The Slump Has Me!

In my last post, I wrote about The Slump From Beyond the Stars. I’m afraid that it has me in its unfathomable grip. I urge you to be wary of its silent, stealthy approach. Don’t end up like me, staring listlessly into space, trying to remember what has been lost. Instead of drifting into a numbed stupor, pick up that book or comic and open its pages. Read. Read like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t let the Slump take hold.

Leaving my Lovecraftian tendencies behind, I wanted to write about a reading slump that has hit me over the last few weeks. I’m not sure how or why it started, because the last book I finished reading was really good and left me much to ponder. It was a beautiful, strange book, a compelling story which has evaded my limited powers of reviewing. The book was “Skyward Inn” by Aliya Whiteley, and I recommend it. I just have to figure out how to put it into words.

As this review eluded me, my reading time gradually decreased. Even more confounding was the fact that the next book I picked up was turning out to be a fascinating and funny story. It’s “Spoonbenders” by Daryl Gregory, a book I’ve been wanting to read for a few years. You know how it goes, the dreaded tbr-mountain packed with hidden treasures just waiting to be unearthed! I’m really enjoying reading this book. So why is it taking me so long to finish it?

It’s me, not the book. I’m in the grip of a reading slump, and need to pull myself out of it. When was the last time you were in the grip of The Slump? And how did you escape its insidious grip? If you have any advice, tips, or ideas, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading!

-Wakizashi, sat on the Teahouse tatami mats staring into the distance.

25 thoughts on “The Slump Has Me!

  1. It is a funny fact of life that the best books can cause reading slumps. It is just so much for other books to live up to!

    The cure depends on the slump, in my experience. I am not in a slump so much these days as simply short on time to read. Sometimes a break helps. Sometimes switching up genres, or returning to old favorites helps. But the most reliable way to break a slump in my experience is to power through it. Double down and set aside extra time for reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Short on time to read” is a big factor these days. Another thing I’ve noticed more recently is the age factor with me. When I do settle down after work and open a book, I find myself fighting to stay awake after a short time. The dreaded “evening nap” is jumping in and trying to take over.

      That’s good advice on switching genres or returning to old favorites. Thanks, H.P.!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooph. Most of my slumps have been caused by life intruding on my hobby and not because of the books I was reading.

    I tend to avoid slumps by having my reading rotation. No choice in what I read next means no indecision, waffling or reading based on “feelings”. It has worked for me since ’16 or so with no reading slumps.

    Blogging slumps on the other hand, oh Lord. Seems to happen every couple of months :-/

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Life intruding” is a big thing, yes. And it isn’t the books this time, it’s all me.

      I like your rotation policy. I tried it and it was working well, but then those crazy feelings jumped in.

      I think taking a purposeful break from blogging is a good idea. Didn’t you do that recently? I think I’ve been procrastinating too much, yet again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When life does its thing, I’ve learned to just roll with it, complain like a little girl, and stop doing whatever I’m complaining about. Because I know my interest WILL return.

        I hear you. I try to schedule some flexibility into the rotation with what I call “High Priority” books. I wait until I have 2-4 books that I REALLY want to read than I’ll read them all back to back and blow my rotation off. Keeps the rotation going overall but helps me not feel penned in πŸ™‚

        You are correct. I took “a day” off from blogging in April just because I needed it. I have found I have swings when I can’t type fast enough to get all the posts out and then other times when I can’t write to save my life. Which is why things like getting 4 weeks ahead is important to me so I have that time to recover without having my blog go silent.

        Sorry to be such a blabbermouth. I just had a caffeine drink so I’m going 100mph….

        Liked by 2 people

          • Saturday mornings are my “book review writing” time. I can churn out 2-4 if I’m feeling good. It’s all the non-book review posts that add up. Trying to be creative on demand is very hard for me to do πŸ™‚

            As for your issues, is there anything you can do? Or are you just going to have to ride it out?

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a time when I didn’t want to read, but I’ve certainly had periods when I wanted to read but had a hard time finding anything specific I wanted to read. I’d start something and realize I’m just not in the mood for “that” right now. It’s as if there was something out there, something I really wanted to read right now, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. Most of those times I do best finding a simple old-school-type fantasy, perhaps because that’s like comfort reading for me, it’s what I grew up on. After reading one of them I’m usually back to being able to easiliy pick up almost anything else. One thing I “think” helps me minimize these slumps is rotating what I read between genres so I don’t spend too much time on any one thing.

    And I agree with Bookstooge, blogging slumps are far more common for me, though I generally force myself to push through them. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but it seems to work for me.

    Good luck with The Slump. They all pass in time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, thanks for jumping in and offering some great advice, Todd. “Old-school-type fantasy” sounds intriguing. What kind of things did you used to read?

      H.P. in another comment mentioned “comfort reads” and it’s a great idea. Thank you! And “yes” to the dreaded blogging slumps. I was in one, so I tried something different with the Lovecraft-style flash fiction. Or was it really a thinly disguised cry for help?.. More like a man-flu-like moan. πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Some of the types of books that have worked for me are Lawrence Watt-Evans Ethshar books (With a Single Spell was great), which are what I consider old-school fantasy and often have a touch of humor. C. Dale Brittain’s Yurt books (starts with A Bad Spell in Yurt) are very simple, almost slap-stick fantasy, that work when I’m really tired and just want that comfort-style read, nothing too taxing, just simple entertainment. Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar stories can work, and Ray Bradbury. I have some Pathfinder books that are like D&D that I’ve been saving to try, I think they’d work for me. And also some actual old D&D books. And I’ve recently discovered the Witcher stories, and I suspect they’d work, though I’ve enjoyed them enough I’ve started working my way through them (not able to save them for later). There are quite a few older series I’ve read as a kid that I’ve considered rereading or continuing (ex: Shannara) that I think might work. And of course there’s always another reread of Lord of the Rings, can’t go wrong there. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s really interesting to hear. There are some new names to me that I’m curious to read now. I’ve read Leiber and Bradbury, both very entertaining.

          I read the first Witcher book and it was pretty good. I tried one of the Shannara books but couldn’t get into it.

          Thanks for the recommendations 😊


  4. Honestly, I usually just wait it out. Play some video games, watch some youtube, maybe try an audiobook? Or…

    Have you tried maybe osmosing books? Put them under your pillow at night and… I mean, it’s not a perfect plan, but…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wakizashi, since February, I have only read two books: The first was The Shining, which took me like six weeks(!) to read. After that, I started Doctor Sleep — back in March — and I am still reading it! But just as you said, it is not the book — it’s me! I actually love the book and can’t wait to see how it ends! But for whatever reason, I don’t have the energy to read more than a few pages before bed lately — and most nights I don’t have the energy to open the Kindle at all! Reading is one of the great pleasures of my life, but for reason I cannot explain, I, too, am in a major slump.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Spoonbenders (2016) by Daryl Gregory | Wakizashi's Teahouse

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