I think I’m finally coming out of my reading slump. In April and May I devoured all seven Harry Potter books, and when I emerged from the world of Muggles and Wizards I was at a complete loss as to what I wanted to read next. I read a couple books of essays, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum, and High Tide in Tucson, by Barbara Kingsolver, which were really good, but when I finished I was back to a slump.
I then spent close to a month reading my next book, The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins. My average reading rate is around a book a week, so this was pretty unusual. I enjoyed the book while I was actively reading it, but I did not yearn to pick it up and read at every moment of the day. I was somewhat busy, and I just prioritized other activities (especially outdoor ones) over reading. So it took me a month to get through it. In the end I can only say that the book was mildly entertaining, but nothing spectacular.
I turned next to what I thought would be more of a page-turner: Darkspell, by Katharine Kerr. This is the sequel to Daggerspell, which I read a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately, I found parts of it less than captivating, and overall felt it wasn’t as good as the first book. I think it took me another three week to get through this one book (but granted I was quite busy with other activities during this time).
When I finished Darkspell last weekend, I felt at complete loose ends as to what to read next. I felt as if I hadn’t really gotten into a book since Harry Potter, and was worried that Harry Potter had jaded me permanently against less fast-paced works. This week I let myself be at loose ends, reading only one and half short books and a magazine. Finally yesterday, I went to the library. I felt my interest and desire to read all sorts of things return. Before going, I perused my book list and looked things up in the library catalog, putting together a long list of potential books. At the library I browsed a bit in addition to looking at the books on my list, and ended up with nine books in my arms. The library only allows one renewal, so nine books is too many for the six weeks I could have them checked out. I sat down with the books and narrowed it down to only six, three non-fiction and three fiction, that I felt most captivated by at that moment.
I felt as if the library was a balm for my soul. Being there renewed my desire to read and learn and explore new worlds. I came home from the library and spent the evening reading, something I hadn’t done for awhile. I read a good third of one of the non-fiction books, The Architecture of Happiness, by Alain de Botton, and felt interested in things again. I am currently in a non-fiction mood and am finding easier to get into non-fiction than fiction, but I am hopeful that the fiction I got will captivate me more than the last two and finish pulling me out of my slump.
Do you hit reading slumps? What causes them and what brings you out of them?