The Reading Slump That Will Not Die

41097059I’ve been in one for weeks now.  Weeks and weeks.

I blame Diana Gabaldon.  Echo in the Bone, a book I was very much looking forward to reading for review, became a chore.  A drag.  A book that I dreaded to pick up (and at 10,000 pages, picking it up is not all that easy either) so much that I seem to have lost my joy in reading.  It  got sucked right out of me. (Blythe took pity on me and reviewed the book.  For which I will be eternally grateful.)

Soulless helped.   I was hopeful there for a while.  But a few C reads later and I am back to my bad habit of playing Solitaire and Bookworm on my iPhone and watching Real Housewives of Atlanta.  I do not like playing Solitaire and Bookworm on my iPhone and watching Real Housewives of Atlanta. Night after night.  After night after night.  (Okay, so I really do like Real Housewives of Atlanta.  Not giving that up.)

My usual remedy of reading a beloved favorite doesn’t seem to have done the trick either.  If my attention is wandering when I’m trying to revisit my beloved Phin and Sophie or Derek and Sara can’t perk me up, I’ve got problems.

So, with my win count on Solitaire reaching truly impressive levels not to mention that I’ve now  formed the word “tone” about 7,000 times, I’m getting desperate.

What’s your cure for a reading slump?  And, for extra credit, have you ever experienced one that wa-a-a-a-a-a-y overstayed its welcome?

-Sandy AAR

60 Responses to “The Reading Slump That Will Not Die”

  1. Tee says:

    I wish I knew the answer, Sandy. I’m in a whale of a slump myself. What bothers me about it is that it’s beginning to “not” bother me. Now that’s terrible. As you can tell (or maybe not), I’m on-line a lot more than I used to be, especially here on the boards. And instead of Solitaire on the computer, I enjoy Freecell. Try it. It becomes very addictive once you get the feel for it.

    And in answer to your question of a slump way overstaying its welcome–it already has, but I don’t have the cure. I’ve determined that I won’t read something mediocre just for the sake of reading. And re-reading isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. When I finally do get a book worth my time, I’ll enjoy it and be happy that the end-of-the-year book survey will be a cinch to fill out this year.

  2. Chris says:

    Alas! :( Try reading some books that come highly recommended by people you trust. People who used phrases like “I could not put this book down” when they describe it. Or reread a few beloved favorites that you trust. And don’t even think about reading for review for a while – sometimes that sucks all the joy out of reading for me.

  3. Nifty says:

    I’ve been in a reading slump since the late 90s. I’ve found a few books to really love in the last 10 years, but mostly, the offerings of this decade have been all “meh” to me. So I re-read….or don’t read at all.

  4. katyco says:

    Hi Sandy, I too wish I knew the answer. I was not able to finish An Echo in the Bone. I have been enjoying Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series, but not with the same enthusiasm that I usually have when reading. I thought maybe I was just tired of historicals, but I’ve tried suspense, contemporaries and mysteries. I can’t get excited about anything. I’m hoping, as it gets closer to the holidays, that I’ll get in the mood for Christmas anthologies. Real Housewives of Atlanta is over for the season, so I’m watching Project Runway. And in addition to Solataire and Free Cell, I can recommend Spider. When you find the cure for your slump, please let us know.

  5. Vol Fan says:

    Try reading something totally out of your usual genre of preferred books. That’s what I did. Right now, I’m reading the Vince Flynn books with the character of Mitch Rapp. The first of the Rapp series is “Transfer of Power”. I normally never read spy-thriller books. Just cannot get into the Tom Clancy type books. Flynn has gotten such great reviews & are all bestsellers, so I thought I would give them a shot. Also, Flynn’s are not the usual suspects of Russian spy-types. Flynn’s are set in modern day/Taliban/9-11 scenarios. Rapp is a character something like Jack in “24″. Surprisingly to me, I am actually enjoying this series. Granted, I don’t plan on reading every single one of them, but I’ve read the first, one in the middle, and plan on the last two.

    I also will change over to non-fiction many times. I read true crime & biography when I am in a terrible slump.

