Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reading Funk

I have a confession.

I haven't read a book in a month.

Well, it hasn't quite been a month yet. The last book I read was Moonglass by Jessi Kirby on my flight home from Costa Rica on 8/20. So I'm not quite at a month, but I'm pretty much there.

A month. This is pathetic.

Part of this is because I am trying to spend as much of my free time as possible working on my WIP. I'm really serious about my birthday deadline, and I want to make sure I spend all the time I can on my writing. I'm also going to sleep earlier because I get up earlier for work this year...and I've been tired. So there hasn't been as much free time in my day.

But I also have a huge stack of books to read and I'm having a hard time getting super excited about picking any of them up. One of them is Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I have heard nothing but rave reviews about. But I look at it and just...walk by. I have Beauty Queens, which I have heard is hilarious. I have Supernaturally, which is the sequel to a book I loved. I have six books from the library and countless e-galleys on my iPad and...nothing. Nothing is getting me pumped up.

It has been years since I've gone this long without reading a book, and I hate it! I'm a big reader, as you can tell from my book list. But look how short my 2011 list is. I read 31 books in January of 2009 alone, so 36 for this entire YEAR? Shameful. I need to do something about this. 

Do you ever suffer from a reading funk like this? What do you do to shake yourself out of it? Re-read an old favorite? Pick something at random? Go outside of your comfort zone? Read a short book?

I'd really rather not get to an official month with no reading...that's just embarrassing. Do you have a good recommendation for me? Any tips? I need help, friends!

18 comments:

  1. I was in a bit of a reading funk earlier this year, I had to put down what I was reading because it was bringing me down and pick something up totally different. I tried something out of the YA genre, which was what I had been reading a lot of and it really helped. Then I was excited again for some YA :) Have you read After Obsessio by Carrie Jones and Steven E Wedel or Fury by Elizabeth Miles? They were both good, quick reads that were fun to read and helped with my slump :)

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  2. Whenever I'm in the 'drafting' stage of writing a novel I can't read anything or I don't get any writing done! So I didn't read much for most of the summer...

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  3. Yes, yes, yes. When I'm concentrating on my novels, my reading suffers. I can really relate to your funk.

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  4. do I have advice? well, not really. you have a lot going on at once. perhaps pulling back a little (take the pressure off yourself!!) isn't so bad OR what always works for me is reading poetry. Always inspiring, gets me into writing, and of course back into reading. it's not everybody's thing, though.
    p.s. I'm reading DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE and loving it. My other rec. is CHIME by Franny Billingsley...hands down my favourite read this year. Sarah xx

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  5. I get in reading funks sometimes too, and I've found that it's usually because I need to try a different genre. I go through "phases" with my reading where I'll devour tons of books in the same genre. Of course, this sometimes leads to getting a bit burned out, so I try and find something drastically different. It doesn't hurt if it's short either, just so that there's no huge commitment to the book if you don't love it. :P

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  6. I've been a horrible reader this year. Perhaps Daughter of Smoke and Bone will be a good way to kick you out of the funk since you've anticipated it for so long!

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  7. It sounds like you are so busy! I don't know when you'd even find time to read. What usually gets me out of a funk is reading something I really want to read. Even if that means having to return library books without reading them or stopping what I'm currently trying to read. I just pick a book that I want to read and don't feel like I "have" to read for whatever reason.

    I'm about to start reading a book I feel I "have" to read (last one in the trilogy and I wasn't crazy about the first two) and I have a feeling it's going to be a chore to get through it.

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  8. Yes, yes, yes.

    I suffer from reading funks. I'm in one now as I plow through some books that really aren't all that great or all that interesting.

    How do I do it?

    I read while at the gym on the treadmill. 45-minutes a day and then done. Might as well do it then as I really don't like watching t.v. or listening to music at the same time.

    I wish I could find a real page-turner...but those are hard to find.

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  9. I have Daughter of Smoke & Bone too, but everyone I talk to said it made them feel like the crappiest writer ever, so I decided I'd wait to read it til my book is done.. or I get an agent or something, haha.

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  10. We've got some good recommendations over at Afterglow...not like I'm a reviewer or anything :P

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  11. Maybe try picking up something trashy and easy and awesome, like an old Sweet Valley High novel. Sometimes I just need an easy laugh.

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  12. When I'm in a funk I usually make myself choose something way out of my comfort zone or something completely different than what I've been reading. Lots of times picking up non-fiction helps if I'm in a slump.

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  13. I always make myself just pick it up and plunge in. I know it's not awesome advice or anything, but if the book is good enough, I get hooked. If not, sad to say, I usually don't give it another chance! (Harsh, I know. It's usually only when I'm in my own funks. Funk--great word, btw). I just read Paranormalcy and LOVED it.

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  14. Hi Jessica!
    Saturday is my reading day--no tv, no internet. I just read. :) It makes for busier days before that (and after), but I get so excited when I wake up Saturday morning knowing I get to read.

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  15. I've totally had funks like yours. Lately, I've been reading waaaay slower than I normally do. Usually, I spend three or four days on a novel. These days, it's taking me a good week or two to get through one, even if I'm loving it. I think I've just been lacking motivation in the reading department.

    Just to remind you, I recently finished REVOLUTION and it was amazing. I know you have it, so that might be one to give a shot. :)

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  16. I think Ru nailed it. The very best thing I can do is read something totally outside of my genre. Even though I love contemp YA, sometimes it's hard to just enjoy the story without also trying to analyze it. So it's fun to pick up something that in no way relates to my WIP and just go with it. It's kind of like why I watch cooking shows. They're one of the few things that doesn't make me think about how to use it in a book.

    Also, I think I liked Supernaturally even better than Paranormalcy for what it's worth. Good, escapist fun.

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  17. a) Stop beating yourself up for not reading. You're back in school and you're working on something very important.

    b) Give me back that same lecture, because I feel the same way when I go a long time without reading. :)

    My advice: work really hard on your WIP six days out of the week and reward yourself with reading on the seventh. Have you read SHUT OUT? Or If I Stay? They were awesome, fast reads for me.

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  18. One nice thing about living in NYC is that I can read during my commute. If not for the subway, I don't know how I'd add reading to my already hectic schedule! I wouldn't worry to much about taking a break from reading. To get back into you, you should read something you know you'll love. Something that's gotten rave reviews and you can tell you'll enjoy. A page turner. That should get you back into reading. :)

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