Tuesday, 6 January 2015

How to Cure the Reading Slump

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?
Quarantine Zone. 

        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.


  1. Madge you cured me..............................I am a BELIEVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    1. Good stuff Gogog!! Glad I could heal someone!! :D

  2. Amazing post!! :D when I started uni I had a year long slump :/ and then I got depression and found reading as a source of comfort again. When I need to cure myself of this I read Harry Potter again haha! xo

    1. Oh wow :o I don't know if you get this a lot, but that's pretty amazing! I mean, I use reading as a kind of emotional release sometimes because sad books can let you cry and let out anything you've been holing up.. but I've never heard someone using it as a remedy for something so deep as depression! I'm glad it helps you so much :3 What about Harry Potter cheers you up best? For me I think it's the very thought of Fred and George... Both movie and fictional! I have a bit of a crush :o :D x

  3. Wow, you posted this at a great time! I've been in the worst reading slump EVER! It's actually been awhile... probably since like November! I've been trying to get back into the groove of things but I just don't feel like it! I think I'm gonna go with your last prescription and just let it go. I do have quite a few of new books, so I may give those a try too. But yeah, reading slumps are the worst!

    1. Oh good! Glad I could be of service!!! :D November is a LOOOOONG time :O That's way longer than any slump I've ever endured. Mine usually only last a few weeks, but it was worse before I started blogging! Reading book blogs and blogging just makes me so excited about books that I HAVE to read you know? :3 But yeah, don't put so much pressure on yourself! You'll be okay eventually! And that's a doctors advice ;3 Thanks for stopping by :D Please come back, this was fun! c:

  4. I love this post!! I think that a trip to the bookstore can totally cure any slump - hadn't really thought about it, but it's totally true!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Thankyou Nicole! Glad I'm not talking complete nonsense :D Very reassuring ^_^ Thanks for stopping by :3

  5. This post made me smile. Like, all the way through it. I love how you inject humour into things, and I also really love this post because I am incredibly guilty of putting pressure on myself to read. I'm toying with the idea of re-reading The Hunger Games, but I'm not sure. Re-reading does definitely help me, but I'm so lazy when it comes to re-reading. >.<

    The bookshop method is a dangerous one as well. Especially for my bank account which, ahem, is not getting any income. Lots going out of it, thanks to Waterstones and Amazon, but I feel like I'm wasting it because I buy books then stick them on a shelf for ages. And now a reading slump on top of that. What a fantastic combination!

    A very well researched piece of work, Doctor Evie. I concurr, and hope that you, I and every reader out there can continue to power through our slumps.

    1. Ah Charlotte! You're killing me with flattery here! *blushes intensely* Thankyou! I used to be able to re-read like a mad man, in fact it was practically all I did, but then one day I switched and all I wanted was new new NEW fiction! But I still do like to return to familiar old favourite now and then :3
      I know too well about the money issues that come with being a bookworm, but do my eyes deceive me? Did you just tell me you shop in waterstones? A UK book blogger?! Praise the lord, you exist!!! Most every blog I follow is American, or south American, so it is wonderful to see another briton kickin about! :D
      Thankyou for reading my medical hypothesis, Charlotte dear!! Do you have a blog?? I'd love to check it out and follow! Is this is the detail you put in your comments, then your blog must be PHENOMENAL! :D x

    2. I'm behind Bookmarks and Blogging! I usually put 'Charlotte @ Bookmarks and Blogging' at the end of comments but I forgot too. Oops. But yes, I am a UK book blogger haha. ^_^

      I've never really been a huge re-reader, but then I only 'properly' got in to reading in 2010/11 (I read a lot anyway, but I mean as like a hobby). Once I'd joined Goodreads my re-reading kind of stopped because, like you, I need new books all the time!

      My buying is only going to get worse as I've got a Waterstones card so I need to collect points on it in order to get free books. Which is great! Except to get the points I need to buy books... I have applied for a job though, so fingers crossed I get it and can buy all the books I've ever even thought about.

      And yes, I do try to put detail into my comments, because I feel like it shows you've actually read a post. Usually, I try not to be so long-winded, but today I just rambling on and on haha. :)