I’m pretty sure we all have been a victim of the slump in some form or another. I’m also sure it needs no explanation — we all know what it is. But, just in case, it’s a terrible, horrible, no-good, depressing period of time that books are not in our interests. GASP! (At least, that’s my explanation because they are just terrible.)
I am currently in one of these horrible slumps. I haven’t read a book in over two weeks. And even before that, it took me two weeks to finish one book. I have no idea what I want to read when I look at my shelves & every time I pick up a book I’m bored within 10 pages. I’m not even paying attention to new releases (there’s a book I’ve anticipated for a year that just came out and I totally forgot!). So, today, I wanted to have a chat about methods to get out of these, why they don’t work for me and the one method I definitely recommend.
Two types of slumps (for me)
Slump #1: The “fuck off, books” slump — Basically, I just don’t want to read. I want to do everything else BESIDES read. They hit suddenly, cruelly, and make me despise everything about books. Ok…maybe not that harsh, but I just don’t have any desire to read during these slumps.
Slump #2: The “I want to read, but my brain is telling me I don’t want to read & it’s super confusing” slump — This one is when I actually do want to read, but nothing is holding my attention or I’m so indecisive/overwhelmed by my TBR that I give up all hope on ever choosing a book to read.
How to overcome these dreadful beasts
Over the past week, I’ve asked for advice on how to overcome slumps. While I’ve gotten some great words of wisdom, these methods just don’t usually work for me. To each his own and all. But, here are some methods others have said work:
The reread method — Simple: reread a favorite. It seems that most people do this when they get into a slump. It doesn’t work for me because I just can’t reread a book. Anytime I try, I just remember everything that happens in the book and get bored — maybe I’m not rereading the right books, though. It seems like everyone says to reread a favorite, I just don’t know what book would be favorite enough to reread. See my dilemma? But, hey, it works for a ton of you!
The comic book method — read a damn comic book. This, to me, would only work if you have a good amount of completed comic book series that you haven’t read and actually want to read. For example, I have the first comic book of the new Tomb Raider series that I do want to read, but what good does it do to read 1 25-page scene without the others? It just makes me angry to have to wait for the next one.
The favorite genre method — this one actually does work for me 9 times out of 10. Basically, just read a book from your absolute favorite genre or a genre you know will be an easy/light read. For me, I pick contemporary because they’re usually light, fluffy and keep me interested.
It just so happens this is the one time that this method is not working for me. So, what is my recommended method when encountering a slump that seems like it will last forever?
Embrace the beast
I think it’s okay to simply embrace the slump. Sure, it kind of sucks because we all love books and the storytelling, but sometimes, you just have to embrace it. My theory is that if I ever force myself to read a book, I will dislike the book more than I would have if I read it for pleasure. At least, that’s what happens to me. (Hence, why I suck at review copies: tell me to read something, and I don’t want to read it)
More than just embracing the slump I look for other forms of storytelling because what I ultimately want is a bit of fiction — a fantastical escape. So, when I’m in one of these impossible-to-escape slumps, I:
- Binge watch a show I’ve put off
- Start a new show that has interested me, but I never got around to it
- Play video games (find a good, open-world one & you’ll be lost in the story for hours, or days, or months, and you’ll soon forget there is an outside world. just sayin’)
- Movie marathons (usually fantasy)
- For when I don’t want a fictional story, I’ll watch documentaries or docu-series
What this does for me is reminds me why I love storytelling, just in a different form. Eventually, I find my way back to books when a certain game or movie reminds me of another book I want to read, or I’ve just had my fill of screen time and want a novel again.
And that’s when everything is all right with the world again.
What do you do when you’re in a slump?
Do you have different kinds of slumps like I do?