We've all been there. Novels, novels everywhere, and not a one to read. At some point, it happens to every reader, no matter how large their library or varied their tastes. There we are, happily turning pages or scrolling through our e-readers, not a care in the world, engulfed by a great romance novel, breathless with anticipation. Will our lovers beat the impossible odds? Well, of course, it's a romance, but still, the antagonist is a match for them, history may not be on their side, there's a war brewing, technology has run amok, there's an evil ex lurking in the wings or any one of a thousand other obstacles. Maybe the fate of an entire series rests in this one volume. Finally, finally, we get to the end, give a happy sigh or triumphant fistpump at the lovers reaching their HEA at last, but then it's time to pick a new book, and nothing seems right.
There's no worse feeling for an avid reader than staring at an empty bookshelf, except a towering TBR of much-anticipated reads that now seem as appetizing as wet cardboard. Sure, we wanted these books when we bought, downloaded, or checked them out, and we still want to read them...someday. Not today, though, and there's the problem. It's an itch we can't scratch, that restless, edgy feeling.
This is different from merely not knowing what to read next, and sometimes, we're spoiled for choice. This is the restless pacing of a caged tiger, wanting to tear into another great book, only nothing appeals? Contemporary? Nah, live that every day. Historical? Too old-timey. Paranormal? Too outlandish. Category? Too short. Romantic suspense? Too scary. We sort through our keeper stacks, setting aside favorite after favorite with a resounding "meh." The dread creeps in. Have we lost that loving feeling? Is the love affair with romance gone for good? That wouldn't be good at all, so what's a reader to do?
Some readers turn to old favorites, knowing that will rekindle the flame. Sometimes, a reading slump means it's time to turn to magazines for a bit, focus perhaps on pictures rather than words. For some, a break from reading is in order. Watch TV, go to the movies, take a walk, take some pictures, try a craft, play with kids or pets, spend time with significant other. The urge to read will come back as suddenly as it left, and there's no sense rushing it. For others, this challenge becomes personal. There is something interesting in that stack, and these determined readers are going to find it, no matter how long it takes. Some take to the Internet to get recommendations or accept readers' challenges. Others jump ship for a bit and happily devour another genre until the next tempting romance comes along. Some brave souls may even try to reboot their reading mojo by reading a book they know they'll hate, because after that, anything is going to look good.
So, dear readers, here's your chance to share your slump stories. How did your slump come about, and how did you get out of it? Who knows, the comment you leave may be a lifeline to a reader in a slump of their own.