that your latest book has fallen prey to this slump. I promise I’m going to read it soon! 🙂
*raises hand* Count me in, Nicole. I haven’t Ickes up a book in 3 weeks. Absolutely nothing. And in the 2 months prior to that my reading was seriously sporadic. I think I can pinpoint mine to simply being busy. That’s really all it is. Things at work cranked up into high gear and when I get home I just want to turn my brain off and do next to nothing. I don’t want to read, I certainly don’t want to review, I don’t want to concentrate… I want to relax and veg. I am hopeful (very hopeful!) that now that things have returned to normal at the office, my reading habits will follow suit. Fingers are crossed for both of us!
Strangely, getting sick helped me get past this. I just read a bunch of romances all in a row!
I’m like that this month. It seems I go through the same phases every year by month depending on what is going on!
I actually overcame this a bit this week because I was sick—I didn’t want to get out of bed, so I ended up reading a lot!
It’s amazing how much life and tiredness can affect reading. That’s why I’m always shocked when anyone can read more than one book a week that has kiddos. Between my kids school work, sporting activities, volunteering times in both of their classrooms and sporting functions, family events, play dates etc etc I end up having an hour or two to read a night. So maybe I’m continually in a slump since I’ve had kids?! LOL! Here’s hoping that you get back to your normal schedule and I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts *hugs*.
I typically read during the day in snippets and I almost always read at night. It’s enough to get a few books in a week. It helps that I’m a fast reader.
I feel this so much! Ever since I started working full time (over two years ago) I am exhausted ALL THE TIME, no matter how much I enjoy my job. Adult life is hard! I’ve also found that around the holidays there’s so much stress and family things going on that it’s hard to take the time to intentionally sit down with a book (and when I do, I tend to feel guilty that I’m not doing some sort of household chore!) I hope that in 2018 you are feeling less stressed and more refreshed and are able to read!
Yeah, it can be hard to give mental energy to reading when things are stressful!
You poor thing!!! I diagnose a book so wonderful it will make you fall fully in love with reading again.
Regrettably, I’m unsure of which title to prescribe.
Is there any books you know of that you really have been looking forward to? Something new from an author you already love — and you just know you’ll love their new release?
Ironically, the thing that helped me out a bit with this was getting sick. I was so sick that I literally couldn’t do anything BUT read, and I ended up reading like three books in that period. So far, I’m still reading. We shall see if I keep it up!
Reading is about the ONLY bright spot of one’s day when one is sick. I hope you’re feeling better! 🙂
Exactly! I’m finally over being sick, thank goodness.
I know what you mean. I don’t function nearly as efficiently without deadlines, even (or especially) for reading, and sometimes the priorities shift and sleep/chilling takes precedence over reading. When that happens, I either go with it and accept that I need more sleep or downtime for a while…or I set some deadlines, push sleep to the backburner and kick myself into gear. But usually the former. Good luck, Nicole!
Deadlines help me SO much—with everything. I need them to function, apparently. Sad but true.