Let’s Talk Bookish: What Causes Reading Slumps?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme that was originally created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books starting in August 2019, and was then cohosted with Dani @ Literary Lion from May 2020 to March 2022. Book Nook Bits has hosted since April 2022.

Posts are a little sporadic right now – still trying to catch up after my short trip away, so at the moment I’m not pushing myself super hard to get back into my regular posting. Hopefully will be able to do so this week or next, but we’ll see how it goes! Also had a bit of a shock – despite knowing it was coming – last week, when seeing that Twitter has now officially been disconnected from WordPress. Honestly, what Musk is doing to that platform is awful, but I did see WordPress are trying to connect to Instagram – I don’t use it that much, but I’ll connect the blog to it when it’s up and running so at least I’ll have automated posts going there. It’s the same handle there as everything else – elleturpitt. Anyway, enough rambling, let’s dig into today’s LTB topic.

May 26th: What Causes Reading Slumps?

Prompts: There have been past LTB topics about ways to get out of reading slumps, but I was curious about why they happen in the first place. Do you fall into reading slumps often? What causes them? Are there patterns you notice with when you tend to read fewer books? What do you do to get out of a reading slump?

I think I’m less prone to reading slumps now, but that’s partly because I’ve gotten better at recognising when I’m approaching one and how to stop it. Partly, it helps that I have so many books on my TBR I can always find something to match whatever mood I’m in. When I did used to face a slump, and even now if I feel like I’m verging on one, there’s a few different causes for them.

Firstly – a lack of choice. Way back when – and we’re probably talking around 8 – 10 years ago – I didn’t have that many books. When I started my first post-uni full time job, I’d pop into WHSmiths when I got paid, and pick up a couple of books. Then that changed to ordering a couple on Amazon instead (wider selection). So I always had something to read, but if I got through one or two and didn’t really fancy the others, I’d then struggle to read anything. It wasn’t like there were no books around at all, but I’d often find myself either with very few I hadn’t read, or a few books that were similar in terms of genre.

I don’t tend to have that problem anymore, not since I started blogging and getting arcs. Now, I have plenty of both physical and digital books, meaning I’m never out of options for what to read. However, that doesn’t mean I’m totally out of the woods. If I’ve been reading, say, a run of contemporary romances, I start to feel a kind of “I don’t want to read” itch. I think I just don’t like too much of the same thing, and this goes for other genres too, especially if I read two or three books in the same subgenre in a row.

Similarly, if I’ve read a few books in a row I haven’t particularly enjoyed, no matter what genres they are, I start to grow frustrated with the whole act of reading. Or, because I read multiple books at once, if I’m reading two or more at the same time I’m struggling with. It could be for any reason – sometimes it’s not the right book for me at the time, or it is because I just don’t think the book is particularly good. When that happens, I’m more likely to DNF, too.

External factors can play a big part, too. The periods when I really haven’t felt like reading at all have usually been when there’s a lot more going on in my life, or I maybe haven’t been in a good head space. One of the biggest reading slumps I ever had was when I was back at university (over ten years ago now – where did that time go?). I really struggled to get into a good habit with reading, especially between reading for university, assignments, and late nights followed by hangovers! Reading fell down my list of priorities, but luckily I had some good friends who lent me some good books now and then, or recommended books to me, and though it took a while I was eventually able to read for pleasure more.

The main way I get out of a reading slump is to not put too much pressure on myself. If I need to take a break from reading completely for whatever reason, I do. Though often I find reading something completely different next does help – if I’ve read a handful of Adult Horror books in a row, switching to a YA Contemporary or YA Fantasy (for example) helps, or if I’ve been reading plenty of Romance, maybe it’s time to dip into some non-fiction. Having multiple books on the go – in different formats – at once also helps with this, as long as I’m not struggling with all of them!

Do you experience reading slumps? Do you know what causes them for you, or have any tips about getting out of one?


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