  6. I do the same as Vol Fan–I find something totally out of my genre. Or I look at a non-fiction book.

    …or….I start writing my own book. ;-)

    Reading slumps are the worst. Good luck!

  7. Chris says:

    I do what Vol Fan does, too – in fact, right now I’m on a total m/m reading craze because I needed something completely different from the standard contemporary and paranormal romances I’d been reading. I’ve now been able to ease back into reading those.

  8. anon101 says:

    I recommens trying categories . Short reads some are quite meaty help me a lot.

  9. elainec says:

    Have you read any of the Louise Penny mysteries?

    Penny was an award winning journalist for the CBC. At fifty she wrote her first book, “Still Life” (2005) – winning four awards including the Arthur Ellis and the Anthony for best first book. “A Fatal Grace” (2006) won the Agatha for best book. That’s the equivalent of a RITA for a romance. “The Cruelest Month” (2007) won an Agatha, an Anthony, a Barry, an Arthur Ellis, and a Macavity for best novel/mystery. “A Rule Against Murder” (2009) is a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award. Her books come out in Canada and G.B., sometimes with different titles. For one of these awards the competition included Anne Perry and Elizabeth George. Penny’s latest, “A Brutal Telling” just came out and I thought it was fabulous.

    Penny’s books are absorbing. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec is the protagonist, but the books are filled with characters who over time reveal their inner workings. Reading the books in order helps with learning their characters and motivations – all done very slowly as if peeling the skin of an onion.

    Someone introduced me to these books last spring and I’ve now read them all. I think Louise Penny is a marvelous writer who makes the reader want to learn more about these villagers in Three Pines and Gamache’s team. I hope you pick up one of her books. My small library had then, although now I’ve bought my own hardcovers. My husband and I also listened to them (downloaded from Audible). It’s nice to hear the French names and phrases pronounced correctly. All the books take place near a village south of Montreal towards the American border.

    Good luck getting out of your slump, Sandy.

  10. Margaret says:

    Is this a romance genre slump only? If so, I agree with reading outside the genre…or re-read one of your most hated/awful romances, that may be enough to make you appreciate the good romances more:)

    My romance reading slump is over a year old now, I’m down to about one romance book a month. I’ve went outside the genre and found that I like it there. Currently I’m reading the St. Cyr series by C.S. Harris, and impatiently waiting for my copy of Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris.

  11. Vol Fan says:

    You know what happens to me that I hate? This scenario:

    I’m all excited for this new book to come out. Can’t wait & either pre-order it, or rush out right away & buy it. So, I’m in the middle of another book at the time and I have to finish it before starting this “To Die For Book”. Maybe something else, or maybe even life, intrudes and I can’t start the “To Die For” right away. By the time I can stop & read it, I don’t even want to anymore. It will sit on my TBR shelf and sometimes I have even traded it without reading it.

    It’s like I have this obession, compulsion, or addiction, but if it isn’t fed right away, it goes away. How crazy is that? It drives me nuts when I do this, because these “To Die For” books are always from a favorite author, favorite series, or something like that.

    Am I alone in this craziness?? LOL

  12. Nathalie says:

    I usually read something totally different from what I usually read. Last time I had a readning slump I read Charles Dickens, plenty of Charles Dickens. And it actually worked!

  13. xina says:

    I want to read Soulless. I think I’ll pick it up today. Also, those housewives are very entertaining. I enjoy them as well! As for a reading slump, I very rarely am in one. right now, I’m working on my TBR mountain of books, and am finding some very good ones. Next up is…Tallie’s Knight, Angel Rogue,Captives of the Night,The Rake. I’ve also got a Karen Rose book to read and a couple of horror novels (in the spirit of Halloween). And there’s always GhostHunters. My favorite TV watching.
    I’m tired of trying new books in the romance genre. I read very few because they just don’t interest me. So, to avoid that slump, I read older books and move outside the genre. So far, so good.

  14. Ellen AAR says:

    My reading slumps are pretty well non-existent. My trouble is time – I have none. Being pressed for time does cause me to slow down a bit, but never actually stop. Right now, I work my regular job and teach two classes. If I just didn’t have any assigments, my students would love it, I’d have more time, but the department head would frown.

