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.