Help! I've Fallen Into a Reading Slump and I Can't Get Out!

BlogHer Original Post

I keep telling myself it's just that time of year. We're in the middle of a cold snap -- it's the kind of deep cold you feel all the way to your marrow. Some people consider January host to the most depressing day of the year so realistically, I'm not particularly surprised that I am in a reading slump. It happens and it's not unusual for it to happen during the cold, dark days of winter. However, this might be the slumpiest reading slump I've ever been in and I honestly don't know how to get out of it.

I am no stranger to the reading slump. I've gone through periods where I just didn't seem to be able to finish a book. Sometimes I suffer from the Goldilocks phenomenon in which a book is too long, too short, too similar to something I've just read, or too different from anything I've ever read before. In the end Goldilocks perseveres and finds something that is just right and I usually do as well. This time it feels different.

I know plenty of strategies for getting out of slumps. I often just roll with them, trusting that the right book will cross my path and the next thing I know I'll have inhaled three books in quick succession. I can sometimes kick myself out of a reading slump with a well selected piece of literary fiction. At other times I find switching gears and reading some some great narrative non-fiction will kick me out of it. Graphic novels, young adult fiction, audio books -- they've all worked to kick me out of a reading slump in the past but are not working this time around.

Even my most surefire of surefire methods has failed me. I've always been able to kick myself out of a reading slump in the past by going on a romance novel binge. Always. I've picked up piles of romance novels in the past several weeks. I've read a couple of them but I haven't felt that urge to go read more of them or any other book.

books flipping bored

Credit: Bailey Weaver on Flickr

It's not that I don't have excellent books at my disposal. I have shelves full of them in my house and every week I pick up more great books at the library. I'll thumb through a few pages of the book and set it aside. In some cases these are books I've waiting months to read. I'm finding new book recommendations every day, too. I don't even know how many book blogs I have in my feedreader. There are dozens of them -- quite possibly dozens of dozens. There are also sites like Goodreads, LibraryThing and What Should I Read Next to mine for ideas.

That's not even taking into account the many conversations I have about books each and every day. They happen in Chatter, Facebook and Twitter. I still ping my friends and tell them about some awesome book title I just found that they need to check out. I just don't want to read the book.

It's the weirdest reading slump I've ever been in. It's not that I'm not reading. I am. I've read the aforementioned romance novels. I've read books for BlogHer Book Club. I've been very slowly reading a piece of narrative non-fiction that normally would have taken me an afternoon but so far has taken me two weeks. All of the books I've read have been good books and I am reading. I'm just not reading as quickly as I normally do and I'm also not getting that urge to pick up another book.

I know this slump will end. One day soon I'll pick up a book and it will pull me into another world, time, and place. I will read it with one eye on the clock, trying to figure out how much time I have before I must put it down and go to sleep. And when I finish that book I'll pick up another one that does the same thing. The slump will end. Eventually. Right?

How do you kick yourself out of a reading slump?

BlogHer Book Club Host Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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