The 6 Stages of a Bad Reading Experience. Man when will it End?!

Man, last month was a horrible reading month for me. Even books that I ended up enjoying had parts that contributed to my negative feelings. When you’re in the midst of a reading slump all sorts of fears beset you. You start to wonder if all the things you do are really worth the effort. In a word it’s overwhelming!!

First, I avoid reading and binge watch TV.

The thing is I don’t realize at that point it’s because I’m not enjoying what I’m reading. I just think that I’m in the mood for a lovely k-drama. Sure I have deadlines for reviews and other books in my lineup but all that goes right out the window.

The only way to combat this is to try to think about why you want to watch instead of read. If you can get ahead of these feelings you can nip them in the bud by DNFing the offending book! If not you’ll move on to stage 2.

Then I want to close my Netgalley account.

Man, I don’t know about you but I rarely slump on books that aren’t ARCs. Maybe it’s because I have to hunt them down at the library or a sale. Or it could be because I read so many ARCs that I have to prioritize books that I really feel like with premise’s I’m dying to read. So many times when I’m slumping I’m still not aware that it’s the book I’m reading. I wonder if it’s the pressure of ARCs and if it wouldn’t be better to abandon the advanced reading world.

To combat this I think about all the books I’ve found through ARCs that I would NEVER have read otherwise. I also try really hard not to request too much. Sometimes this doesn’t work (like last month) but when I’m prepared I have wiggle room to meet my deadlines.

Next, I want to re-rate my previous reads.

This feeling creeps up on me… that I was too positive about other reads. When you’re in the midst of a reading slump it’s easy to get more and more negative. And man, it’s even easier to snowball those feelings into a new project… re-rating all your read books this year to reflect how you REALLY feel.

I actually have to combat this feeling often, not just when I’m slumping. The fact is your rating reflects how you felt AT THE TIME. Your rating doesn’t have to grow and change with you. Your reading tastes naturally change the more you read. That’s okay! Instead, distract yourself until your reading slump is over. You’ll realize such a project is too much work.

And then I find myself reading… light novels!

Light novels are a guilty pleasure for me. They have no deadline. I have no where to leave a review. They’re compulsive to read because each chapter is moving the story forward (i.e. mostly has exciting bits). They’re obviously a break from the book that is contributing to my reading slump.

I suggest not trying to combat this feeling! Obviously we’re in the midst of a reading slump. But whatever you are reading doesn’t matter… you’re reading! To combat a reading slump sometimes we need a break from our responsibilities (no matter how much we normally love what we do).

The worst stage is when I want to quit book blogging!

Man, this happens with the worst of reading slumps. Doubts start to eat at you. Pressure mounts. Like really, really mounts. You start to wonder why you even blog. Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore you think. Maybe I’m done with book blogging?

Man, wait a minute! If you’ve just had a major change in life like graduation or a new job this might be something you’d consider. But it could be the reading slump blues. To combat it you can write a fun discussion and put off reading. Blog hop and gain inspiration from the community! Take a hiatus until you miss blogging again.

Finally, I want to rant to another reader!

Man, when you’re reading a book that makes you feel too much, you need to share all your feelings with someone else. Many times being able to discuss why you’re feeling the way you are gives you a lot of clarity about the book. Clarity helps you understand it’s not you, it’s the book. If you aren’t blessed with a real life friend to do this with then go to the book community!

The best thing about this feeling is you don’t have to combat it. It’s the best sign that you’re at the end of your reading slump.

Man, it’s a hard road, but worth beating to reach another blogging anniversary!

What do you feel like doing when YOU’RE in a reading slump?

50 comments

  1. When I’m in a slump, I find myself procrastinating on my reading. I’ll binge watch Netflix, work on my reading planner, or get caught up in cleaning up around the house. Something that helps me is reading books by tried and true favorite authors, keeping my ARC requests and acceptances manageable. I also will really think on if I want to read a book before taking it on; like would I buy this book if it was on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble. Wonderful Discussion Dani!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  2. So accurate!! Except I do dnf things that aren’t arcs.. specially as I actually don’t have any arcs left 😂 so the « close your Netgalley account » don’t quite work with me ahaha.

    When I slip in a reading slump, I get the feels to play videogames instead. Often times it may not even be the poor books’ fault too! i’m just.. really absorbed into that game 🤭 and just like with Graveyard keeper, I spent time playing WAY over my sleeptime — therefore, not reading said book.

  3. I’m sorry last month was such a bad reading month for you- I hope this one’s better! It’s a shame ARCs cause such harsh slumps, cos I don’t read many, especially cos I get what you mean about it giving you opportunities to read something you’d never read otherwise. I definitely relate to searching out light reads in response to slumps and I always want to rant to other readers 😉

    • Yeah the ARC conundrum can really trip you up. It’s smart you stay away for the most part. I should do that and concentrate on my backlist reads some. Blessedly I hav3 my writing partner to rant to! You’re right that can be really soothing. 😉

  4. I binge watch tv. I binge watch lots of TV and just don’t read. Either that or I re-read old favourites or my favourite parts of old favourites. I think the worst thing you can do is try and force it or the slump gets worse.

