Why I Think Reading Slumps Are Valuable

I see posts about reading slumps around the blogosphere on a fairly regular basis.  There are posts from bloggers worried about being reading slumps and posts from bloggers giving advice on how to overcome reading slumps.  Honestly, before I started blogging, I never would have considered that reading slumps were so troublesome to people.

Reading slumps are a natural part of being a reader.  There will be times in life when our emotions or our health or our circumstances will make reading more difficult or less appealing.  There will also be times in life when we do not feel like reading, but for no particular reason.  Days will pass and picking up a book simply will not occur to us.  This is okay.

I have never viewed reading slumps as a negative.  Rather, I see reading slumps as an opportunity to recharge and an opportunity to pursue other interests.  Sometimes, blogging can make reading seem like a competition. We may feel that we have to read 200 or 300 books to keep up with everyone else–even if this is unrealistic due to our personal circumstances.  Or we may feel that we have to keep up with all the latest releases in order to be relevant and gain greater blog traffic.  But reading is not, for most us, the only interest in our lives.

A reading slump is really a gift. On those days that we do not read, we have an opportunity to turn to our other hobbies.  We might decide to paint, to garden, to play with our nephew, to watch a movie, or to simply sit on the porch and daydream.  We might decide to go new places, to talk to old friends we have been ignoring, to learn a new language, or to go for a walk.  The possibilities are endless now that we have more time open to us–time we would normally spend reading.

Reading slumps give us permission to find joy in those other things we like to do.  They remind us that we do have hobbies that do not seem so much like a competition.  But they also remind us that it is okay to spend some time simply doing nothing.  Those moments when we lie in the backyard and look up at the clouds or those moments when we cuddle our cats and tell them they’re pretty are valuable, as well.  Those are the moments when we give ourselves permission to take care of our mental health, to let things go while we relax.  Moments when we reconnect with ourselves and remember our secret hopes and dreams.  Moments when we can connect with other people–or our cats. We do not always need to be busy to be doing something important.

Reading slumps happen to everyone and they usually go away on their own, given time.  I have never worried about the days when I do not feel like reading.  Instead, I take the time I have been given and I try to do something wonderful with it.  Something I might not have done otherwise.

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69 thoughts on “Why I Think Reading Slumps Are Valuable

  1. Adoptabookaus says:

    This is an awesome post! I always feel crappy when I’m in a slump except for my last one, I just took a break from blogging and reading and joined a soccer team with some friends as well as wrote way more, now I’m going really easy on my reading and just grabbing anything I feel like rather then keeping up with the new releases as that’s what I think burnt me out. I love this whole post ❤

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      That’s so cool you joined a soccer team! (I would be horrible at that!) I think it’s really important to read what you want on a reasonable schedule. If I were to try to keep up with all the new releases, I would do nothing but read–and still not get to them all. Too many books are being published for that to be a realistic goal for anyone!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Adoptabookaus says:

        right! they just pile up and make a huge tbr and once the hype dies down for some of the books I find I’ve lost interest in them too 😦 Reading what I want when i want is so much better for me and theres no point of reading to relax if it burns myself out :’D

        I am not that good at soccer either but training and learning is heaps of fun so i dont mind it as much as I did when I joined.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Vera says:

    Love this post. I see my reading slumps as roadmaps to my ❤️. Sometimes my heart tells me to move more, sometimes it wants me to connect more with my loved ones.. and sometimes it wants me to grow and discover new genres / authors I would not dive into otherwise.
    It’s so important to raise an awareness of book blogging not being a competition and that nobody has to keep up with the new releases.

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    • Krysta says:

      You have such a healthy attitude towards reading and blogging! I do think that it’s important to remind ourselves that blogging is supposed to be enjoyable and not a competition to read every new book!

      Like

  3. Jonathan Scott Griffin says:

    As healthy and beneficial and reading is, I would also think that too much of it can be a bad thing, just like anything else. Anything taking to excess can be unhealthy. If one is reading all the time they aren’t engaging in other activities. There are times I go on reading sprees, but other times I go on video game sprees, times I dabble in photography, times I get out more. All of these are healthy activities that benefit us in different ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Exactly! We’re so accustomed to seeing reading as a positive thing/impressive intellectual hobby that it’s easy to forget that you CAN overdo reading. It’s important to do other things, as well, like go outside, get exercise, see friends, etc.!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. karathehuman says:

    Lovely, lovely post! I’m guilty of being upset at myself for being in a reading slump, but you’re absolutely right. Instead I should be focusing on everything else that I could be doing and the other parts of life that I could be enjoying!

