This post stem from a recent discussion with Cahleen at The Alt Story and I know it has happened to the best of us. We finish an incredible story and cannot settle on the next. Or worse, we wake one day to realize we simply cannot maintain focus long enough to make any significant dent in our current read.
Book Hangovers & Reading Slumps..
They are not fun. We all experience them. But they can be particularly stressful when you are staring at a pile of ARCs or review copies that you should have reviewed last week. Suddenly this problem just got bigger.
As a blogger and reviewer, it has taken on an incredibly new and almost detrimental form. It rears its head at the worst of time, and in my ever-neurotic mind, solidifies the pending doom of Books, Vertigo & Tea. What was once an inconvenience now becomes a serious problem that I actually need to combat if I wish to make deadlines and keep content flowing.
I am very serious. <– putting that in bold just in case I was not clear. What once meant more time for Netflix and other activities now means that in the next week I am going to find myself trying to force down 2 to 3 books in a rush to make a tour stop, post before release or just come up with something.. anything.
My Previous methods of recovery have included switching to Netflix and binging a show or two or reading a few short stories to cleanse the reading palate (I would be lost without Tor).
So what happens when my safety nets begin to fail?! Because they have been lately. I find that binging television only makes me want more television. And when I cannot even focus enough to read a story less than 50 pages in length or make it no more than 10 pages into a new title before flinging it down in exasperation? Queue my mental break down and awkward panic mode.. this ship is sinking!
So I have been incorporating some new means of combatting my slumps and hangovers (book hangover – this is not a self-help guide to the morning after). I have learned when facing challenges, sometimes change is the best and only answer.
I have started using this time to pick a nontypical book such as memoirs or contemporary fiction. I find this can recharge me and often leads to the discovery of some hidden gems I might have missed otherwise. So it is (when effective) a double win!
I am a creature of habit, as you may remember from my recent confession. So I break from my comfort zone and shake things up by redesigning my reading space a little. Sometimes even the slightest changes can be rejuvenating and excite me to settle in with a book or two.
I head to the bookstore! Okay, so this approach sounds completely counterproductive, but I have discovered that being in the aisles of books and exploring them can usually remind me of that joy that was starting to dwindle. This also works with a trip to the library. Bringing a new book home or even browsing them actually helps.
But what I really want to know is how you tackle these reading hurdles? If you are a blogger, do you also find that they now present a larger problem? And if you are not a blogger, do you just put the books down until you have a desire to pick them up again?