When a Simple Reading Rut Turns into a Reading Sinkhole

Posted December 9, 2015 by Pixie in Imaginative Discussions, Pixie / 8 Comments

Imaginative Discussions

 

Reading ruts. We all get them. We want to read, we have stacks and stacks of books begging to be read. There are still countless purchases and interest in the upcoming releases. But there’s just no desire when the time comes to actually pick up that book, no matter how hard you try. It could be a favorite author, the latest installment to a series you’ve been eagerly anticipating, and you still just can’t. A majority of the time, they’re very short-lived. Maybe at most, a couple of weeks or up to a month. Occasionally though, you’ll find the worst growing ones… the ones that build and build and despite your efforts for repair (all of the “tips and tricks” many of us bloggers suggest for reading slumps/ruts), you begin to notice several months going by of slow reading, or maybe no reading, due to this horrific feeling.

You’ve not only found yourself into a simple reading rut. You’re falling into The Reading Sinkhole.

 

zooey

 

For me, this year’s reading schedule has not been near as bad as last year’s. At least I managed a semi-decent pace up until the tail-end of summer when my slump began. That was short-lived for a little while, then the real sinkhole hit about mid-September. The desire just fizzled, especially when my schedule can get chaotic at times right now.

Reading shouldn’t be about feeling like it’s a chore, but when big slumps like these hit it’s hard not to turn it into one. There are days when I have to force a few pages read out of books just to keep at it in some ways, but then I feel resentful about it the next week and it seems harder to want to try or get the desire back. A slump can be a real pain, and can sometimes leave even the most loving bookworms feeling at odds.

I feel like the sinkholes have to be treated with a slightly different approach than the typical “make yourself read” suggestion that is often found on most lists for tips and tricks on how best to handle the slumps/ruts. Usually when found in a deeper situation, with a longer time-frame of no desire, the root of the problem might run further than just the books. Allow yourself the time, the breather, and evaluate your stress levels. Think about your daily activities. Perhaps you will figure out something in the background, even if small, that you realize has been the culprit and nature of your building sinkhole all along.

 

bettywhite

 

Hint: A majority of my experiences with them have proven it’s often heavy-stress related or basically your body trying to tell you you’re not healthy, mentally or physically (depression, any medical conditions–such as me having thyroid disease, I get in reading slumps more often when my thyroid is off balance because all I want to do is sleep, any mental disorders such as anxiety, etc.). It’s very strange to think the different ways your body will try to communicate with you when something is likely wrong… and then stranger yet when we usually ignore it anyway. *shrug*

I would usually suggest picking up an old favorite and trying to re-read. But this can sometimes backfire as well. So if you know you really really really love that book or series, I wouldn’t suggest it honestly–especially during a reading rut. It can end on a sour note if you’re having feelings of blah-ness or no desire to read to start with and you’re forcing the read anyway. Who wants to end up hating a book they loved so much before all because of a sour re-read during a reading slump? If you want to try and go the forced reading method, scour some friends’ reviews, recent or old, and pick out a few books from the “average reads” list… Books that were perhaps given 3-3.5 stars at best, but not below a 2, so nothing too negative, and books that are probably no longer 400-450 pages (so, don’t go an epic fantasy route or something). Then give yourself as much time as you want. Don’t put any restrictions on yourself. Don’t schedule anything. If it takes you 2 months to read a 300 page book, so be it. By the end, it may be the one to finally pull you up from the sinkhole you’ve fallen down into.

Here’s another thing I like to suggest: Don’t skip over the bookstores/book aisles just because you’re in a rut. Continue buying. Continue browsing. Stop in at the library and have a look around when you can. You may not want to force yourself to read, but if you happen across the one (the one book to rule them all) that finally captures your attention enough to get just a tiny spark of desire, that’s enough to make a reach for the surface.