    Like

  5. Lisa @abookcalls says:

    I don’t like the term reading slump to be honest. It already has that negative connotation…I never think of my reading breaks as slumps. I just don’t read. And I honestly don’t care of I read one book a year or 300. It just depends on whether I actually want to read or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      I never thought of them as slumps, either, and even now it will sometimes be three or four days before I think, “Hm, I haven’t read a book for three or four days.” I don’t really think anything of it because I’m usually doing something else. It’s not like I just sit on the floor and worry about the fact that I’m not reading! XD

      Liked by 1 person

  6. alilovesbooks says:

    I don’t know. Sometimes it is quite nice to take a break from reading and do something completely different but it can be incredibly frustrating when for whatever reason you have to read and it becomes a hard slog. I’m very guilty of committing myself to reading certain books by a certain date, sometimes ARCs but more often it’s a book club book or a team challenge, and I don’t want to let people down. It is totally a problem of my own making but it does make me feel guilty about not reading.

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I think it’s true it’s more of a problem when you have concrete deadlines related to blogging like needing to read a book for a blog tour or something. I guess that’s part of the reason I don’t request a lot of ARCs (though I just did put in a request yesterday!). But then I also tend to have so many reading deadlines in terms of schoolwork, publishing internships I take on, etc. that adding deadlines to my personal reading/blog just doesn’t sound like fun. :p If one doesn’t have deadlines/obligations, though, I think it is helpful to realize that you really don’t need to read every day. Like some other people who commented, I never had a term for “times I wasn’t reading” before blogging and certainly not one with a negative connotation like “slump.” I just…didn’t happen to be reading those days, the same way I might not have watched TV or listened to music or taken a walk or whatever for a few days and wouldn’t really think anything of it.

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    • Krysta says:

      I’ve found over the years that it’s very difficult to make myself do something when I’m tired or not engaged. So if I had to read for class, for example, sitting down and forcing myself to read would ultimately not be beneficial because I wouldn’t be reading as effectively. I had to learn to give myself permission to do other things like take a walk, call a friend, or otherwise relax. Maybe I still wouldn’t be 100% ready to read when my hour walk was over, but at least I felt a little recharged. I think reading slumps are those times when we are building up energy so we can go back at our reading with more engagement. Even if we are putting off the reading for a bit, it will ultimately be more effective reading, so we will ultimately save time.

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  7. Maddie A. says:

    I’ve never actually heard of ‘reading slumps’ before I started blogging. I guess I just never put a phrase to the period of time that I’m not reading?
    It always seems like a bad thing whenever I’m having a slump and I always try to get out of it as fast as I can, so I’ve never actually thought of it as a good thing.
    So thank you for giving me a new way of looking at reading slumps! I’m going to consider it a good thing from now on haha 😀

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Yes, exactly! Before blogging, not reading for a few days (a couple weeks?) would seem totally normal and not something I would even think about. Sure, there can be deadlines associated with blogging, but I think it’s healthy to realize that there are few things one really needs to do every single day. I don’t think anything of not watching TV or not listening to music or not doing other things for a couple days. Why get worked up over not reading if I’m doing other things of interest to me? The only thing I don’t like about slumps if if I really want to read and I just can’t find a book that I enjoy for a while.

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  8. fauxmillennial says:

    This was a refreshing take on reading slumps, personally going through one myself I somehow feel like I’m letting the reader me down by not zipping through books like I used to. I think I’ll be keeping this in mind!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I generally find that I am able to tackle reading more effectively once I’ve stepped away and recharged for a bit. I hope you find the same! 🙂

      Like

  9. (Danielle) Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Ironically I posted this morning about why being a blogfer makes reading slumps of a problem 😂 This is a great post though and before blogging, I loved that tine to recharge and branch out in hobbies. Sadly now, they are an issue for me. I don’t feel compelled to really keep uo with anyone, but I enjoy working with publishers and hosting tours. I continually make new contacts and discover new content. But when a slump hits and I have dates I need to post by, it is a hinderence. So I certainly see all sides of the coin 💙

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    • Krysta says:

      I think we’ve been trained to see reading as an intellectually superior hobby so we sometimes feel guilty doing other things. (For instance, I once saw a blogger complaining about people who color. Well, what’s so wrong with coloring? Everyone needs to relax sometimes. Or maybe just have an opportunity to be artistic!) But I’m not sure reading is necessarily more intellectual unless we make it so. I am perfectly capable of consuming literary texts for mindless entertainment just as I am perfectly capable of watching TV and analyzing the show the same way I would analyze a literary text. I don’t think either is wrong. Some days I am tired and I just watch or read fluffy things. That doesn’t mean I was wasting my time. It means I was recharging my energy!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Samantha Duffy says:

    Thank you for this! I often struggle with Reading Slumps and usually get pretty upset when I am not reading but you are right, they are a gift, a way to do other things we enjoy and to you know, get out!

