Reading Slump: A Penitents Tale

I haven’t read a book in a month.

For me, as a life long reader and lover of all things made in the written word, this is unheard of. I can’t remember the last time I went so long without reading a book. I add that caveat because I’ve been forced to convince myself that Facebook doesn’t count.

I’ve been thinking about my slump a lot recently – and about reading slumps in general. I have two main questions.

  1. What causes them?
  2. How do you break them?

For me, I think Netgalley is the culprit. Oh Netgalley, you wanton temptress, offering me beautiful ebook covers and tantalising descriptions, carefully crafted in the flames of deception. I am very open minded when it comes to Netgalley requests. I will request a book purely based on its description, nothing else. If it sounds good, I’ll give it a go. Unfortunately my last few requests have resulted in less than stellar returns. You can only read so many so-so urban fantasy magical girl stories before your brain starts to slip out your ears in a desperate bid for freedom. Even an interlude in the form of Naomi Novik’s stunning Uprooted was but a short lived reprieve.

So, now I know what happened, how can I break my slump? I’ve come up with a few tactics which seem, slowly but surely, to be inching me towards picking up books again.

  1. Start small – my first foray into anything resembling reading this month was picking up a magazine. I told myself not to skim (as I usually do with frothy articles about “cutting carbs, dairy and sugar” – a genuine article in my latest magazine purchase) but to dedicate myself to reading the entire thing, cover to cover. It sounds silly but it really helps to break down that first wall.
  2. Try FanFiction! – if you’ve never read FanFiction before I’m not sure what your life is like. For me, FanFics are a genuine love. Think of a book / movie / TV show that you like, go on Archive of our Own or Fanfiction.net and explore! Reading some FanFics of varying lengths and genres really helps me ease back into reading again.
  3. Only read what you love – so you’ve had a bit of a run of bad books? Pick something up you’ve been saving. You know the one – that book you’ve wanted to read FOREVER but have put off again and again? The one you know you’re going to love. Start with that. Associate reading with a positive feeling and you’ll be back to reading again in no time!

I’m hoping to start back into reading with Vigil by Angela Slatter – a long time favourite author of mine. Let me know your reading slump revival methods – and what book would you use to break a slump?

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