Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Reading Slump of Epic Proportions

September is being a bitch to me. I've gone 23 days without finishing a SINGLE book, and that doesn't even count the one attempt I've made at reading. One. Attempt. What the hell is wrong with me? This has never happened before. I've never gone this many days without reading. I've never gone this many days without WANTING to read. My desire has been non-existent, and just wtf is a booknerd to do when they can't seem to find the energy to pick up their kindle or a physical copy and just escape reality? I'm truly perplexed right now, so I've been examining reasons why this is happening, and I've got a list. And I'm hoping that, by doing this, I'll be able to figure out ways to combat this feeling of I want to read but I actually don't. <--Isn't this just the worst? Ugh.

#1. I've been sick. Since the middle of August, I've been dealing with major health problems, and I even had surgery the first week of September (which was also my first week of fall classes, so that was a real fucking joy). And since then, I've been recovering. But it's taking me a long time, and I won't even have a post-surgery checkup until the middle of October. So yeah, that's awesome. And you would think that by not doing much, I'd have the time to read. Well, that's not true for me. When I'm sick, I don't want to do ANYTHING. All I want to do is lie around, sleep, and watch movies/TV. So because of that, I will spend a week binge-watching Friday Night Lights (yes, I totally did do that), but I won't pick up a single book. And I haaate it.

#2. I've been incredibly stressed out. Because of the health problems, and my car deciding to break down again, and classes, I have had SO MUCH going on. So much so, I spent days trying to figure out what to do about the semester. I stressed out over a big decision. I asked myself if I should continue with 5 classes and get graduation over with in December or if I should reduce my workload and push it back until May. In the end, and with my mom's advice and help, I decided to drop 2 classes and just finish out the spring semester online (so now I have a May graduation date). Honestly, I was pretty upset about having to do that because I literally only needed 5 more classes to graduate, and I told everyone I was going to be done by the end of 2015. But since then I've come to realize that this was the best choice I could have made. With everything going on, and with how this summer went, for my own sanity, I needed a smaller workload.

#3. I've been telling myself I can't read another book until I catch up on reviews. Are you surprised by this? Because I was. I've always procrastinated in writing reviews, but this summer was AWFUL. I pushed back so many reviews that I had books I read in June that still needed one. Why the hell did I do this to myself? My past self is on my shit list right now. And since then, I've just pushed off reading anymore books because I didn't want to add more stress on myself. Why add ANOTHER review to my list? Why read another book when I don't have the energy for it anyway so I can just make it even harder for myself to write reviews? So yeah, I've been making myself wait, and it's actually been going well. I'm down to 6 reviews, 2 of which are already half-finished. I'm getting there!

Oh wow, this post got negative really fast. I am sorry! I promise I'm feeling more positive and optimistic about everything now. But it was a hard few weeks there, and without books, I felt lost and just OFF. And I could still use some advice! So, here's my question for you: How do you deal with reading slumps? Do you push through it, make yourself read? Or do you take a break and just let that love for reading come back on its own? Nothing has really been working for me obviously, and I could use a different method. Or maybe I should just push myself to review those last few books. Maybe after that, I won't be so stressed or overwhelmed with reading anymore.

12 comments:

  1. Ah, you KNOW I push through, but I think I have seriously unhealthy issues with doing so. I mean, there comes a time when your body is yelling at you like "DUDE. STOP." and I think that is what yours has done, basically. But it is easy to get into that pattern and not emerge, too.

    So, I don't think you should push through just yet. Because you ARE still recovering. But after a couple more weeks, I think you'll need to kind of force yourself, or at least, retrain your brain to get into that mode. If you want to, of course! Start with a book that either you love (so a reread), in a series you love, OR you are super excited about. I think it's MUCH easier to get back into the swing of things when you know it's something you'll enjoy in the end. Maybe think of it that way- like yeah, you don't feel like it right NOW, but you'll try it out and maybe it'll be epic and you'll be SO glad you did it!

    Also. And this is just an idea. But maybe you DON'T review those last few books? I mean, life happens. Publishers understand that. You've had extenuating circumstances, so maybe you just don't do it, and start fresh. Clean slate, nothing to stress about, worry about, etc. Then you'd have the weight lifted without putting more stress on yourself. Because seriously, your health (physical AND mental) have to come first.

    This has been the pot calling the kettle black. You may now return to your regularly scheduled activities.
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. I think my body just about gave up too. And I'm kinda trying to push through but also not. I have to read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this week so I'll have to put off Cinder. Again. Blah. But I haven't even gone beyond the first chapter, so I don't think I'm in the mood for reading yet. Which fucking sucks.

      See, a clean slate sounds good. But if I finish these reviews, then I have some for the next month or so that I can post when I'm not reading anything. At least this way, I'll be able to also just focus ON the reading, and not worry about any outstanding reviews. But I appreciate the thought. I just don't think it'll work for me.

