I know I’m not alone when saying the lockdowns in 2020 got me back into reading again. The largest piece of evidence is the boom of BookTok, a space where creating social media about books, reading, authors, and other publications has become more mainstream than it had been. Not that reading ever went “out of style,” but you know what I mean.
Since I got back into reading, I would say I read at least one book a month and due to living in a walking city, would sometimes listen to 4 audiobooks a month. For some, this isn't many at all...but for me, this was a comfortable average that confused my friends where I got all that free time.
But recently, I have been stuck in a slump where it's hard to pick up a book and stick to it. There are two reasons why I’ve found myself slowing down. And it’s not because I don’t like reading anymore if anything it’s the opposite!
I have a new way of living that I am still adjusting to. I no longer live in a walking city, so I struggle to get through my favorite way of consuming books: audiobooks. It's not as noisy as it used to be and I don't have the urge to escape from the world around me...which is probably healthy? And on top of it, I’m working on a new project that is eating up more time. Simply put, in my moments of relaxation, it is harder for me to reach for a book with these changes.
This is technically a good reason to get knocked into a reading slump—but still...no one likes a slump of anything.
I received an ARC of The Attic Child by Lola Jaye and got absorbed into it. This book kept me wanting more and more with each page, which is incredibly impressive for an almost 500-page book to do. This was also my first epic, so I was pushed out of my comfort zone with this book (surprisingly, I never had an epic spark my interest as much as this one…but after reading, there are definitely more on my reading list).
Now the thing that confuses me a bit is that because I was loving this book, I didn’t read it slowly. It’s not like I spent a long period of my life and am attached to its comfort of being there. No, in fact, I liked it so much, I finished it in less than a week.
The conclusion I have come to is that number 2 is the main cause of my little slump. That there must be some sort of voice at the back of my brain telling me the next book I pick up won’t be as good as this one. However, since I began reading for fun again, I haven’t had a slump this strong as of yet. Or maybe it's not number 2 at all and it's my inability to adapt to changes. Who knows.
To get through some roadblocks in life, I have found myself resonating with the poem "Change" by Betty Phillips. Here is a snippet of it below:
She had a window looking out to sea,
But liking better one that looked away
Across the land to where the village lay.
She closed the shutters...
...opened the the stiff shutters. Then the light
Of the grey sea came in. Something was dead
That loved the fire and chose the village view;
To her the sea was wonderful and new,
Maybe it's worth applying this poem, the idea of overcoming changes, the idea of looking at the "bad things" in a new light, to something as simple as getting through a reading slump.
If anyone has any tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
I’d love to try new ways to get back into reading again...whether it be reading something short and sweet or picking up a new genre. Although there are many tips and tricks already out there, I want to hear what has actually worked for some folks in the Vocal community. It can be anything that crosses your mind like book recommendations or podcasts to listen to. Hopefully, this article will end with a sequel, displaying all of the tips and tricks!