Thursday, 11 May 2017

Chuckles Chat #16: Reading Slumps

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

This week I'm chatting about Reading Slumps.

There is nothing worse than a reading slump, especially when you have over 800 books in your home and on your ereaders waiting for your attention. You KNOW you should be picking up a book but you just can't be bothered. Maybe you want to slump in front of the new series of Masterchef with a bar of chocolate, or have a beer as you binge watch your Game of Thrones dvds or hang out with family or friends or something. But in the back of your mind lurks that book that you can't help feeling you should be reading. Yes it's watching you with the intensity of a White Walker or Death Eater...it's giving you the stink eye! 

So what causes a reading slump? The obvious answer is that you've been unlucky with your book choices recently or DNFed some very uninspiring plots. That can send you into a slump and make it tougher to pick up something else. For me there are other triggers. I have battles with insomnia so if I don't sleep well for a few nights, it can make me too tired to be able to concentrate on a book. If the weather is too warm I feel all sluggish and fed up which makes me just want to watch TV instead. I imagine you guys have other things that cause a slump for you. Maybe the last book you read was so good that the next is bound to disappoint. Maybe you just want to do other things and then just can't get back into it. Perhaps tasks in the house and garden need your attention.

What do you do if you hit a reading slump? Panic?!!! I kind of do! I feel that with such a large tbr that I should definitely be reading all the time to get the numbers down and get some of them off the shelves to give me some space. I know that is silly...I mean, if I want to be watching a film, I should be able to do it and not feel guilty! I think I put too much pressure on myself with tbr numbers and I'm letting myself be ruled by them in some way. I need to get my head round the fact that I don't need to do anything I don't feel like doing! Reading should not feel like a chore, it's meant to be fun!

How to get out of a slump? It sounds easy to say 'just pick up a book' but it can be quite tough to get out of it. One of the tricks I use is to go back to an old favourite like Harry Potter which I always love. A few pages of Uncle Vernon yelling usually gets me back into the reading zone and on I march! Other things to try are picking up your ereader and looking at a short story you have which you can read in an hour or so, just to get you going without reading anything too heavy or grab that book you really wanted to read but put aside to get through a few others first. Sometimes a break of a few days from blogs and social media and other things in your routine can make you want to read again. 

Chuckles knows that she creats problems for herself by being too strict about reading targets and plans and getting obsessed by the tbr numbers. I know I need to chill out a bit more and maybe start reading what I feel like on a book to book basis. I think I need to spend less time worrying about what I should be doing and just get on with it! Easier said than done sometimes but I am trying!

What causes you to go into a reading slump? How do you get yourself out of one? Are you lucky never to have experienced one? Do you put too much pressure on yourself to hit goals and targets? Are you ruled by the number of books on your tbr?

16 comments:

  1. I pretty much had 2 slumps I can recall within the past year or so. Both occurred during the middle of two books I really really really wanted to read and then found to be quite dull...and lengthy. I should have DNF'd at least one of them but it was for a special blog feature so I kept drudging on. After the books were done, I was able to jump into other things rather quickly, so I guess the slumps were just triggered by certain reads.

    I do feel badly at times when I'm not getting as much read as I should. This week has been bad with the stupid family members and then I've had a headache for 2 days and haven't felt much like reading. I agree we sometimes set ourselves up with our goals and probably need to just accept what happens and not panic - it really doesn't help :)

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    1. I hate sliding into a slump. Last summer it lasted the best part of two months where I hardly read anything! I hope I don't do that this year. This mini slump was triggered by a dull book and a desire to watch Game of Thrones again!

      We definitely put too much pressure on to meet goals...I'm really bad for that. I keep trying to tell myself to chill but so far it isn't happening!

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  2. I go into a reading slump when I read a bunch of "meh" books in a row. It's so hard to get motivated to try something new after that. I also have a harder time reading when the weather is nice because I want to go outside. lol! It's easier in the winter. I've been wanting to start a new series on Netflix but I'm worried it will hurt my reading. I worry about it too much, I think. lol

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    1. I find it much easier to read in winter too. I'm not really one for spending much time outside but in summer if it's warm I just sloth around! Every time I start watching something, I lose reading time. That's why I'm not getting any films watched at the moment which is annoying!

