Inevitably, we all face a time where the books we pick up to read just aren’t for us. They’re uninspiring or don’t connect to our moods, or just something in general turns us off from the novel. Often, I find this happens after we read a really amazing book (Hello, The Prince of Tides). We call this the much dreaded READING SLUMP.
Unfortunately, I’ve hit a rough patch on these novels I’ve been trying to cross off my physical TBR, and instead of giving you three WHOMP WHOMP downer reviews about why I DNF’d them, I thought I’d give you all the short & sweet reasons in one post, as well on tips on how I get out of reading slumps.
Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier
I never read Girl With A Pearl Earring from this author, but had heard of the stellar reviews it received, so I was eager to get to Falling Angels. I got about 30% percent into this audiobook and was completely bored and detached from the plot. So I resorted back to the physical copy, and although Chevalier’s prose is intricate and detailed, it’s still lavishly boring. It just started painting a pretty, predictable narrative. So, I said next.
Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance by Bill McKibben
This sounded super interesting, and as a native Vermonter who has always been interested in the secession threats posed by the state, I was curious to hear McKibben’s take. However, right off the bat, Radio Free Vermont blasts off into conspiracy and chaos. The writing is a trainwreck of thought and difficult to follow because of the secrecy of the information being revealed. It’s a mess and I immediately tuned out after two chapters. This book could be loaded with interesting concepts, but if it can’t be presented in an informational, conversational way- I’m out.
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
On the high of Unsheltered, and the low of two DNF’d novels, I decided to go back to Kingsolver in the hopes of being carried away in her audio of The Lacuna. However, the novel did nothing but confuse me with it’s odd stylistic writing. The point of view would switch to where I think I’m listening to narration only to realize it’s switched characters on me. With 19+ hours of audio, and after 2.5 hours in, I knew it wasn’t going to be enjoyable to just try and get through, nor would it be the one to break my slump- so it moved to the DNF pile.
Generally, when I’m choosing what to read, I go in this order:
- Read something I’m highly anticipating.
- Read something short.
- Read something by a familiar author.
If I’m working through a reading slump, usually I can stop it within these three book choice options. Unfortunately, I’ve hit three strikes on this one, so my favorite alternative is:
- Read something I know I already love.
This almost always gives me the opportunity to reset and feel motivated to read again. But, if I fail to complete a book I know I already love, here are some other methods to get out of a reading slump that I would resort to:
- Have a good bookish friend (who knows your reading tastes) recommend a read.
- Blindly choose from a stack of books you are eager to read.
- Read something that’s been getting a lot of hype.
- Read outside your general genre.
- Read something simple and easy, like a graphic novel or middle grade book.
- Listen to an audiobook nonfiction self-help or motivational read.
Reading slumps stink, and having to DNF a read is a real bummer, but I hope these tips help you if you’re like me and in need of a winning novel!