Monday, August 20, 2018

*Top Ten Tuesday* Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Joood - Hooligan of Platypire reviews bossed me into doing this, so I guess this is a thing I do now. 

This weeks theme is books to pull you out of a reading slump. This is a tricky subject for me because I'm not sure I've ever really been in a reading slump. I mean, there have been times in my life when I didn't read much because I was prioritizing other things over reading (like binge watching Jersey Shore and Rock of Love when I wasn't working, or sleeping when my infant did in an attempt to maintain some semblance of my sanity), but if I had wanted to read, I'm sure I could have found a book to keep my attention. Beyond that, I've never had a problem with putting a book down if it's not holding my attention to pick something else up (and I've always got a couple dozen books started in various genres to nibble on whenever the mood strikes).

So instead of doing a list this week, I'm just going to give some pointers for specific situations that I have found myself in in the past where reading is concerned and what I did to help myself.

New Mothers

A few days ago, I saw a post on Facebook of a woman bemoaning the fact that she hasn't been able to find a book to hold her attention since her baby was born, and she posited that part of the problem may be that she could no longer just stay up all night reading until the book is done. I've been there. When my oldest was born, my husband was in another state for training for the first four months, came home for two, then got sent to play in the big sandbox for nine months. I wasn't working at the time because over half of my paycheck would've gone straight to daycare and with separation and hazard pay, we were financially comfortable. After the first few weeks of being home with the baby, reality tv just wasn't cutting it anymore (because I'd already caught up on all the shows I was interested in), and I decided I wanted to start reading again. But I knew that I didn't have the brain power to tackle anything even the least bit heavy when my son was waking my ass up every two-three hours to eat. Even with co-sleeping, I was constantly exhausted. So I read the Twilight series. It was light, fluffy, didn't require a whole lot of brain power, and it had been out long enough that I already had a pretty good idea of how it ended, so I didn't feel anxious for the characters when I had to put the books down.

So my advice to the new moms out there that may be having trouble getting into any books you're trying to read, find the lightest, fluffiest, cheesiest book you can and give it a go. Pick a book that you basically know how it will end from the beginning, so that when your baby finally falls asleep and you can too (or do the dishes or other housework that may be being neglected because you're really freakin' busy keeping a tiny human alive), you can put the book down knowing that the characters will be safe until you can return. You may want to try cheesy Christmas stories or YA romance because they'll be engaging, but the conflict will likely seem trivial compared to your current circumstances (like you know once the H and h just TALK to each other everything will be fine again).

Book Hangover

As a reader you've probably encountered your fair share of books that once you finished, you just couldn't imagine how anything else could possibly compare because the book was just that good. But let's face it, immediately is a little bit too soon for a re-read most of the time. So you want to read something, but just know that nothing is going to hold your interest like Book X did. What you need is a palate cleanse. There are two ways you can do a reading palate cleanse. 

The first is to pick a book in a completely different genre. So if you just finished reading a romance, pick up a horror novel. Just finished a cozy mystery? Try a YA paranormal. Basically you need to pick a genre where all of your expectations for the storyline will be different. You're not going to be looking for a meet cute to rival the one in the historical romance you just finished while reading about an astronaut trying to survive alone on Mars. 

But maybe you never like books outside your preferred genre, so you're not really interested in wasting your time trying to read one. That's fair, I suppose (I can't really relate, but I accept that it applies to some people). For you, my advice is to read absurd erotica like dino porn or anything by Chuck Tingle. These stories tend to be short and available through KU (although you can sometimes find one on Amazon for free), so you won't be spending a whole lot of time on them, but the imagery is descriptive enough to help you move on from whatever else you just finished reading, and you'll likely be anxious to get the image of the unicorn sodomizing an enthusiastic man out of your head with something a little bit more in your comfort zone. I'm serious when I say that absurd erotica is the perfect reading palate cleanser. 

Okay, so my list this week only consists of two things, but it's way more talking and almost no pictures. But I just don't have specific book suggestions for breaking out of a slump, but rather general hints for helping to get past a couple reader roadblocks. 

So what books would you suggest if I should ever find myself in a legitimate, honest-to-goodness, reading slump? - Katie 

*If you're stopping by from the linkup, please be sure to drop a link to your post below so I can check out your suggestions.*


  1. These are great tips! Switching genres is something I've done and it did help, reading something totally different. Which maybe is good, since your other suggestion in that vein I have not... tried yet lol.

  2. Fabulous tips. Switching genres definitely helps! My TTT

  3. I love the really predictable Christmas stories. They always make me feel good!

    My TTT:

  4. Yes, switching genres usually does the trick for me. I read a lot of genres in general and most of the time it keeps me from falling into slumps in the first place.

  5. Ooh interesting finding tips for different reading slump situations!
    My TTT:

  6. I remember being unable to jump back into reading after my son was born. I felt so tired all the time, and picking up a book wasn't the best way to spend my time. My husband is also military, so I get it -- been there. There's just not enough words to express all the feels that go along with that. After the girls were born, I actually found more time to read. Twins eat a lot, and since I was breastfeeding, I was sitting down a lot. I tried to feed them simultaneously, so reading gave my hands something to do, and it entertained my mind over endless hours of hungry babies.

    I think you just have to figure out where books and reading fit into your new life, and that took me years to do. It's why I stopped blogging after my first, and came back to it after the twins. It's going to be different for everyone. :)

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

  7. Great suggestions! I don’t usually get into reading slumps, either. When I’m stressed out, I usually pick up something that’s fun and adventurous. That keeps me reading.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  8. Oh my gosh, I can so relate to this! When my oldest (now 4) was born, I was up every few hours and tried reading on my Kindle but would doze off when I was nursing him. It was so hard to find a book that I could connect with. I still can't read anything where harm comes to a child. Becoming a mom has changed that for me. Great list! I really enjoyed it :)

    Megan - My Top Ten Tuesday