I have been in a real reading slump since late 2014. Yes that's right, 2014. For a book blogger and a life-long reader, this long of a slump is really defeating. This isn't to say I haven't read any books. I definitely have read quite a few over the last year and a half (I even managed to review most of them :O). But the volume of my reading and the enjoyment I get from reading has taken a slow descent.
I can pretty much pin point where the slump started and when it got really bad. In January 2014, I was promoted at my job. This job, in general, is my first "big girl" job. It's a full-time career with the potential for continued growth. It's in a field I find fascinating, but is also full of high stress situations. And when I got my promotion, I had only been working in my previous position for 6 months. So I felt more pressure to "perform". This led to me being very stressed and tired at the end of each day; I had no desire to do anything, let alone read.
Luckily, I was still in graduate school and that required me to read as I was getting my degree in Library Science. Yay, a reason (beyond wanting to, because at this point that wasn't a good motivator) to read YA/Children's lit. This had me on a good path; not as productive as previous years, but still reading. Then two major things happened: (1) I graduated from graduate school; and (2) I got my second promotion to a Team Manager, which is essentially being one of the bosses in my office. This led to almost a complete halt on my reading.
I'm not exaggerating that I have so far only read 4 full books this year, when in the past I well surpassed 50. This has led to me being in a slight depression, further fueling my lack of passion for reading. It's been a whole big mess, but I think I'm finally coming out of it.
I know I'm not the only one out there who has felt the same, so I thought of some things that have helped me deal with this, and have finally turned it around.
1. Mix Up the Genres - I typically read young adult, and a lot of sci-fi/fantasy within that umbrella. However, I mixed it up, and not only changed genres but also switched "age levels" moving to adult fiction. I read more magical realism and contemporary fiction with some suspense thrown in. Now that I "cleansed" my palette, I'm ready for young adult again.
2. Re-Read Favorites - I have three books that I consider my go-to favorites: Sandry's Book (Circle of Magic, #1) by Tamora Pierce, Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2) by Patricia Wrede, and Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger. I can re-read each of these books, and they bring me to my happy place.
3. Change Up the Visuals - Comic books were a big thing for me at the end of last year; my sister has always been a big collector, but now that we both have steady, well-paying jobs, comics have become a thing for me too. I love sharing this with my sister, and I know that comic books count towards reading, but when I talk about my slump I strictly mean traditional books. I've been devouring comics like crazy actually, which I think has helped jumpstart me on the path back to reading books.
4. Plan a Time to Read - Scheduling reading time has really gotten me back on track. I know it may seem weird to make it an action item for my day, but I work really well with structure and I'm use to reading for school. So I make a point of having a designated reading time each day where, no matter what, I read. It can be for 5 minutes or it can go for two hours (depends on the book), but I end up reading each day.
5. Remember That Reading is Fun - This is the most important piece of advice I took for myself. I had to remember how much I like to read and why. One of the MAJOR ways I am doing this is that I, along with one of my good friends Erin who blogs at Uniquely Geeky Girl, started a book club. It's called Gone with the Book Club, and it focuses on YA books. I'm really excited about it because while I can obviously geek out over books with all of you and on social media, doing the whole community building, face-to-face thing is something I miss.
So there you have it, my woe is me reading slump tale. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things not only with my reading, but also with my blogging. Hopefully I succeed and I'm back to the Eli you all know and love.
If you've ever experienced a book slump, let me know in the comments what you did to snap yourself out and hopefully if you're in a slump, my suggestions can help a little!