Reading Slumps

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A slump is the kind of thing that tends to creep up on me. Often I hardly notice it until I’m looking for a bookmark and can’t find one, and I know that I’ve got at least five bookmarks, and then I start to realize that half the stack of “to-read” books on my nightstand has become “currently reading” without my being aware of it.

I have to hurry and say that there’s nothing wrong with any of these books. It’s like when you date a guy and there’s nothing not to like, but for some reason the spark just isn’t there for you. Some other girl would probably eat him up, but you’re like, “Yeah, we have a really fun time when we’re together, I just don’t think about him much when he’s not around, and that’s kind of a sign, you know?”

So I’m dating five books at once, at various stages of the relationship.

  • Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith — page 54: I’m interested and I’ll definitely keep going, but haven’t quite fallen yet. Plenty of smiles so far, though. I’m warming up to it quickly.
  • Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler — page 58: The awesome guy got killed off in the first two chapters! The main character is reluctant to move on, and I feel the same way. I’d rather keep mourning the dead guy than open up to the idea of somebody else — let alone the 20 of them the title suggests! But like the MC, I’ve got to work through the grief eventually and read on.
  • Going Bovine by Libba Bray — page 138: This is my work-out buddy. We go to the gym together, and I laugh out loud as I’m riding the stationary bike. And I’m starting to realize that I want to be with it more often than just the gym, because the relationship’s getting exciting now.
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick — page 18: All the hype around this book kind of killed it for me. I went into the relationship feeling too critical. The prologue was cool, though, like going to get drinks together and thinking, Yeah, I want to keep this going. But my criticism snuck back in during the first chapter. The jury’s out on whether I’ll finish it.
  • The Good Neighbors: Kith by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh — page 46: This is the dark guy that you hang out with because he feels dangerous. It’s a strange book full of creepy things. But I’m not really into dark and dangerous, so it’s sat on my nightstand the longest.

The worst sign for me, though, is that I’m thinking about other books — past relationships. I know, I know! It’s bad enough that I’m cheating on five of them at once.

But still. I hate slumps. I love to be in love with a book. I love to have that feeling of anticipation where I can’t wait to get back to it again. I love to see my bookmark sticking out from the middle of the book, not the first few pages — like a relationship that’s been going solid for a while rather than still in the beginning stages.

For me a reading slump is a lack of falling in love. It might be just a mood or life circumstance or whatever getting in the way. It might be that the next time I pick up one of these I’ll suddenly fall head over heels and have to stay up all night finishing that one, and then *snap* the slump will be cured. Or it might be that I need to go back to an old favorite first, and pick up that spark with an old fling, just to recover the feeling. Slumps are tough to predict like that.

Anybody else have this trouble? Any slumps or love affairs to report? What books have you absolutely gone over the moon for this year?

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9 responses »

  1. Hey Nikki- I know exactly what you mean. I’m sort of in one of those slumps myself.

    A couple books I couldn’t put down this year: If I Stay by Gayle Foreman, and of course Catching Fire.

    But too often I’ve been excited to read a book, and then it just feels rather blah.

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  2. What a perfect way to describe this feeling! I love it! I’ve been feeling the same way for about a month now, and I can’t wait to fall in love again. It WILL happen soon! 🙂

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  3. Wow! This is something that has NEVER happened to me! The most books I have ever been reading at the same time is 2. And even then I feel dirty. And all of the books you’re reading just look so GOOD! I don’t know how you do it!
    I’m sure it will get better. 🙂

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    • “And even then I feel dirty.” LOL. I love how readers can be so different. My mom always made fun of me in high school for reading multiple books at once. I try not to, but sometimes it just happens! 🙂

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