The dreaded reading slump could be said to be the reader’s bane. That dastardly pit of confusion or lack of reader energy, when your TBR pile seems like a metaphorical tower built to honor your procrastination or lack of motivation, instead of the tower of fun it should.
Sometimes the books in the tower are not even books you picked out yourself. They were hyped up on #booktok or #booktube, or your friends have been egging you to read this particular book.
Sometimes the tower is made up of all the current books from your Goodreads to-read list. You know, the one that has over 700 books on it, some of which you don’t even remember wanting to read or why.
I do this to myself often. I either go crazy putting holds for books on my to-read list from Goodreads (which I haven’t updated in ages because it does have over 700 on it), not remembering why I wanted to read those books. Sometimes I pick books I saw briefly on Tik Tok or Booktube, that I may have vaguely been interested in at one point.
Sometimes I unwisely stalk the shelves of the library, picking books at random by genre or their covers, when I already have 20 something books checked out, waiting in tower form, at home.
It’s the curse of having too many choices. It’s the curse of liking more than one genre, and feeling the desperate need to read all of the books. What if you miss a good books? What if you miss a book that is being hyped up online, that could draw attention to your website or tik tok or Youtube profile?
It’s the second one that makes me angry when I realize it. I hate feeling pressure to read a book for any reason, but for likes? For views? That one really makes me mad. I intensely dislike the idea of having to read a book for someone else’s pleasure, which, at it most basic form, is what you’re doing when you read a book you have no interest in just to join in on a hype train that’s getting everyone else views.
I sometimes will innocently overwhelm myself with choices, when, like I wrote above, I pick out more books when I have plenty at home. But when I pick out a book simply because it seems like its getting traction online, that’s usually when I take a step back and examine my reading choices.
When I do that, I often realize that it’s not just that one book that I’ve been doing this with. My latest TBR often looks like a list you could find on Booktube or BookTok hashtag.
And, of course, the most frustrating aspect of it all, is I haven’t even been reading them. There they sit, that tower of books, books I don’t want to read, and never have.
That’s usually when I clean out my check outs and haul them peremptorily back to the library.
The choice is a bit harder when I look at my book tower and discover I have just simply overwhelmed myself with delectable choices. Then, I usually have to exercise my self-control, and pick the ones I want to read the least, right now, and clear them out of my room.
Those are the two biggest reasons for a reading slump, for me, (other than a depression season, which is it’s own reason). What are the reasons for a reading slump for you?
What measures could you take to get yourself out of it? Perhaps spending less time reading what Booktube or Booktok reads, and more time reading what you want to read? Perhaps winnowing down your book hauls to a more manageable number. Maybe even ignoring that humongous to-read list you made on Goodreads and choosing what you have in front of you.
However you make your way out of the reading slump, may you find joy in the books that read!