Improving Your Reading Life | Embracing Reading Slumps

Life has been all too real lately. The busy schedules, kids, family and friend time, work, and the list goes on, and on, and on. I really love powering through and checking 'Read' on Goodreads, as well as seeing my yearly goal get one book closer each time. It's quite rewarding. Not getting to reach that point during a recent reading slump became frustrating for me. However, I quickly realized the joy in allowing some down time from one book to the next. I read so many books the first few months of the year, which lends to immense gratification, that I realized I didn't get to sit with each book and reflect nearly as much as I prefer to.

“You do not want to be a good reader. You want to be a patient reader.”

In thinking over what I've read, some maybe too quickly, I've compiled this list showing the benefits on not reading as much as you possibly can. I know, crazy, but bear with me here:

  • Reading as much as you can, can keep you from really soaking in storylines, details, and quotes. This article is amazing on really breaking it down for us! Seriously, read it.
  • Reading can truly leave you exhausted. Constantly adding to your TBR can add undue stress. Sometimes, it's best to allow reading to be a leisurely activity, not a daunting one. Repeat after me, this is not a competition.
  • You'll see so much more about what you love in books and your reading life again, by not putting the pressure on. Remember that passionate feeling as you soak in a good book? Don't rush it away by immediately picking up another.
  • Let's talk about how much books need to be appreciated again. It doesn't have to be all about what's trending or most popular. 
  • Remember what you love to read, not what you feel compelled to because of social networks or what's newly released. Old books need love too!
  • Sometimes, there are other things to do than read. What?! Yeah, I did just say that. But really, it's ok to leave a book and just enjoy quiet time, a good chat with a friend, a slow walk, or a hot cup of coffee and reflecting on your thoughts.

Before you all think I've completely lost my mind here, just understand that I love reading so very much. As I've settled into a bit of a reading slump these last few weeks, I've learned a few things about letting it be ok. At first I was feeling the pressure of not reading enough. Will I reach my goal this year? But that is simply not the most important thing. Settings reading goals is a great way to challenge yourself, but it's easy to get caught up in wanting to proclaim that you read 100 books each year. I want to read for quality, not quantity. And isn't that true in so many facets of life? So, I've stopped placing holds on all the books at the library, and when I take my kids back to get more for the week, I realize how much I have missed wandering around the stacks and picking up something catches my eye, or having time for books recommended by friends. Of course, this means I also don't visit book stores nearly as often as I once did, and trust me, this is a very good thing!

Inquiring minds want to know, how do you deal with reading slumps? Do you get really frustrated, or not really mind? Do you have any methods to help get through it? Do share!

Rikki RiveraComment