Head in the Clouds is a feature on Vivalabooks where I discuss my thoughts on certain bookish topics. Today we’re going to talk about… READING SLUMPS!
We all know about the dreaded reading slumps. We all fear them. We try to avoid them as much as possible. But it happens to the best of us. And I fell into one of the worsts reading slumps in my life during June and July.
It started with the lack of reading throughout the school year because it was my first year in college and I had trouble making time for school and lacrosse and my friends. Most of the time when I wanted to relax I opted to watch Netflix or take a nap because I was that tired or my eyes were dead from studying. When I got home I was ecstatic to finally be able to have time to read again, and hit up Half Price Books to get some recent releases I couldn’t wait for. Unfortunately I got caught up in the hype of a book, and it fell short of my expectations. I was expecting an amazing read that would blow me off my feet, but I felt off-put by the ending and was left feeling unsatisfied. It was an alright read, but I had been expecting more, wanting more.
It was beyond disappointing for the first book I picked up from my year-long hiatus to have been such a bust. I had such high expectations and they were not met. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the book was necessarily bad, but it was missing an important wow factor. It had been so hyped up by others and in my mind that it ended up falling short of the vision in my mind. This unfortunate turn of events led to my massive reading slump.
I decided to try to pick up one of the other new releases I had gotten, but I made a mistake when I went on the internet and bookstagram where I found reviews about these books. And some of them scared me. Some mentioned how they didn’t live up to the hype and that the book felt different from the other books in the series in a negative way. A few of the books I wanted to read were the last in the series and I didn’t want to put those stories and characters to bed yet. And I avoided another one of the books because of the sheer size of the book. When would I have time to read it? Would it be worth all that time? All these doubts began swirling in the back of my mind, and I decided to just avoid the books that I had been so excited to previously read.
It’s not like I didn’t have other books to read in my room. I actually own way TOO many books that I need to read ASAP, but this specific handful of books were the ones I was most eager to read when I got back home from college. They were the books I had expected to reignite my fire to read, read, and read. Unfortunately my plan majorly backfired and I turned to Netflix to pass the time instead.
Now the question is why write this post? What am I even trying to discuss here? I’ve gotten into other reading slumps before, but not one as bad as the past 2 months. It was like I was avoiding books like they were the plague. Has this ever happened to you? Why? Any tips for getting out of a reading slump?
I believe my reading slump was due to my tendency to get caught up in the hype. And emphasis on the word tendency, because I know I have this problem but I still end up falling into the hype trap over and over again. I love to hear about books that others are liking because I most likely will enjoy them too, but sometimes when EVERYONE is gushing about a certain book, you expect something extraordinary. And when it doesn’t quite live up to extraordinary, the book doesn’t seem to measure up. It doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad book. It just means that I went into the book (that I probably would have enjoyed just fine under normal circumstances) with a very hyped-up perspective that led to it falling short of my exaggerated expectations.
Do you like to read reviews beforehand? Or do you prefer to read them afterwards to discuss your thoughts? How much do you like to know about a book before going into it? Are you a fan of hyped-up books or do you stay away from the hype like your life depends on it?
I’m not trying to discourage others from reading reviews beforehand (I mean I write reviews too), but I believe that sometimes it’s good to go into a book with zero expectations. I love to share my thoughts on books and see what others are enjoying or not enjoying. It helps me figure out which books I should spend my limited time on reading. But sometimes, if I read too many amazing reviews about a certain book, I’ll expect it to be life-changing when in reality it’s just a good read that I probably would have enjoyed if I hadn’t been expecting so much from it. Maybe I should limit myself from reading too many reviews about a book I’m excited for, so I don’t get too hyped up.
Eventually I realized it was already August (summer literally flew by), and that I had one more month of valuable free time that I definitely shouldn’t waste. I decided to start off with rereading Lady Midnight, which I thoroughly enjoyed and immediately jumped into Lord of Shadows (that ending though). I missed reading, and I realized it was time to start up again with a series I knew I’d be excited about. I’d love to hear about your thoughts on reading slumps!