    (BTW, I’ve just come off a major Robert Crais read-a-thon and I love him! He’s kind of like Robert Parker, but I got tired of Parker and I don’t think that will happen with Crais. I’ve just started a Vince Flynn book and am looking forward to it.)

  15. Miscinnamon says:

    I once had that VERY loooong reading slump and to end it, I decide to start reading…in english (I’m French). It took me three years to be able to read in english without a E/F-F/E dictionary, and it effectively ended the slump.

    But sometimes, I have “mini-slumps”; and to end them, I either change categories : non-fiction, thrillers like Nicci French’s “Land of The Living” ; or Harlan Coben’s “No Second Chance”; or even pseudo-romancementary like Jean M. Auel’s “Earth’s Children” saga.
    Last January, I ended a two-week slump with the whole Twilight saga (four e-books, one computer, two eyes, fourteen almost-sleepless nights!)

    And if reading something different doesn’t help, I make beaded jewelry while watching House/Grey’s/Desperate/90210/etc.

  16. Vol Fan says:

    Ellen, my son got me on a Robert Parker kick too. I read all the Jesse Stone books, but I refuse to tie myself up with trying to catch up on his other series. LOL Waaay too many of them out there. The Jesse Stone books were pretty good, very easy to read, not heavy stuff, so at the time, I needed that kind of a break. But I have to admit, the ex-wife is wearing me down. I can’t stand her & wish she would leave the books.

    Which Flynn book are you starting? I’ve heard of Robert Crais, but never read him. What type of books does he write?

  17. AAR Sandy says:

    Thanks for the suggestions for the book (and game!) suggestions. Reading outside the genre is a great idea and one I believe I will try.

    @Vol Fan, I think my expectations of the To Die For book may have been the straw that broke the proverbial.

    Ellen, I am in awe that you manage to avoid reading slumps. It is no fun.

  18. Vol Fan says:

    Some authors to try out that are not usually discussed too much here and are absolutely some of my “buy anything by them” books are:

    Greg Iles
    Linwood Barclay
    Diane Chamberlain
    the above mentioned Harlan Coben (but I don’t like the sportswriter series)

    I also just recently finished an incredible book, quite different from anything I had ever read before, but one that will scare you, make you think and open your eyes. It is called “One Second After” by William Forstchen. It is an apocolyptic novel & I usually never read this type book. I highly recommend it.

    Synopsis: In a Norman Rockwell town in North Carolina, where residents rarely lock homes, retired army colonel John Matherson teaches college, raises two daughters, and grieves the loss of his wife to cancer. When phones die and cars inexplicably stall, Grandma’s pre-computerized Edsel takes readers to a stunning scene on the car-littered interstate, on which 500 stranded strangers, some with guns, awaken John’s New Jersey street-smart instincts to get the family home and load the shotgun. Next morning, some townspeople realize that an electromagnetic pulse weapon has destroyed America’s power grid, and they proceed to set survival priorities. John’s list includes insulin for his type-one diabetic 12-year-old, candy bars, and sacks of ice. Deaths start with heart attacks and eventually escalate alarmingly. Food becomes scarce, and societal breakdown proceeds with inevitable violence; towns burn, and ex-servicemen recall “Korea in ’51” as military action by unlikely people becomes the norm in Forstchen’s sad, riveting cautionary tale, the premise of which Newt Gingrich’s foreword says is completely possible.

  19. Hope says:

    If you’re interested in the fantasy genre Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy is excellent. They’re quick, easy, and engrossing reads. There’s just a bit of romance to it which satisfies the romance-reader in me, but that completely takes the back seat to the story.

  20. Try re-reading The Secret Garden. Or The Blue Castle.

    You don’t like first person, or I’d suggest Mary Stewart’s Touch Not the Cat. (Or maybe, since reading outside your comfort zone might help, I WILL suggest it :-) )

  21. Ellen AAR says:

    I’m reading Act of Treason by Flynn. I have not read any of Parker’s books except his Spenser ones and I got so darn tired of that whiny Susan Silverman. Plus, I got tired of Spenser and Hawk coudn’t carry the books by himself.

