The reading slump: a disease, exclusive to readers only, in which one cannot get their face stuck into any books for a stupidly long period of time. Symptoms of the reading slump include loss of interest, total boredom and an overwhelming desire to hit one’s self in the face with a large hardback from the cookery section.
Yes folks, the reading slump, it happens to the best of us and it happens to the worst. It’s hideous, entirely unavoidable and up until now, thought to be incurable, but I’m here to make all of that change! Use my newly discovered method and you’ll be out of bed with your hardback-harry-potter bruises fading away in no time. So, let’s put our lab-coats on, grab our stethoscopes and get right down to the bottom of this horrific illness. Doctor Evie - reporting for duty.
Firstly, why does the reading slump even happen? The disease seems so random and spiteful that even the most wiggly bookworms (I mean the kind of people who can flip between Charles Dickens and Diary Of a Wimpy Kid without even a couple minutes break to make a cup of tea) could easily be infected. You can wash your hands all you like, but there seems to be nothing stopping you from being poisoned as well. Or is there?
Well, if my research proves true, the slump is most likely to thrive in those who place too much pressure on themselves. Don’t force yourself to read! In fact, that’s probably one of the worst things you can do. There’s nothing worse than pressing yourself to crawl through a long, monotonous book just because you think you have to! Who cares if Johnny, Greg and Tabitha have all read ‘The Great Gatsby’ and you haven’t? Who cares if you don’t know what the hell an ‘Avox’ even is? Who cares?!
|This substance may be of detriment|
to your health.
Read because you want to, not because you feel you have to and I promise the slump won’t be hiding round your bookshelves any time soon. This, I think, is why the slump always hits me hardest when I’m trying to get through a novel for English class. Sadly, English class reading cannot be helped and this is when we need the cure! Cue Evie's medical science!
So, here you are. You’re sitting on the couch with your old battered school copy of ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ for the sixth time that week; you’ve just read the same sentence about sixteen times over when you decide you’ve had enough. You go to find a different book from your bedroom, but you’re not really sure what you’re looking for. You must have started and gave up on five different books before you realise… you’ve got it. The slump has hit, you are infected.
|I prescribe one dose of Vampire|
Fiction. To be taken twice
Sadly in this case, my first curing method– to read something different that you actually want to read - has not worked. Sometimes a simple change of pace can get you speeding along again but not this time. We will be using method number two – re-reading. Though a book may not be so riveting the second time around, re-reading still provides a comfortable experience with book you know for a fact that you like. It doesn’t take too much effort and attention and because you’re certain to enjoy it your reading enthusiasm will be boosted enough to take on any library.
With a sigh, you pick up your old blue copy of ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ and settle back down for a long-haul read. But, to your horror, not even Augustus Waters can perk you up anymore. This calls for some drastic action!
Method number 3: The bookshop. Immersing yourself in a place so thick with scent of stories and characters can be enough to make your page-turning hand start to itch. The bookshop is magical. I don’t know about you but I always get excited buying a new book, in fact, I get so psyched that I always have to start my new book as soon as I get home. You buy something new, trying your best to get buzzed over your purchase, and nervously make your way home. Surely this will get you nose back between the pages of a book?
Nope. It hasn’t worked. You’re back on the couch, ready to burn your bookshelf to the ground. I have only one more method left. It is the simplest, most effective, yet probably the most ignored method that there is:
Just stop. Let it go. Put the book down and walk away. It may take a day, a week, or even only an hour but I promise you that eventually you’ll regain your appetite for words and paper and stories once again. You need to make reading fun again for yourself and this is never going to happen when you’re trying to make yourself read when, obviously, you don’t really want to.
Uncommonly known fact about the slump: It can smell fear. So, the longer you fret and worry over the slump’s horrific symptoms, the longer the slump will trap you in its vice-like grip. Forget about it, stop worrying. It’s inconvenient and annoying, yes, but it isn’t the end of the world – you’ll survive. Soon enough you’ll get your hands on something so good that it’ll be all you can do not to swallow it up in one day or less. Because the best cure for the read slump, is really very simple – time.
And with that I conclude my scientific research. May all those suffering from the illness be benefited and healed by my discovery. Doctor Evie is over and out.