I might sound a little crazy with this one: Watch movies. Not just any movies… but book-to-movie adaptations. Better yet, ones you’d hadn’t even read the book yet so you’re seeing the movie first… all the details, characters, etc., before really knowing anything like a reader would. Well, if you’re like me and love movies ALMOST as much as books, the visual appeal of one not only is relaxing and entertaining–and if it’s really good, and I actually found I hadn’t read the book yet, I nearly always get the book immediately afterward. In some odd way, it’s almost like doing a re-read, because then I know the characters and most of the details and story, with slight changes.

really-high-guy-books-movie-350047

A reading slump is hard on a blogger either way you look at it. And the deeper you go into them (what I like to call The Reading Sinkhole), the harder it seems to get out of them. But you can! If it counts for something: the pain we feel when we are all without our books, even just for a short time, only shows how much we really do care. <3

 

Well, time for me to try and read and get this never-ending game of catch-up going again. Haha!

 

Do you have any ideas for working with/around a long-lasting reading slump?

 

PixieSig_Purple

8 responses to “When a Simple Reading Rut Turns into a Reading Sinkhole

  1. I must have been very lucky, Pixie, because I haven’t really been in a reading sinkhole. Oh, there were times when my kids were tiny and before I started blogging, when I hardly read, but that was OK. Once I felt like reading again, I got right back to it 🙂
    I think you’re right about taking a break – a hobby should never ever feel like a chore. It’s something we do to feel better, and forcing ourselves to read sounds very sad.
    I hope that if you’re inside one of those sink holes right now, something will happen that will help you feel the desire to read again soon.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Review: The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway – Erica RidleyMy Profile

    • Pixie

      When I was younger, before I started heavily blogging, there was a long period of time when I went without reading. Then I started Vampire Academy one day, and it basically kickstarted me into all of my reading since with an occasional short-term slump here and there (mostly from a really good book/book hangovers). But the last couple of years have been my worst as far as reading goes. I start strong with forced motivation, then I fall into a sinkhole and it sucksss. Lol. It always makes me feel awful. But I keep on trying anyway because I do find myself out sooner or later. There’s always going to be that one special book, I just have to find it. 🙂
      Thanks! <3

  2. I once found myself in one of these ‘reading sinkholes’ which ended up lasting a year! Thankfully I eventually got out of it by reading the first book in a series that proved really addictive (I then devoured the entire series in a few weeks and have been reading ever since).
    I think trying to read an shortish book with no pressure or time limit on yourself is a good way to try and get back into reading without forcing it and making it seem like a chore. Eventually you’ll find a book that will spark off your passion for reading again! Great advice!
    Laura recently posted…How do you review?My Profile

  3. I’ve never really suffered through a reading slump where I didn’t feel the want to read anymore. Sure, I have had times when my schedule has gotten busy and chaotic (like now, when exams are on the horizon) but if I had the time to read that is what I would be doing! But the important thing is to not let reading feel like a chore and to remind yourself that you can do other things instead of reading more often to help levitate some of that pressure!

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    Olivia Roach recently posted…G.I.Joe: The Rise of the Cobra (Movie Review)My Profile

  4. OOOOOH, I’ve never really sink that deep. But yeah, I have had reading ruts before where I feel like reading it suuuuch a drag. And it shouldn’t be that way! I guess for me, I’ll watch TV shows and only start reading again when I suddenly feel like it hehehehe.
    Maryam Dinzly recently posted…#RockMyTBR Book TagMy Profile

  5. I’ve been in a reading sinkhole since mid-end of September too!! It’s terrible and is making me sad. Reading is my “thing” and when I’m not doing it, I feel lost. I think I’m slowly starting to come out of it. I found a short, really addictive book and read it in a day!! But then I haven’t found anything to jump out at me since 🙁 On a side note- I LOVE watching movies first and then reading the books!! It almost always works out better than the other way around in terms of liking both the book and movie separately. I feel like when I love a book and THEN watch the movie, I have too many expectations. But if I like a movie and then read the book, I almost always get more out of the book and feel happy. Great sinkhole suggestions… reading slumps really are hard 🙁
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…New YA Releases For The Week Of 12/6My Profile

  6. OH I KNOW THIS FEELING WELL! My reading sinkhole started at the end of the summer, but for me it is more that the only books that I can fly through are adult romances. I have so many YA books that I need to read but they just take so much more time to get into. Reading slumps are the worst!

  7. I’ve never had that big of a problem reading. There’s always a part of me that wants to read. But sometimes I do find myself way to exhausted to pick up a book. That’s when I binge watch TV shows because when I’m on a reading roll, I hardly watch stuff. And I spend time sleeping. I find rest helps my mind recuperate and get back n that reading horse xD
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