Sunday Salon: The Dreaded Reader’s Slump

Good things happened this week:

  1. Book Bloggers International. I was a featured blogger this week! Check it out here.
  2. Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon: I committed to reading for 24 hours next Saturday (4/26) and I volunteered to be a cheerleader, too. This will be my first read-a-thon and of course I’m pondering what books to pile next to my reading chair. Join us! Last I looked there are already 259 readers signed up!

A not so good thing (or maybe its just a neutral thing) happened this week, too:

The dreaded reader’s slump hit.

Perhaps it’s the spring weather that’s making me a restless reader, but last week I had a hard time settling into a book.

I’d been (I’d say ‘happily,’ but its not that kind of book) reading along in Suite Francaise when a gruesome scene halted me in my tracks. I will eventually read on in this novel and still have it listed as ‘currently reading’ on Goodreads, but I needed to put it down for a while. Kind of like how Joey in “Friends” would put The Shining in the freezer when things got too intense.

So, I downloaded Nevada Barr’s new mystery, Destroyer Angel. I’d been awaiting its release, but after taking three days to get only a third of the way into it, I abandoned the book. I realized I just didn’t care about the characters or their situation enough to read on. And it seemed like Anna Pigeon isn’t very involved, up through the point I read anyway. I’ve enjoyed Barr’s Anna Pigeon series since it started in the early 1990s and was both surprised and bummed that I wasn’t able to lose myself in her latest offering. I will try it again sometime in the future. Has anyone read this one yet? Is it just me?

After that disappointment, I thought I’d try a guaranteed page turner: Dan Brown. Who doesn’t love Dan Brown? (Wait, don’t answer that question.) My partner bought me Inferno last spring to read while I was recuperating from some oral surgery. Due to an allergic reaction to both the antibiotics and the pain medication, I didn’t get any reading done that long weekend. Then we got busy with moving prep and moving, and I decided to keep the book for a special weekend. Well, this was that weekend and Inferno did not do it for me. I made it halfway through the book before I gave up on it. It seemed repetitious and dull. Again, is it me? Anyone else read this one and love it? Should I give it another chance?

Desperate for a novel to get in to, I tried my own advice of reading an old favorite. (I had already taken my “get out into nature” advice and “take a day drive” advice that I give people when they’re in a reading slump.)  I pulled Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried off the shelf and read the lead story. That gave me back my reading mojo. It is so amazingly good.

Have you ever had a reading slump? What do you think causes it? Do you think it could come from too much reading? Too much serious or trivial reading? How do you get through it?

Coming up this week:

The big deal this week is World Book Night on Wednesday. I’m handing out Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity. This will be my third year as a giver, but my first in Connecticut. Are you a giver this year? What title are you handing out?

Thanks for reading!


  1. I think a reading slump happens when you've probably just read too much, but sometimes with a reading slump is not to force it and maybe concentrate on something else for a bit (I did that for a while earlier this year and it really helped).

  2. I over did it, that's for sure. Also, I can go into a tail spin when I make a list of what I'm going to read next (rather than just a general 'to be read' list). Time away from reading definitely helps the slump pass, but that is difficult to remember when you're in the midst of one! 🙂

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