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  11. Andie says:

    This is such an important post! I feel like many readers lose sight of this, and I have to admit to being very guilty of doing this, as well. My excuse usually is that I have so many books I want to read and I obviously feel inconvenienced by the setback, but you’re definitely right! Really refreshing perspective ❤
    Great discussion post!

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  12. Nicole (Read. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.) says:

    Love this post! I had never heard of reading slumps before I started blogging! There are so many seasons and cycles in life and reading is a part of that. Although I definitely read more now and try to keep to a loose schedule, there are some days that other priorities take over or I just don’t feel like reading. And it’s so important to remember that there’s nothing wrong with that!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      That’s a good point! I think people who don’t blog wouldn’t have a name for days when they don’t read. Those are just days when they are busy doing other things! It seems blogging puts pressure on us to read more and it’s pressure I think most of us could do without!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sammie says:

    I love this post! You’re so right. I actually just went several days without reading because I had other things and didn’t feel like it, and I’ve now started again and picked it up with fervor. Just need a little battery recharge. It’s like anything else. There’s a reason they say too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. 😉

    Like

  14. thepaperbackpiano says:

    I love this! I constantly feel guilty if I’m doing ‘nothing’ even though it’s vital to recharge my mind. At least when I’m reading, I can justify it because I have to hit review dates/publish blog posts. But then it becomes more pressured! You can’t win haha.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I know it can be hard to pace myself sometimes because there are so many books I want to read! But it is possible to burn out, even from reading! I hope you find a good book to enjoy! 🙂

      Like

  15. lissa says:

    I have no reading slumps, they’re book slumps, I guess being I don’t get books all the time, it pretty much means if I don’t want to read the books I have, I don’t read. but there are days I don’t feel like reading. & I agreed with you that we don’t always have to be doing something all the time.

    have a lovely day.

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  16. Marie says:

    This is such a wonderful post – and such a great reminder, as well. I’ve been reading a whole lot more ever since I started blogging and it does feel like a competition sometimes, not even with others, but with myself. To see how many books I can read, to catch up with all of the new releases and so on. Sometimes, it feels good to step back, not read for a while, take time to do other things we love. It just makes going back to reading after that little while even better 🙂 x

    Like

  17. Morgane @ Bookworms Eat Brains says:

    It’s the first time I read so positive things about reading slumps! I had never seen it this way, but it makes me feel better. I’m going to keep this somewhere if I ever get into a reading slump and feel guilty about it. 😊

    I had a long-lasting reading slump for the last few years. Whenever I tried to read a book, it felt awful. I think it asked me to focus more than my eyes could. I still was reading a book once in a blue moon, but always my favourites. Watch Series or play Video Games asked me less energy, so that’s what I did. I still had my stories but in different mediums.

    I’m reading again, but with happiness only. I don’t push myself to read anymore. I don’t feel guilty if I’m not reading 30 minutes/day like I’d wish. I’d rather have little reading slumps of a few days than a long-lasting one.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Yes, reading does seem to require more energy! Some days I don’t want to read–I just plop down and watch a movie! But I don’t think that movies are necessarily less valuable than books. I think it depends on what we do with them. I can read a book mindlessly or actively engaged with a movie!

      It’s good to hear you’re finding happiness in reading again!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    That’s such a good point about reading slumps- I never worried about it especially before I started blogging. Now I get concerned really quickly if I don’t read. But of course it’s okay not to read and to enjoy other things or just do nothing! Absolutely phenomenal post!! You have such a great attitude- I love it 😀

    Like

  19. Angelica @ Paperback Princess says:

    I really enjoyed this post because I was blogging and then stopped for 3 years as I had a baby that was born 11 weeks before his due date, which ensued in some health complications but this time I’m keeping in forefront that reading and blogging are hobbies.

    When I was blogging before I was trying to post daily whether it’s a PR post, meme or review. I am grateful for the opportunity as I’ve found some amazing books/writers that I may not have heard about it, but now I’m starting slow and reviewing books I want to read. Haven’t requested for review books, and my main goal is getting through my huge bookshelf of TBRs 😂

    Really enjoyed this avenue that your post brings.

    Angelica @ Paperback Princess

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Oh, wow, that must have been very difficult for you! I hope you and your family are doing well!

      That sounds like a great approach to blogging. I think reading what we enjoy is really key as it can help prevent blogger burnout. I’ve been reading some nonfiction lately, even though I know if I post reviews they won’t get many views on the blog. But it’s been so lovely to be reading books that I used to read all the time and that I had stepped away from for a few years.

      Like

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