We’ve all been there – the dreaded reading slump. It’s tragic but true. It’s like standing in front of a stocked refrigerator filled with all kinds of goodies with the door wide open looking at shelf upon shelf of delicious food and pronouncing: “There’s nothing to eat”. That’s exactly the way it is with a reading slump. I go to my bookshelf and pick out one book after another:
A Duke and his mistress? No.
A shapeshifter leading his pack out of danger? Nah.
A cowboy fighting for his land and the woman he loves? Umm, maybe later.
A CIA operative escaping torture and certain death? Ehh, not in the mood right now.
Nothing appeals. All those pretty shinny colorful covers filled with heroes and heroines in every shape and size having exciting adventures and I pronounce “I have nothing to read”. Times like these I’d rather watch Tyra Banks telling the 10 beautiful women standing before her that they are still in the running to become America’s Next Top Model; and you know that spells slump with a capital S.
The reading slump is a terrible and dark place for any lover of books to be in. It’s tantamount to being caught in quicksand. The harder you fight to get out the quicker you sink. So over the years I’ve developed several tricks to get me out of the dreaded reading slump and get my reading mojo back. I’d like to share my top 4 tricks with you:
4. Go to a movie. Seriously. Got to a movie, go for a walk, clean your oven with a toothpick, but don’t read. Just take a short break from the written word. It refreshes your mind and you can come back to your bookshelf or the book store or the books waiting to be read on your TO BE READ pile with a fresh perspective.
3. Mix it up. If you are a romance reader who only reads historicals try reading a romantic suspense. If you only read category romances, try a stand alone. Try a ‘new to you author’ who has a long standing series and start at book one and have a marathon. If you only read romance try reading an autobiography or a mystery or even a non-fiction book. Broaden your horizons because you never know what will spark your imagination and excite you. There are so many books waiting to be read.
2. Read a book recommended by your favorite author. If an author you love loves a book there’s a definite possibility that you may love it to.
1. Cleanse your palette and re-read a book you love. One of the best ways I’ve found to get out of a reading slump is to re-read a favorite book. I call them ‘comfort reads’ because I know for certain that a re-read is going to be a guaranteed good read. There is no doubt in my mind that this book is going to be everything I want and more.
I was recently in a seriously bad reading slump, which made me anxious and somewhat depressed. I went from book to book trying anything that would hold my interest and excite me. I even moved from my favorite reading chair to the sofa, and then moved from the sofa to the bed and from the bed to the kitchen table trying to get comfortable enough to concentrate on the book I was reading. No luck. Then I tried reading outside at my favorite café. I spent more time noticing the new line of spring shoes that floated past my line of vision instead of on the printed words in front of me. I tried reading in the park, at my favorite museum, on the train to work, on my lunch break, on line at the bank and still couldn’t concentrate on the book in my hand. And then, inspiration struck.
I finally, finally decided to re-read a book I had already fallen in love with, Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann; one of my favorite books in her Troubleshooter series, and ahhh…. I slipped into ‘that space’. You know the one I’m talking about. The space where reality suddenly recedes, where time is inconsequential and where you are completely and totally absorbed in a fictional world filled with vivid images and characters. In ‘that space’ calmness descends and your breathing and heart rate slows down and you enter into an imaginary world that sparks your interest and fuels your imagination. Re-reading a favorite book cleanses the palette and gears you up for getting out of the dreaded reading slump and getting your reading mojo back.
I’m happy to say that Over the Edge, followed by Visions in Death (In Death Series #19) (another favorite re-read), definitely cleansed my palette, and now I’m back and better than ever, and I’m ready to read all those new shinny and colorful books with new heroes and heroines and new adventures. After all, there’s always a book waiting to be read.
I’m curious. What do you do to get out of a reading slump?
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