  22. Vol Fan says:

    Ellen AAR: I’m reading Act of Treason by Flynn. I have not read any of Parker’s books except his Spenser ones and I got so darn tired of that whiny Susan Silverman. Plus, I got tired of Spenser and Hawk coudn’t carry the books by himself.

    Act of Treason is one of the ones that I haven’t read. I skipped a few. LOL Started with (1) Transfer of Power, then went to (3)Separation of Power, then on to (9) Extreme Measures (I’m reading now) and will read his latest one (10) Pursuit of Honor. I also want to read (6) which is Consent to Kill. This one is in the beginning stages of being made into a movie. Plus, there is another really big happening in this one that I wouldn’t want to spoil you with. My UBS didn’t have it last time I checked, so I’ll get it later. The one that Flynn is working on now will be a prequel, setting Mitch Rapp into motion with the CIA.

    I was afraid that due to the intensity and topics, if I tried to read all 10 of them back to back, I would really burn myself out.

  23. AAR Sandy says:

    @Susanna Kearsley, The Secret Garden is one of my favorite books of all time. (I was all about Dickon.)

    FWIW, everyone, one of my favorite out of comfort zone series is John Sandford’s Prey series. I’ve gobbled up every single one.

  24. MaryC says:

    Have you read John Sanford’s Virgil Flowers series? He works for Lucas Davenport.

  25. Elaine says:

    Since I usually feel I am reading too much (when I should be doing things like cleaning my house), I can’t quite relate to the reading slump. But I’ve realized lately that I haven’t been reading much in the way of romance and often my “reading” consists of audio books. II just did a big purge of my stockpile of books and ditched over 200 books, mostly unread. I have been enjoying Anne Perry, Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs books, Elizabeth Peters and have been trying various new-to-me mystery writers like Julia spencer Fleming. All good. And there’s always non-fiction.

  26. Victoria S says:

    Sandy, I feel your pain. I just checked, and the last DIK review was on 9/28…whew! I get myself back on track by re-reading. I just cannot read something new until my faith in romance is restored by an old cherished favorite. After too many clunkers I need my blankies :) I like the suggestion to read outside the genre. I am currently reading C.S. Harris and Tasha Alexander, who write historical mysteries, and I am now raring to go for the next round of romances coming out. Hang in there girl, we are all pulling for you.

  27. mingqi says:

    I usually try to pick up a book from an author i haven’t read in years or an author I’ve never read before and isn’t talked abt. Even if the book is bad, it gets me in the mood to read books by authors I usually read.

    I also switch to the YA classics in order to get out of my reading slump too. or a contemporary (since most of my romance reading is historical)!

    and sometimes, I just don’t do anything. I just let the slump happen and do other stuff, like watch tv. I have tons of shows I have been meaning to watch but never got to. I have a list in my head and hope they will be in DVD or hologram or whatever by the time i retired 40 years from now. The reading slump is the perfect time to get tangible stuff done- like organizing files, spring cleaning, etc.

  28. Rebecca says:

    I loved An Echo in the Bone! It just made me want to reread the entire series. However when I get into a reading slump I knit or crochet something for a gift or to be donated for charity and usually by then I am ready to read again.

  29. AAR Rachel says:

    I have been through many, many slumps during my time at AAR. I think it is a LOT easier to slump when you have to get through mediocre books for review on a regular basis. If you are reading your way through a string of C’s, it’s hard to get excited about picking up what’s next, and much easier to find yourself, say, earning points for your 5-year-old’s Webkinz pets by playing Goober’s Lab over and over or even just cleaning your bathroom tiles with a toothbrush. Reading can turn into a chore even less pleasant than real chores.

    I’m not slumping now, but I hardly read all summer because I had so much gardening/canning/AAR/childcare stuff to do and so now it’s a joy to have more time to enjoy books. I think taking a break is a good idea, whether that means reading other genres, listening to books instead of reading them, or just not reading for a bit. The idea that you HAVE to read can often be the root problem. FWIW, all the books I’ve been assigned to review in the last year, with the exception of only 2, has been a C or lower grade.

