Reading Slumps: What They Are, If You're in One, and How to Overcome Them (Book Rambles)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hey everyone! I'm back again today with a ramble-ish type post (?) on reading slumps. The dreaded reading slump. Yup. If you've been keeping up with my depressingly inconsistent posting, you'll know that I, Cindy, the most bookly wormly person you'll ever meet, was in the reading slump of 2016. I just couldn't read for, like, the entire month of July. Being in a reading slump for a month makes you a certified expert, right? I'll just go with yes. So if you're wondering what reading slumps are, if you're in one, or how to overcome them, keep on reading! 

So what, exactly is a reading slump? A reading slump is basically when you can't pick up a book, when you have no motivation to read, or when there is just so much going on that no matter what you try, or how many times you try, you CANNOT READ. 

That, my friend, is a reader's nightmare reading slump. 

Now the question is, are you in one? The thing about reading slumps is that they are often confused with simply 'being busy'. Here's the difference between the two. 

Being Busy: You just don't have the time to read. You may get the chance to read a couple pages from time to time, but between {schoolwork, work, house cleaning, etc} you've just haven't gotten the chance. Your progression of books is a bit slow, but you are still reading. Which is great! Life happens, people get busy. 

Reading Slump: (Not all of these might be something you're experiencing, these are just a couple of things I did while in a slump.) You've been avoiding books altogether. You no longer have motivation to read. You are super behind on your reading challenge / goal. (Guilty as charged, check out my Goodreads *winces*) In other words, you are doing everything BUT reading. NOTE: You do not necessarily not have time to read. Just as you crack open a book, you realize that you forgot to walk your dog. "WHOOPS, looks like I can't read today." The next day, you grab your book and are about to read and realize that you're hungry. That is another scenario where you are deliberately avoiding books.  Oh! And a very clear example is that you're in a reading slump is you used to love reading, but now you run away from any book you come in contact with. 

So now, if you've come to realize that you really are in a reading slump, here are a few ways to overcome it! 

1. Set a goal on Goodreads. Have you heard about the yearly reading challenges? They're great. To create a goal, pick a number of books that you want to read this year. From now on, after every book you read, simply log it, and it will count towards your challenge. (Make sure that the dates in which you read the book are logged as well, so they count towards your challenge. 

I feel like this played a really big role in helping me snap out of it (It was more complicated that than that, obviously). I'm not on Goodreads a ton, but I keep a tab of it open on my computer all the time. Sometimes I'll click over, and I'll see the number of books I'm behind growing. It makes me feel all, what's the word, unaccomplished, and I want to be ahead again. 

2. Go to the library or bookstore. Or wherever you get your books. There's not a better way to not-avoid books when you're surrounded by them! *finger guns* But seriously, it can really help. Seeing all those spines and covers, and smelling the scent, yes, that renowned paper-y smell of books, might get you to slowly begin to falling in love with them the same way you did the first time as a child. 

3. Re-read your favorite book. This one is definitely the one that helped me overcome my slump. Although it was another book, not an old favorite of mine that I re-read. But that's beside the point. Finding a book (or reading one) that you truly enjoy is definitely a huge headway in overcoming a reading slump. I know a lot of you don't like re-reading, so here are a couple of my favorite books. 

  • Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom (My absolute favorite, if you haven't read this one, go read it, what are you doing with your life? Go. GO READ IT.)
  • The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green (No brainer, you've GOT to read this one.)
  • The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin (One of my top rec picks, truly life changing) 
  • Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon (If you're looking for a cutesy love story, this is it!) 
  • (and obviously) Keeper of the Lost Cities, by Shannon Messenger (I've been in love with this series for who-knows-how-long, and hey, if you finish the entire series in one sitting, KUDOS to you!) 

And there you have it folks, my favorites. Also: Even if you're not in a reading slump, I recommend checking these out. They are AMAZING!

4. If you're a book blogger (like yours truly), re-read your past posts. Who knows, you might fall upon a review you did of your favorite book. Maybe you were fangirling about how you worship the author (*cough* Shannon Messenger *cough*), how the book is your best friend, how much you love the characters, how you've read the book over 27 times (it's true, I've read Keeper of the Lost Cities (the first one) 27 times), how it has taken over your life. And maybe, just maybe it'll make you want to read another book like that. 

5. Stalk authors on social media. There's no better way to get out of a reading slump than getting hyped for a book, y'know? And perhaps the author has a couple other books that have already been released that you could read...And you could always go on to sites like Goodreads or {insert other bookish website} 

6. And for the final, most important tip...Make time for yourself! Because, you know, reasons. 

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That's all I've got for you guys today! So are you in a reading slump? Do you have any tips to overcome them? Let me know in the comments below! :-) 

So Hard to Say (MMGM)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hey guys, welcome to MMGM! As many of you know, I've been in quite the reading slump this summer. I haven't read much, or blogged either, and most of what I've been reading is school required material. But it's funny how just a single book can revive your love of reading again. And the book that, metaphorically speaking, brought me back from the dead is So Hard To Say, by Alex Sanchez. 

  • Age Range: 12+ (There isn't any innapropriate content, there's quite a bit of kissing, may I add, but it covers some serious topics, such as gender and LGBT)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2006)
  • Source and Format: Owned, Hardcover

Frederick is the shy new boy and Xio is the bubbly chica who lends him a pen on the first day of class. They become fast friends--but when Xio decides she wants to be more than friends, Frederick isn't so sure. He loves hanging out with Xio and her crew, but he doesn't like her that way. Instead he finds himself thinking more and more about Victor, the captain of the soccer team. But does that mean Frederick's gay? He hopes not--he sees how everyone makes fun of Iggy, a boy all the other kids think is gay. Frederick has to deal with some tough choices: Even though he is curious about Iggy, he's just started fitting in at his new school, and he doesn't want to lose Xio, his best friend. 

In So Hard to Say, Alex Sanchez, acclaimed author of the groundbreaking novels Rainbow High, and Rainbow Boys, of which School Library journal said, "It can open eyes and change lives," helps younger readers look at self-discovery, come to terms with being gay, and accept people who are different from them. 

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My Thoughts: 

What a wonderful book. Honestly, it's a fantastic book. There so many things to love about So Hard to Say, but here are a couple of my favorites. 

Let's begin with how realistic (and relatable) it was, shall we? Frederick is put in a difficult position with Xio, and he wonders if there's something wrong with him. He questions what the definition of being gay is, and prays that he isn't, as he sees how Iggy, a boy everyone believes is gay, is treated.

It's really shocking to see how Frederick attempts to hide his problems and feels ashamed to be gay. Our world has become a place where some people aren't even comfortable in their own skin, and are made fun of because they are being themselves. Frederick would rather pretend to be someone he's not than to be himself and be ridiculed. 

This book can be very relatable for those LGBT fellows out there.

May I also add how ridiculously huggable the characters are? Ohmygosh, after finishing the book, I just wanted to hug EVERYONE. Xio is such a sweet girl, and she welcomes Frederick into the school with open arms. Frederick is willing to sacrifice his homosexuality to save his friendship with Xio. The characters are just so sweet and smol and I JUST REALLY WANT TO HUG THEM.

So, uh, yeah, those were my two favorite things about the book. It was a quick read, so there isn't much to say about it. :-p

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My Rating: 

Because it saved me from my reading slump. :-)

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Thanks so much for joining me for MMGM and I hope you have a nice week!
ALSO: There will be a very special post that will be uh, posted sometime next week. Keep your eyes peeled until then! :-)

Signing off!