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How Do You Fight a Book Slump?

Jaime Herndon


Jaime Herndon finished her MFA in nonfiction writing at Columbia, after leaving a life of psychosocial oncology and maternal-child health work. She is a writer, editor, and book reviewer who drinks way too much coffee. She is a new-ish mom, so the coffee comes in extra handy. Twitter: @IvyTarHeelJaime

sad girl with bookI love books, obviously. I am always carrying a book with me, and I love the $1 and $2 carts outside of Strand. But lately — actually, for about two months now — it’s been really hard to get into a book. To finish it. And I hate not finishing books. You know the feeling. You’re reading it, and you may have even liked it, but somewhere between the halfway point and the end of the book, you just. Can’t. Finish it. You stop caring about the characters, the story line is annoying, and you end up just tossing the book aside or giving it to a friend, and then delete it from your Goodreads “now reading” shelf. There’s no good reason why you just stopped, you just couldn’t get into it.

Sure, this is bound to happen with some books – it’s the nature of the beast. But what’s going on when it’s a majority of the books you start reading? Ones you previously couldn’t wait to read? I mentioned this to a bookseller friend, and she shared that she’s going through a similar slump. Nothing catches her attention to finish the book, and reading just feels kind of blah. Which can be a horrible feeling, especially for a book nerd. I see all these books that I think look so interesting. My bookseller friend gives me a bunch of advance reader copies that all look so awesome — and then I can’t get into any of them and dejectedly cast them aside.

I’ve tried everything. At first, I thought my brain was overloaded with research and “heavy” stuff, so I started reading some YA. After that, I started some middle-grade books. Nothing is working. I’m not sure if it’s the winter blues, reading-style, or what.

Has this happened to any other readers, and what have you done to get through this slump? Any suggestions for books to break through this wall?


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