  30. kris says:

    When I’m in a reading slump, I play Text Twist ad nauseum. Way too addicting. I also decided to try one of the books reviewed here that got a less than stellar review( a C I think) and I totally loved it. Beauty and the Duke by Melody Thomas. I stopped reading romance for about 8 months and now I’m much more selective in what I read but it can still be hit and miss. Usually I’ll read a romance and then the next book won’t be. Next up is Just Watch Me by John English. It’s about Pierre Trudeau…..one of our most interesting Prime Ministers.

  31. StitchKat says:

    Susanna Kearsley: Try re-reading The Secret Garden. Or The Blue Castle.You don’t like first person, or I’d suggest Mary Stewart’s Touch Not the Cat. (Or maybe, since reading outside your comfort zone might help, I WILL suggest it )

    OMG, right up my alley! Love them all, especially The Blue Castle. One of my absolute all-time faves. I’m reading an L.M. Montgomery bio (The Gift of Wings) right now and its fascinating. Also love Mary Stewart – I think I have basically every book she ever wrote. Awesome!

    As for slumps… I frequently tend to read non-fic (see: biography of Montgomery) or, like others, read outside my typical genre.

  32. Gwenhwyfar says:

    I’ve had a horrible slump that’s been dragging on for ages – largely because i seem to be dissappointed (sp?) by all the books i’ve read lately – EXCEPT:

    I thought that a change in genres might help – so I turned to Mystery and there are a couple of series with nice romantic elements running through them that you might like…

    Coffee House Mysteries by Cleo Colye
    Haunted Bookshop Mysteries by Alice Kimberly
    (Actually both series are written by the writing duo of Alice Alfonis & Marc Cerasini)
    And of course, the Death on Demand mystery series by Carolyn G Hart is wonderful.

    Anyway….just a thought

  33. AAR Sandy says:

    @MaryC, I have read Virgil Flowers and I enjoyed them because I love the author’s voice but, Virgil is no Lucas Davenport. I saw that he has a new one and I’m sure I’ll read it. Also loved Sandford’s stand alone about the guy in DC – the title is totally escaping me now.

  34. jebe says:

    I’ve been in a straight romance reading slump for a while. My lack of reading material prompted me to do the Reading Challenge this year and that’s opened a few doors for me. Believe it or not, the new authors category had a sort of six degrees effect for me: someone recommended Deanna Raybourn and, before I knew it, that led me to C.S. Harris.

    I’m listening to Outlander on audiobook now and I’m loving it, but I can’t see myself actually reading the book. It clearly requires a greater commitment than I’m capable of! But, just trying something new and different has sparked a renewed interest in romance for me.

    Sadly, though, I haven’t had much luck in reading a spell-binding, plain old romance! I’m trying to just avoid straight romances for a while. I’m hoping by giving my slump the time and space it needs, I’ll eventually outgrow it…that’s either wishful thinking or denial!

  35. Blythe says:

    Like Ellen, I rarely experience reading slumps, and mostly for the same reason – I could use more time for reading. The biggest problem I experience is when I absolutely hate a book that I am reviewing. I remember one that took me nearly a month to read – which is practically unheard of for me.

    When I do experience romance boredom, I usually do the tried and true genre switch up and go for something completely different.

    It is kind of funny that your slump-starter was my energizing DIK. Different strokes and all that. :)

  36. Susan/DC says:

    I rarely hit reading slumps, but when I do I try to change genres or reread old favorites or clean out my filing cabinet — anything that can serve as a breath of fresh air. This year, for example, I’ve read almost as many mysteries as romances, and also read a fair amount of literary fiction. Like others, I adore the C.S. Harris St. Cyr series as well as Arianna Franklin and Jacqueline Winspear (although her latest was a bit of a disappointment).

    Have to say I’m not a fan of Vince Flynn. A friend lent me some of his books but they were all DNF, as I found the politics a bit simplistic. But then I’m sure there’s lots of books I love that others scratch their heads over — we’re all entitled to our taste.