      Haha, we're both our own worst enemies sometimes. It's all good.

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  2. Aw sorry to hear how crappy September has been. Being sick is never a fun time, it's so hard to do anything but rest up. At least you're catching up on tv shows and movies ;D

    Don't stress yourself out further!! I think you'll eventually be happy with your decision though. You can breath a bit easier :)

    Oh yikes!! That's why I try to maintain my rule of not reading another book until I finished writing the review for the previous. I know you'll get back on track with reviews though.

    Chin up, and things will get better soon <3

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    1. I think I'm definitely going to try the whole "you can't read a book until you write the previous's review" thing again. That didn't work out so well for me before, but it would be good so nothing like this happens again.

      Thank you, Rachel! <33

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  3. Awwww Holly. I was actually in a bit of a reading slump not too long ago. Nothing seemed to be working. I think not forcing myself to read helped. I watched a lot of Netflix (LUTHER!!!!! I mean, if you like crime type shows). Then I ended up reading an extremely cheesy romance and for some reason it cured me XD.

    I don't know how you people go to school and blog. You are amazing. I find it hard enough as it is without school. As for the review thing, I can never start a new book without finishing the review for the book I just finished. I read what Shannon said and I agree with her saying maybe you should just create a clean slate for yourself. I'll be thinking of you and sending happy thoughts your way! :D :D :D <3

    Sarah @ The Reading Petal

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    1. I always watch a lot of Netflix when I'm slumping, but I'm getting tired of it! Haha. I don't have many left that even interest me that I haven't seen yet.

      Aw, it's definitely not as hard for me as others. I have a reduced workload and so I have A LOT of free time! It's just making that free time productive is the problem. And I've been thinking about the clean slate suggestion, but I'd like to have reviews to post for the next month, until I get back into reading and have newer ones to publish.

      Thank you!! <3

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  4. I've been in a reading slump too!! I haven't read anything since Queen of Shadows and I am in such a slump...my first year of high school has started so I'm still trying to manage school and blogging. Fortunately I have a lovely coblogger Cody, to tell me to post hahah ;)

    Olivia @ Fictionally Obsessed

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    1. I feel like everyone got into a reading slump after finishing that book! haha. And aw, it's good that you have an awesome coblogger who helps you out when you can't post.

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  5. Oh no, sorry for the horrible September so far /:
    I was in a reading slump last month for the same reasons. I hope you get better and remember that grades are not worth your mental health! Keep thy mind and body and spirit healthy :).
    Instead of catching up on reviews, I have to catch up on reading review books! Haha, the irony is real. Sounds weird, but you don't have to do every review! I would prioritize your list, such as need to review/ deadline vs. this needs a review!! vs. this doesn't need a review.

    As for getting out of reading slumps, some books are so bad or even good that they put you in one! I usually get out of them by rereading my favorites or reading quick books. It's okay if it'll take you a long time too :). Just push through and remember that reading is a hobby, not a priority.

    Hope everything gets better!
    Jess @ Princessica of Books // Wordpress

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  6. So sorry to hear all this and I wish you a speedy recovery from all these problems.

    And when I am in a reading slump and I just don't want to read anything then I take a break for while. If I am not wanting to read then I will not. Reading is a pleasure - why force yourself to do it and make it a painful activity? So, you don't want to read then don't read for a while. Watch TV or movies or anything that you have not been doing much since you had been reading all the time. You can even put a time line say not reading for a week. After that pick up an audio book and that will get you going. Since, you are not actually reading but still you are into a book. You can even pick one that's your favorite. For me it's Harry Potter most of the time and when I find myself in a reading slump I pick up Harry Potter's audio book and I am back to enjoying books. In fact I pick up an actual book to read when I am only halfway through Harry Potter. These are some of my suggestions that work for me. Try and see if these work for you too.
    Again wishing that you get well soon. <3 :*

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  7. Ugh. Sounds like it's the trifecta of a reading slump. :( So sorry to hear about the health problems and the surgery. I sure hope the worst is over and you're on the mend. And it sounds like dropping the classes was absolutely the right thing to do for now. Maybe it wasn't your plan, but there has to be a sense of relief there. As for the actual reading slump, I would say first, don't force it. If you try to force yourself back into reading you'll get more frustrated. And second, when you feel ready to pick up a book again, don't worry about what you need to review or what you should be reading... grab something that you're truly excited about. Hope you start feeling better soon! {{hugs}}

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

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  8. When I'm sick I just binge watch TV, I can't read.
    I also get stressed with the size of my TBR pile...especially when I don't have time to read.
    Honestly, I find the best thing for me to do in those situations is to take Elsa's advice: Let it go.
    Once I decided that I wasn't going to worry about it, it became so much less stressful.

    Get better soon! Good luck with your classes.

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