    (PS Glad you didn’t quit blogging! I read your bye bye post and almost had a heart attack! lol)

  5. Now that I added your “new” blog on my “blogs I follow” I should be able to spot your posts! How do I do when I have a reading slump? No idea as it has never happened to me! I know it’s bad blogger policy to be different but …LOL Great post Dani!

  6. I haven’t yet been in a reading slump and I hope to never be in one though but I can definitely see how chaotic it must be inside a reader to go through one. I think perseverance is important during those days and that a moment of reflection on why people even decided to blog/read in the first place can help them ground themselves before trying again. Great post, Dani! 😀

    • Wow! You sure are blessed on the slump side. You’ve always impressed me as a measured person, especially some of your comments to me about my blogging habits. So it makes sense to me that you’ve never slumped. And I agree perseverance can take you far!

  7. Loved your post even if its a sad reader problem. You outlined several stages that I have passed through at times (though so far, never all in a row). I think my biggest slump inducer is when I lose self-control and take too many ARCs and read without accounting for my mood or the need to do other pursuits so I get stressed and pressured. Ultimately, I need to keep arcs to about half of my reading and no more. But aso, I’ve learned to DNF if its not working and I’ve learned to do a short first impressions summation before setting aside a book for later when I know its just mood.

  8. I was in the worst slump recently and have only come out of it, so I can relate to sooo much of this. And I have done that- avoided reading and binge watched stuff instead- so much lol. I hope your slump is a thing of the past, or will be soon. 🙂

  9. Yes! This is exactly how I felt during my last reading slump. I didn’t even realize it was a reading slump until I hadn’t picked up a book in weeks because I kept telling myself “I was too busy” to read. I don’t know if I’ll be able to combat it next time, but realizing you’re in a reading slump is definitely the best first step. Great post, Dani! ❤

  10. This was a fun post to read, even if it’s about a difficult experience! 😛 “Blog hop and gain inspiration from the community! Take a hiatus until you miss blogging again.” <- The strategies I have been using the past few months, haha. I haven't been in a reading slump but I was in blogging slump; now I'm back at it ^^ I hope next month brings better reading for you~

  11. I rarely get in reading slumps these days, and I attribute that to my DNF / Hibernating policy. I am not afraid to either DNF a book anymore, though it wasn’t always an easy path to get to that point. I also have a Hibernating shelf on Goodreads where I can put books that I started and weren’t working at the time, but that I’m not ready to DNF just yet. That way I don’t have to feel guilty about not reading them right now.

    Of course, it also helps that I don’t do ARCs anymore because I didn’t like the pressure of being told what I had to read.

    • Yeah I think a lot of reading slumps are due to ARCs. Really publishers would rather us DNF them if we aren’t feeling them but I can’t do it. 🙈 I LOCE the idea of a hibernating shelf. I normally just leave them on currently reading but it does make me feel guilty.

  12. Yes to ALL of these, except I haven’t read any actual light novels (I didn’t even know what those were until relatively recently when my daughter read a bunch of them after her accident). But I read “light” novels—books that have no pressure to them that I really want to read, and often they’re easy reads. I agree that this really helps in a slump!

    By the way, I was on vacation and dealing with plumbing issues for a while, so I just saw your post about “leaving”—I was SO glad to see that you weren’t actually quitting blogging. I’d miss you!!!

  13. Totally understand how you felt. I’m a touch slumpy this month because a) I finished the last book in Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series and although it was great, I don’t want to think about it so I’m procrastinating on the review and b) that book was so good that nothing else seems great so far. 😦
    When I’m in a slump, I take a break from reading/blogging. Right now, I don’t feel like breaking so I just take it easy and push on through.

    • Yeah a break helps! Though I’m done with breaks too though I don’t think I’m quite past my slump yet either. I hear that a really good book can slump you… I’ve never experienced that myself though. I guess it’s a good position to be in. 😉

  14. I’ll be honest, I have not found myself in the slump. I think it’s because I DNF, when I am not enjoying a book. I have set books aside due to my mental state, but these are books I believe would be successful for me. There is something to what you said about never slumping over non-review books. Maybe it is that you bought it or had to work harder to acquire the book, but I find that non-review books tend to have a lot more reviews to base my decision on. I have a 3.5 star rating minimum, unless it’s an author I know, and I will skim reviews to see what people though. ARCs will never have the review count of published books, so less data to base my decision upon.

    • I was on such a roll this year too! Controlling my ARC intake probably had a lot to do with it… and just skipping books my gut told me were iffy. I applaud you not slumping Sam. Though you’re quite wise to stick with the genre you love. ♥️🙌🏻♥️🙌🏻♥️

  15. Found you on your new blog! I’ll make sure I update my RSS reader so I come here too. I get in slumps for reading all the time. Some times, I will DNF several books in a row and despair. This is why there are times when a month or two will go by without a Book Chat on my blog, mostly because I don’t talk about books I don’t like. Do what you gotta do to keep your head up and hopefully your slump will be over soon. ❤

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