  37. Lynda X says:

    Unfortunately, the problem of reading a particular genre for years is coping with slumps. I think it’s because you’ve seen it all, read it all, and your tolerance for mediocrity is very, very limited–or am I just speaking about myself?

    I have done a few things to combat slumps. One, I look up the “A” books reviews here and get them. Two, I reread my favorites.Three, I read outside of the genre. I suggest you read “Help” by Kathryn Stockett. I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down. It’s funny, touching, suspenseful and just a terrific book. If you can read more than two pages and put it down, you’re a better woman that I. It’s about three women, about 1962, in the deep South, during the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Two are black maids and the other is a white college graduate who is trying to adjust to a society where she just doesn’t fit. Another great book is Lisa See’s “Snow Blossom and the Secret Fan” about two young girls in China, about in the 1800′s. One comes from a noble family on its way down, and the other girl, because she has a perfect bound foot, is able to bring herself and her family up. It is a fascinating picture of life in old China. I also love Anne Perry because she writes great social history with entertaining mysteries that are not violent. Her “Breach of Contract” is one of her best. I guarantee you won’t figure out the mystery, and you will get a real taste of Victorian England of all classes.

  38. CindyS says:

    I wish reading people would talk more about slumps – I felt like quite a noob when I experienced one that lasted over a year. I was very active at AAR and thought maybe I was a fraud because I was reading maybe one romance book a month (about 4 years ago now). To get out of the slump I forced myself to finish every book I started no matter how painful – I had been reading maybe a few pages of a book and then putting it aside for another. I also kept a private journal so I could look at my progress and see what authors were and weren’t working for me.

    2008 the slump came back hard. This year I opened with series books to get my reading numbers up so I wouldn’t be looking at how I was doing compared to other readers. It got me going for sure and then I started on those single title books I really, really wanted to read.

    This summer I became addicted to online games and the Housewives. I wish I hadn’t but it happened and shaking them is so not working. Now I’m faced with several books I really, really want to read but I’m acting like it’s Sophie’s Choice so I turn back to my online game.

    Good Luck!

  39. Ell says:

    Oh you poor honey. I’m soooooo glad I don’t have to finish every book I start. That would put me into a slump for sure. Sometimes I will pick up two or three or four (cringe) books in a row, that are so “meh” I just cannot force myself to finish. And I don’t. At that point, I reassure myself by going back to the ones I have loved – skimming to get to my favorite scenes, or else, like everyone else, go on to something different. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Sharing Knife series, or her stories about Miles Vorkosigan (strictly for the romantic/relationship end of things, start with Komarr)(I don’t think this woman is capable of writing a bad book) Judith Merkle Riley is another author I turn to in time of need. I particularly love her Margaret of Ashford trilogy.
    Both women write complex, thoughtful, wonderful books; books that remind you why you love to read. Can’t hardly ask for more than that.

  40. Fay says:

    Vol Fan: You know what happens to me that I hate?This scenario:I’m all excited for this new book to come out.Can’t wait & either pre-order it, or rush out right away & buy it.So, I’m in the middle of another book at the time and I have to finish it before starting this “To Die For Book”.Maybe something else, or maybe even life, intrudes and I can’t start the “To Die For” right away.By the time I can stop & read it, I don’t even want to anymore.It will sit on my TBR shelf and sometimes I have even traded it without reading it.It’s like I have this obession, compulsion, or addiction, but if it isn’t fed right away, it goes away.How crazy is that?It drives me nuts when I do this, because these “To Die For” books are always from a favorite author, favorite series, or something like that.
    Am I alone in this craziness??LOL

    Vol Fan, I had that same problem which I cured with my Kindle. I download a sample for free, so I feel like I have the book “on hold”. I only pay for it if I go back and decide to buy it after reading the sample (often I never go back to it, thus saving money!)

  41. Vol Fan says:

    Fay, great idea! I’m hoping to get a Kindle for Christmas. While the intital set up might be high, it actually might wind up SAVING me money! LOL

  42. katyco says:

    I just listened to the first chapter of Souless on Gail Carriger’s website and ordered a copy from Amazon. I have high hopes that this book will be different from anything I’ve read lately and get me excited about books again. Thanks to Rosiesa for posting the link to the audio excerpt on the message board.

    http://www.gailcarriger.com/

  43. Fay says:

    Funny, this problem of “reading slump” sounds like the “ennui” that we romance readers are familiar with in many of our heroes!

