Reading Diaries: Let’s Talk Reading Slumps
Christa: Last month I talked about how I hadn’t had much time for reading. This month I’ve had a bit more time but now the problem is motivation. There are plenty of books I want to read, but I never really feel like reading. So most of the books beside my bed are half finished, waiting for me to break through my slump and pick them up again. Some of the books I’ve started are Tessa Gratton’s The Lost Sun (which came so highly recommended), Kiss of Deception by Mary B Pearson and a Star Wars novelization called Razor’s Edge. All perfectly fine books but all having a hard time holding my interest. I have managed to finish The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney. It’s a really compelling mystery set in Oklahoma City and from the very first chapter I couldn’t put it down. I need more books like this!
Sarah: I’m not precisely in a reading slump, but more of a “Can’t read more until I catch up on my reviews” kinda thing. That does typically push me back to stuff I’ve read before, which is something I’m really bad about. If nothing else is scratching my reading itch, I’ll pull out the Kushiel books by Jacqueline Carey. I’m not quite there yet. And I totally feel you, Christa–that book you’ve been meaning to read, maybe were excited to get, but just doesn’t do it for you right this instant–that’s such a frustrating feeling for someone who loves to read.
KM: I’ve been having that problem with Confederacy of Dunces. I’ve been trying to read it for several months now, and I enjoy reading it when I do pick it up, but then other things either get in the way or I’m not in the mood to read it. Other than that I’ve been reading a couple books put out by Night Shade, a steampunk alternate history and a sci-fi novel. I wouldn’t describe what I’m in as a slump, exactly, it just feels like there are so many other things I need to be doing. It’s unfortunate, because even in my downtime I almost feel guilty for reading rather than doing something else.
Amanda: Ever since I got a smartphone, the amount of time I’ve spent reading books has decreased and decreased. Over January and February, I tried to change that (to more or less success, depending on the week). At times, my short attention span worked to my advantage, and I really enjoyed stories from Lightspeed’s Women Destroy Science Fiction. Like you, Christa, I have a stack of books that I’ve started but not yet finished. Some I love (Jo Walton’s The King’s Peace, for instance), but find too emotionally intense to delve into when there are other stressors in my life. However, I so enjoy Jo Walton’s writing style that although I stalled out on The King’s Peace, I picked up Tooth and Claw. I love it, and I’m going to be sad when I finish it. If you have a soft spot for dragons and frock dramas, snag it, because the combination of the two is priceless.
Ginnis: There’re too many books and not enough time!!!! That is all I have to say.
Ardo: I was just discussing this with friends. Since the summer, it’s been difficult to read books. I’ve had binge moments where I’d read like three really great books then go weeks struggling with a book and not because it’s bad but because I’m not in a mood to read. It’s March and I’ve only finished one book for 2015! I used to read multiple books a week and my reading time was usually one to three days for a particular book. I’ve been nursing Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For since the end of January and it’s great but I just can’t seem to reach the end. I worried this was a symptom of getting older and not being as interested in books anymore (ridiculous, I know) but a friend pointed out that other things are more likely demanding my attention. This is true. I’m writing a lot and I opt to watch shows rather than read after work. All hope isn’t lost! I decided to cheat on Dionne Brand with Robin Rinaldi’s The Wild Oats Project which is fantastic and I’m more than half way through it after only two days. Sometimes it’s just about getting that one book to give you a much needed kickstart. I agree with KM that sometimes technology distracts you from reading even if it’s reading on an ebook. Damn you, Twitter.
Claire: I’ve actually been in an upswing! There’s one charity shop in my town which sells two novels for one pound, and usually their selection is awful but I guess recently someone with great taste had a clearout (or died? RIP) because I’m in riches. It’s a nice thing, to be able to buy the paperback you’ve been racking up library fines on, for fifty pence. Actually it’s also awful, because now what do I owe all this money for? But there have been Vargas, Murakami, Carson McCullers, even the last Scarlett Thomas my collection’s been missing (Bright Young Things). So I’ve been spending my Sundays just reading a book right through. It’s a very, very nice change from the usual pace. And it’s been making me feel better about spending slightly more in other places. All-round win.
Vernieda: I started 2015 at a good reading clip, so much so that I’m still ahead of pace for my Goodreads reading challenge. The past couple weeks, though, I started working on some fiction projects, and the reading plummeted. I’ve never been able to balance the two. I’d like to! There are some good books in my TBR pile: a couple of Lauren Oliver’s, the latest from Rainbow Rowell and Marie Lu plus a few more titles on hold at the library! Obviously, the answer is to stop putting books on hold until I have more time and focus, but I can’t. It’s a compulsion.
Al: SO jealous of Claire.
I’m at the end of NINE different books and can’t bring myself to finish any of them. They’re all good (except for one, it’s awful), and I just can’t bring myself to the end.
So, I started the new Veronica Mars book instead of pushing through.