Thoughts #53: The Problem with Reading Slumps


This post was written at the beginning of April, and doesn’t apply to me so much now – but I still wanted to share it!

As well as struggling with a blogging slump lately, I’ve been having a bit of a reading slump. I’ve decided that this comes down to my most recent reads being nothing special, and also feeling a little bit pressured to read certain books because of review requests and other commitments.

The Fantasy Book of the Month in March for my Goodreads book group, Dragons & Jetpacks, was The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. I was really excited to read this one, having never read any Mitchell before. He is an author that a lot of people seem to love or hate, and I was convinced I’d be one of the former. Sadly, I was wrong. What sounded like a fantastic premise (and was accompanied by a lovely cover) turned into a big ol’ mess that, quite frankly, had me bored for at least one third of the book.

This was then followed by attempts to read various Marvel comic books that had been sat on my shelves for a while, all borrowed from the library. Needless to say I couldn’t get into any of them but one, despite having read and loved many before. The one I did manage to finish was the second Guardians of the Galaxy book, Angela, and it just didn’t live up to the first volume. I’m just a bit bored of skimpy female superheroes. And don’t even get me started on female chest armour (or lack thereof…).

bored gif

And then, most recently, The Vagrant by Peter Newman. A book that had sat on my Goodreads ‘to read’ shelf since before release, one that immediately drew me in via its cover and blurb. But oh, what a disappointment. I couldn’t concentrate on it at all, meaning I missed important plot points, and was pretty confused when I did actually tune in. I don’t think I deal well with silent protagonists…

My current read is a similar story. Sounded great, is actually boring me quite a bit. I’ve started reading another book alongside it that I’ve been waiting for since it was announced (albeit another review copy), and I’m actually now only reading the first book at work during lunch, if I get a chance.

So okay, maybe only one of these books was a ‘commitment’. But it took so long for me to read because I just wasn’t interested that I feel I could have read so many more interesting books in that time. It’s time to crack down and finally read those books that I’ve been waiting for, instead of feeling pressured into reading ones that I’m not hugely interested in!

Note: After writing this post in April, I decided to read what I WANTED, instead of what I thought I should read. This has worked really well for me so far!

Do you ever feel pressured to put off the books you really want to read just because of other reading ‘commitments’?


6 thoughts on “Thoughts #53: The Problem with Reading Slumps”

  1. Yes. I feel pressure to read ARCs, and I think that need to read them ‘now’ contributed to my hard bounce off both Cat Valente’s Radiance and Abercrombie’s short story collection (Sharp Ends). So I have backed off, and am shamelessly indulging in read-alongs, which is both allowing me to read books I want to read and getting that little extra engagement boost because of my co-readers enthusiasm. That ARC list isn’t going anywhere, and I’ll get to it eventually. And in the meantime, I’m not picking up any more ARCs (*cough* unless I get accepted for Stiletto because WHEEEEEE MYFANWY *cough*)

    1. I feel slightly less pressure with e-ARCs now because Netgalley is currently at 79% (SO CLOSE TO THE RECOMMENDED 80% AHHH), but I do have a lot of unsolicited physical copies that I feel I should read asap (although some have been sat on my shelves for years), but then again I didn’t ask for them so I’m not really as expected to review them. So… ehhh.

      Read-alongs are amazing! 😀 Definitely way more interaction than a normal review.

  2. I went through something similar a few years ago. I discovered book giveaways on Goodreads and I put in for an won a whole lot of books in a very short time. I know they give those books away in hopes of getting reviews, even though you aren’t required to review them. I spent months slogging through a lot of self-published books, many of which were just not great. It really shut down my enthusiasm for reading for a time. After reading one too many books that probably shouldn’t have been published at all, I’d had enough and went back to reading what I wanted. I’m still not reading as much as I was previously, but I blame getting an Xbox One for that. 😀

    1. I did that too! And that is why my review policy now says no self-published books – because they were all awful 😉 Not to say that ALL self-pubbed books are, but there’s way too much I want to read to risk wasting my time on something I hate, so better to cut them out entirely.

      Gaming is a major distraction, for sure…

  3. I feel obliged to read a book sometimes, because it’s a classic or everyone else has read it, things like that, and it can be a total enthusiasm killer. I very rarely apply for ARCs so I don’t have that specific pressure. I’m not surprised you struggled with The Bone Clocks though – that thing is fairly huge!

    1. Yeah that’s true. All these new releases, not enough time and then having to sift through to the ones you really want to read!

      Most of the books I read are 600+ pages (the perils of fantasy fiction), but this one was just… boring. Haha!

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