    Suggestions (depending on what is causing your slump):
    1) Get back to only reading the BEST of the BEST. Use the AAR website’s list of 100 best romances and check off which you’ve read, read any you haven’t read. This will also expose you to other genres.
    2)Other similiar option – search the AAR website for all books with “A” ratings – read the ones you haven’t read.
    3) Try new authors in your favorite genre – use AAR’s “Favorite Books by Favorite Author’s” list, so you know you’re reading the book others have considered the author’s best.
    4) Maybe you need more blood to the brain! Try an “at home” exercise routine. I’ve used the Debbie Siebler’s “Slim in Six” series and feel more energy for everything, even for reading concentration!
    5) I love reading as an escape, but maybe if you’re too focused on reading, you need to “escape” from your reading for awhile and pursue another fun hobby (Hey, maybe there’s a book on hobbies I can read :) ha!ha!)
    6) Maybe you’re being called away from a life of reading alone and into the type of life that writer’s write about and reader’s read about (pursue some volunteer work)…
    7) If it’s really severe and you’ve lost interest in other things as well, could you have a clinical depression? – consider seeing your doctor.

  44. Tee says:

    Fay: 5) I love reading as an escape, but maybe if you’re too focused on reading, you need to “escape” from your reading for awhile and pursue another fun hobby.

    Love this one, Fay. It makes a lot of sense.

  45. gumbybird says:

    I tried switching to audiobooks during my latest slump – that way I could be out walking while I was “reading”, which put me in a more positive frame of mind. It worked! Listened to Anna Fields reading SEP’s Natural Born Charmer (my first SEP and the start of a glom, which ended the slump). So funny and sweet with such well-developed characters and multiple plots – it fixed me! I have Outlander downloaded and ready to go the next time I need to come out of another one.

  46. DJ says:

    I pick out a very different type of book to read, such as a science or other nonfiction from the library.

  47. Diana says:

    When returning to old favorites fails, I go out of genre and look for something new. And meanwhile watch too much HGTV.

  48. Tee says:

    Diana: And meanwhile watch too much HGTV.

    Diana, one can never watch too much HGTV (LOL)!

  49. Karen says:

    The slump I’m in is exceptionally unpleasant because I live on the east coast and work on the west. I fly back and forth every week and it takes me 8 to 10 hours. 8 to 10 hours of heavenly reading time if I could only find a good book. On the day Linda Howard’s Burn came out, I had marked my calendar, I left work early, had to drive to another city to buy it, and even paid $28 for the hardback. $ was no object since I was going to get some quality time with my favorite author. I was so excited. After 40 pages I felt like crying. It is the only book I’ve ever returned for a refund. Put me in a slump. I think about the pure pleasure of reading the first few pages of a book and knowing you’ve got a winner. Think about how you felt when you first read Lord Of Scoundrels (Chase), MacKenzies Mountain (Howard), Midnight Man (Rice), The Velvet Promise (Deveraux) or Dream of Me(Litton). When I realized Burn was going to be yet another example of female characters “talking the talk but not walking the walk”, I put it down. I care about female characters taking action … not sitting around talking about how tough they are. Take Jessica Trent for example. Now THAT is a character who will take action!

    So, the thing that keeps me trying new books is the memory of that rainy, winter Friday evening, after a long week at work, curled up on the bed with a warm blanket and reading the first few pages of Midnight Man and knowing the next few hours were going to be phenominal! Hang in there.

  50. There are three things I try when I’m in a reading slump:

    1. Walk away from the book pile and do something else for a while.
    2. Read a different genre. If I’ve been OD-ing on romances, I’ll try mysteries, or thrillers, or even non-fiction. I’ve discovered some amazing stories this way.
    3. Reexperience an old favorite as an audiobook. Our state library system has Overdrive, which means we can download audiobooks for free. Listening to someone else read my favorite book to me is a real treat.

    Good luck!

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