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  3. oh another post especially for me :) [don't deny it!! I know you were thinking of me :)] I suffer from this chronic condition. I hit reading slums ALL THE TIME. That's way I admire a productive reader and blogger like you so much. I finally realize my condition worsens when I read too much of the same genre or when I force myself to read books I'm not in the mood for. "Like I HAVE to read THIS book by THIS date" when you participate in Challenges or Book tours [that's why I don't do them anymore] or when I feel obligated to read ARCs that are not so appealing anymore. So what I do now when I feel one coming is to try to read JUST I'm in the mood for and that have very good reviews from Blogger that have similar tastes to mine. :) Great post :)

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    1. It is easy to sicken yourself by reading too many books in one genre back to back. I get that with my themed months sometimes. I get to week three and I'm bored with it! I only do challenges that I've set up myself as that way I make the rules and deadlines aren't as strict! I'm already wanting to abandon this month's reads and just start mood reading. I think I might just do that to get back on track.

      Thanks for your kind words! I'm usually a productive blogger but this week I'm just tired and frustrated so I haven't even been getting posts up or blogs visited and that annoys me. I'm way behind on catching up with comments too!

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  4. Slumps are the worst. I haven't had a really bad one in a while but I did start a book last night (one I was looking forward to) and after two chapters I was like nope, I don't want this right now. lol and blogging definitely causes me to think I should be reading when I feel like doing something else. Like I might want to binge a show on Netflix but I'm all like are my review slots filled up for the next few weeks? If not I should be reading. :)

    Which of course can cause a slump because I'd REALLY rather be doing something else!

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    1. It feels like an obsession sometimes when you feel you MUST be reading instead of doing other things. I just want to watch season three of GoT at the moment but I need to get my reading back on track too! I think I need to switch to mood reading for a while and just forget targets and things.

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  5. I think my current slump is being caused by unlucky book choices. I reread two books in a series and then read the final book this week, and that final book especially sucked me in and I wanted to keep reading, so I thought I was out of my slump, but nope. The book I'm reading now, much like many others I've read lately, is really easy to put down, and then I don't feel like picking it back up again. It might also be because I've been really tired lately and my mental faculties just feel sluggish and I'm having trouble concentrating.

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    1. I hate getting a few poor books back to back. It always makes me dread that the next one is going to be the same. Last March my reading slump was triggered by ten DNFs over about four days and I was so frustrated! I'm finding it too easy to put my books down at the moment but I don't really know why. I know what you mean about being tired stopping the concentration. I've had an insomnia week and I just feel drained and slothy.

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  6. Ah yes, I get them randomly- it doesn't really matter whether I read a good or a bad book before, they just sneak up on me ;-) That being said, I haven't had one since last year may.

    But when I do, I don't stress and don't try to force myself to read. I just do something else with my free time. Play my DS, binge watch stuff, go out etc. And it always comes back :)

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    1. Yeah reading slumps are horrible stealthy things that do sneak up on you! I think I need to stop stressing and just pick up something that interests me right now...or I'll need to try my Harry Potter reread!

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  7. Reading slumps happen. I hope you get over yours soon. I try to give myself a little room to read whatever I want when I feel like I am about to get in a slump. That helps a bit. I also just take a day off from reading from time to time.

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    1. I'm just so frustrated right now! It was actually my dad that suggested I do this topic as my discussion post while I'm suffering it!

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  8. Reading slumps are the worst! I am not in a slump, but I do feel less and more enthusiastic about reading at the same time. At the one hand there are so many books I want to read and at the same time it feels like I can't find that book that's exactly right for my mood or maybe I am following my list too closely to really find the right book for my mood.

    Earlier this year I had a DNF book that almost sent me into a slump, so I picked up a book I was sure I would enjoy afterwards which helped.

    And I totally get what you say about the pressure. I think we readers and bloggers often put too much pressure on ourselves. we have so many books to read and then review copies and such on top of that all. And even though you know you can do something else you still feel like you have to read.

    I hope you get out of your slump soon!

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    1. I'm just so tired at the moment I can't concentrate on reading. I've started a good book but just can't get on with it. I agree, I think I'm following my lists too much and not taking account of my mood. I'm defintely ruled by my tbr and putting pressure on myself.

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