I’m emerging – slowly – from that horrible affliction known to avid readers everywhere as …
The Book Slump.
You’ve probably been there, too, in some form or another.
It’s the reader’s version of an endless streak of gray, gloomy days in February. You have hundreds, if not (ahem) thousands of books on your “want-to-read” list, and yet nothing strikes your fancy. You may work in a library with a collection of five million items, yet you’re overwhelmed at the notion of choosing one book to read. Or, maybe you’re staring at an overflowing coffee table or nightstand with no less than your library’s maximum number of books that can be checked out and nothing is grabbing your attention.
Story of my life for the past few weeks and then some.
So, what can a reader do when The Book Slump strikes? Allow me to share some of my tried-and-true ways of getting unstuck, so you can be prepared next time you find yourself in the abyss.
1. Read a really, really short book. The shorter, the better. During my recent book slump, I read We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Acorn, by Yoko Ono. In less than an hour, my reading mojo was rejuvenated and I was powered up for something longer.
2. Find out if one of your favorite authors has a collection of short stories. (Hint: ask a librarian if you’re not sure.)
3. Switch genres. If fiction isn’t striking your fancy, try nonfiction. Or a graphic novel. Or romance. Or horror. Or ….
4. Switch formats. Can’t seem to finish a print book? Try audio.
5. Read a magazine or a journal.
6. Ask for recommendations! Here at the Library, we love to match readers up with the perfect book – or even a book that’s pretty darn good. It’s kind of what we do.
7. Take a break from reading. Watch a movie. Listen to some music. Go to a literary event.
8. Ask a friend for the name of a book s/he hasn’t read yet (but wants to) and read the book together. Then, meet for coffee or lunch to discuss it.
Have you ever experienced The Book Slump? If so, what are some ways that helped you regain your love for reading?
~ Melissa F., who is currently reading Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and cannot put it down (so very good!)