Kernels of Nonsense is a bimonthly feature here at A Kernel of Nonsense (yes, I’m very clever) where I sound-off on various bookish topics. Today’s topic is the reading slump and how dreadful a recent bout brought me to my knees (I’m half kidding)!
As is now starting to be pretty common with me, I had another topic planned, but since I endured quite the reading slump recently, I thought it would only be appropriate to write about it. I’ve also noticed a few other bloggers have been battling this lately and I don’t know if it’s the time of year (the holidays can be very stressful), but it is definitely going around.
About a week and a half ago I finished a book I was reading and sat down to write the review, but I simply couldn’t. This isn’t because the book was bad or I had nothing to say, it was just this overwhelming sluggish feeling. So the next day I sort of forced myself to write it (the review was for R.C. Lewis’ Stitching Snow if you are curious and if you are extra curious, you can read it here). I bring this up because this was the beginning stage of my reading slump.
Sometime in the next day or two I decided I was going to read Sarah Fine’s Of Metal and Wishes. I took it off my shelf, grabbed my lovely purple bookmark and carried the book around with me (I’m one of those bookworms that keeps a book in her handbag). I even opened it up a couple of times with the express purpose of starting…only I never got past the first pages.
Frustrated and a bit grumpy, I kept opening the book, only to put it down the next minute. I thought that perhaps it was the book, perhaps this wasn’t the story I wanted to read at this time. After all, I tend to be the type of bookworm that feels her way into her next read. I never force a book on myself, because it ruins the experience and it would be terribly unfair to call a book bad just because I was having a bad day.
For two days I didn’t read. This is an almost unthinkable scenario for me. Reading is like breathing. I kind of need it to live and when I’m so busy and I don’t get a chance to pick up a book, I feel like there is something missing. Not being able to read, because my brain will not allow me to fall into a book, what we call a ‘reading slump’, is a different feeling altogether. It’s like I’ve lost my way and there is absolutely nothing I can do to hasten the ending.
After two days I gave up trying to start the book and picked up Sara Raash’s Snow Like Ashes (my goodness, there are a lot of authors named Sara). I’ve wanted to read this book so bad and have been hearing great things and have been avoiding spoilers like the plague! So I grabbed my purple bookmark, tucked it into the book, and once again, carried it wherever I went. It went even worse this time around because I never even made it past the first page!
Could nothing be done?! Was I cursed to forever walk the earth as a bookworm who could not read books?! Was there no cure?! It was an awful feeling like being trapped in a stagnant state-of-mind and I admit, I wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around.
So in a last ditch effort, I decided I was going to reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Now you may be thinking, that’s it, that’s the cure! Not exactly. It took me six days to get through this book (a book that under normal circumstances would probably take me half as long). Even Harry couldn’t cure me, but it did help me get through the final days of my reading slump as I felt the last symptoms of this wretched sickness dissipate while I was reading.
It turns out Harry Potter wasn’t a panacea. But what I have learned from the occasional reading slump is that there is no cure, only time can bring you back to the wanting and the needing and actual reading. Even as I type this I’m so very excited to dive into the final pages of The Chamber of Secrets, so this reading slump is behind me and I am ever so thankful.
How do you deal with reading slumps? How long do they usually last for you? Are you ever afraid it won’t end? Let’s discuss in the comments below!