Even as booksellers and bibliophiles, we all go through periods where, even though we want to, we just can't find the time or energy to read. It can be frustrating to know that there are SO MANY GOOD BOOKS out there waiting to be read, and there is SO LITTLE TIME. And yet, your brain can't seem to do its job, and it feels like you're missing out on so much.
Never fear: this is normal. It happens to everyone. A reading slump is okay, and it's frustrating, but I've found a few ways to help myself get out of that mode that I'll share now!
I think one time that I often get into a reading slump is when I've just read a really beautiful piece of fiction, or a piece of fiction that particularly grabs me. Sometimes, reading something so perfect, with such a satisfying ending, can make it hard to want to start a new book afterwards. I can still be caught up in the wonder of whatever it is I've finished, and I'm just not ready to move on yet.
My advice to myself and to you in this scenario: Just give it time. Books are meant to be enjoyed, and so if you are still on a high from whatever it is you've finished, the book has done its job. Give it a few more days, until you're ready to find love in book form again, and then go for it!
Similarly, if I've just read something that isn't nearly as good as I'd hoped or as good as it was hyped up to be, I feel betrayed by the book, and it feels like a bad breakup, I'm just not ready to get out there and try again for a while, and seeing other books on the market just fills me with a sense of impending doom. What if they hurt my expectations again? What if they're just not right for me?
Don't panic! There IS a book out there meant just for me, and for you! Just as with a book that is too good, give it a few days, or as long as you need, before you venture out into the wild abyss of reading again! No shame in needing a little more time.
But say you're feeling ready to get out there again, what should you read? What is an easy and happy transition back into books?
For me, it is often graphic novels, or middle grade books. Something that still takes more mental effort from me than a picture book, but something that is quick and fun is key. Even if a graphic or a middle reader has dark or serious themes, the fact that the book is often shorter or quicker gets me back into the swing of reading again. What I love the most about graphic novels is that they have drawings as well as words, and often have stories just as complex and incredible as full novels. Better yet, there is a massive selection of graphics and comics now, both for kids and for adults, and so there truly is something for everyone.
I know comics fight against the stigma of not being "literary" enough, but in reality, they are often pretty incredible: they're like picture books for adults! I think they're the perfect thing when a novel seems like too much, but when your mind still needs stimulating. If you're wanting a great graphic or comic title to cozy up to this fall, stop by the store, and I'll point out my favorites to you :)