Reading Slumps: the good, the bad and the steps to get your groove back!

As I’m sure you’ll know, reading slumps can be a headache for book bloggers. The lack of interest in reading soon dries up your new review material and means that stress can become a factor of your reading life and overall enjoyment of the blogging experience. This wasn’t something I had ever encountered before, until last week.

In the past, a reading slump would have simply meant I’d exhausted my fill of a genre and needed a fresh change and perhaps a few (or ten) re-reads of my favourite paranormal romances and/or sentimental reads. Since starting a book blogging journey however, there seems to be a pressing need that I place on myself to keep up with my planned reading schedule and book reviews. It no longer began to feel fun and instead had a distinct chore-like feeling. It wasn’t about what I wanted to read but rather about how many books I felt I had to read…and just couldn’t.

That is, until I was reminded of why I love reading in the first place from this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt. There’s no shame in DNFing a book or just saying: NO MORE. If you’re getting distracted and need a break, my advice to myself and to others is simply to take one. What’s the point in ‘pushing through’ if you’re not getting the most out of the experience and enjoying it?

We’ve all had phases of change in our reading lives but aren’t always aware of them until prompted to really think about it. From fantasy to romance kicks, our Top Ten Tuesday covered the most common reading phases that Nen and I go through. What we discovered along the way were our Reading Slump Tricks to help get rid of the woes and start enjoying books again. If you don’t think you need a reading break but instead just need a change, have a look at our suggestions below:

We all have those books that come to mind from when we were younger. The ones we come back to every few years purely for the sentimental satisfaction they inspire. Nen’s favourite is Harry Potter while mine is also a fantasy: City of Bones. The Shadow-hunters were my first foray in to YA fantasy and will always be an emotionally satisfying read. Also, Pride and Prejudice was my first romance story – it’s a classic and will forever have a place in my heart.

If you don’t know by now…. my favourite genre is slow-burn romance, YA fantasy romance and paranormal romance. In simpler terms: ROMANCE. What’s not to love about an interesting story line interspersed with fluffy goodness? It makes my heart melt and my emotions soar with joy. I’ll forever be grateful to the authors that have inspired me to never settle for anything less than a sickly-sweet HEA.

My favourite re-reads are simply long phases of time in which I dedicate my every waking minute to consuming incredibly long paranormal romance series. I’ve mentioned it half a million times before but the endlessly (and gloriously long) series by J R Ward, Kresley Cole and Nalini Singh are my go-to happy places. They’re fast paced, cliched, troped to the max and fun. We all need that indulgent genre to read, don’t we? This is mine!

Despite all of these tricks, what this past week has really taught me is that no matter how pressing keeping up with a blogging schedule may seem, the most important part of this journey is to enjoy reading and have fun. Otherwise, why are we here?

Forget keeping up with the ARC schedule and relax away the stress with a good old break. In the mean time there are so many other posts to be written and enjoyed: memes, tags, reviews on book’s you’ve read in the past and so much more. At the end of the day, our mental and personal wellbeing is the most important thing. Blogging for Nen and I is a hobby and we’re planning to treat it as such. Hobbies, after all, are meant to be fun!

What are your tricks for avoiding or coming out of a reading slump? Do you view blogging as a hobby or something more?

Jen