What Has Happened To Me?

I guess this was inevitable…

I had an amazing reading year in 2013 —  the kind of reading year where a good chunk of the books you read are just GOLD and all other reading years feel inadequate. I read a great balance of new and old and I loved SO many books.  I seriously couldn’t believe how much I TRULY loved so many books and I was so happy for that ( Even when people make you feel self conscious about that.) . Because, I mean, who doesn’t want to enjoy a good chunk of what they read??

However, here we are a month or so into 2014 and I’ve been a very grumpy reader thus far.

tumblr_inline_moc84mqfMD1qz4rgp

I don’t even KNOW myself anymore.  Maybe I started off the year wrong considering for the first two weeks of 2014 I was sick? Maybe this is the inevitable coming down from a most excellent book year. I DO NOT KNOW.

It’s not that I’ve HATED every book I’ve read. It’s more like:

1) I’ve been super nit-picky which is SO not me. I definitely don’t like everything I read and obviously articulate this here but I’m not a nit picky reader at all. But this year I’m getting annoyed with SO many things and finding so many faults. Even Will has commented on how loud I’ve been getting about books. Even witnessed me chuck one across the room because I was so fed up.

2) I’ve LIKED plenty of books. Like totally enjoyable, would recommend type books.  But I haven’t gotten that WOW book. That book that I want to run out and tell everyone about RIGHT NOW. I want to find the kind of book I described in my If We Were Having Coffee post, “I’m talking those books that make you remember why you love reading. The ones that just knock you off your feet. I want to curl up and sob like a little baby because of how it wrecked me or because of how beautiful and amazing it was. I want to almost convince myself I never want to read again so this book could be the LAST BOOK I’D EVER READ if I died. End on an amazing note.” I want THAT kind of book in the midst of these “okay” to “good” books (and obviously the BLERGH ones).

Things I’m asking myself/thinking:

-I can’t pinpoint if it’s just me (stressed/discontent/feeling a lack of direction) or if it’s what I’m reading?

-Is this some sort of inevitable burnout that I need to ride out or take a reading break?

-Do I need to reread something I know I love (but oh god what if my current reading curse taints that for me??)

-Is there any correlation to the fact I’ve read mostly ARCs this past month? I mean, typically I have a much better ratio of ARCs to backlist. Maybe I need to go with some highly recommended, long standing books for a bit?

-WILL I BE LIKE THIS FOREVER? Because I can’t handle that.

tumblr_inline_moyipwKcax1qz4rgp

 

So, really, this post was kind of pointless but that’s my “state of the union” reading update for ya.

Have you ever gone through a similar slump? How did you get out of it? How’s 2014 treating you reading-wise — an excellent or a meh year thus far? ALSO..and this is important…recommend me your most WOW book that will give me the feels I want to feel.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I’m sort of going through the same thing. I started off the year with all 4 and 5 star reads, as well as just reading book after book. 5 0r 6 books in the first two weeks! Now, though, I can’t even stand looking at a book. When I do pick up a book, I end up putting it back down after like…5 or 6 pages. I don’t know if the books are just bad, or if I just read so much in a short amount of time that I just don’t have the energy to read. Either way…I don’t like it, haha. It’s not very enjoyable!

  2. Okay, first of all, I am positive that this will not last so don’t panic!

    This happens to me every so often too. Usually during this gloomy, miserable slice of winter. Generally I can snap myself out of it either with a brief reading break/tv binge, OR by rereading one of my beloved 5 star books or series.

    Good luck! I’m sure a phenomenal book is just around the corner for you. :)

    • Hahah thanks for talking me off the ledge. I really do think that Winter and the general BLAHness of it (seriously..it has been really crappy winter!). I think I need a Netflix date maybe!

  3. Okay so far it’s been a weird year for me. I’ve already DNF’ed 3 review books (2 Netgalley & 1 Edelweiss) But my personal purchases have been awesome & amazing (TFIOS & Where The Stars Still Shine) I have had only one review book that knocked it out of the park for me and that was Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens. Beautiful book that seriously made me have all the feels. I’m not sure what this year holds for me in terms of reading. I hope it’s full of awesome reads and that this lull I’m in will get better as Winter turns to Spring.

    • WTSSS!!! Loved that one!!

      Unfortunately I didn’t love Faking Normal but I’m so happy that you loved it and it was that kind of read for you!!

  4. I’ve gone through this plenty of times, so I know exactly how you feel. My recommendation would be to read something super emotional. I don’t know if you’re one of those people who dislike reading books that make you cry, but that’s what always works for me. I read a book that rips me to shreds, tears my heart out and stomps on it. It may give me a slight book hangover for a few days, but afterward I’m ready for more. Because there’s the passion, the connection.

    Another thing I like to do is read over my favorite parts from my favorite books. I like to go back and read the arts from when Noah and Echo were first developing their relationship in Pushing the Limits. Or the chapter in Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi. If you’ve read the book, you know which one. Or I just look up quotes from my favorite books on Goodreads. It’s a simple reminder of the emotional connection I’ve had with various books and it puts me in the mood to read.

    I don’t know if either of these suggestions will do you any good, but that’s what works for me.

    I really love your blog, by the way. I haven’t read it as much as I’d like, but all the posts I’ve seen by you have been really strong, eloquent, and emotional. I have a lot of respect for you and all the things you share on your blog.

    • YES I need a read like that. Something to punch me in the face basically haha. Maybe it’s time for me to read a book I have been putting off bc of the FEEEELS I know will ensue.

      That’s also a really good idea to read favorite quotes that I love. Still reading but without reading a whole book to lose motivation and maybe it will remind me that I DO LOVE BOOKS and I’m SO not this grumpy reader haha

      And thank you for the kind words <33

  5. I’m exactly like that at the moment too. It’s driving me mad. I’m mostly enjoying the books, but so far there hasn’t been anything that I’m desperately wanting to stay up all night reading. In a couple of books time I will be reading This Song Will Save Your Life and I’m hoping that’s going to be an amazing read for me and break that slump. I hope you find something fantastic soon!

  6. I’ve totally went through this! I have read such a bad run of books recently, but trust me, one will come along to wow you. You just have to ride it out for a bit longer! A good book will come along! *crosses fingers*

  7. I also haven’t been doing really well with my reading so far.. In January I only finished one book, which is much less than the goal I’ve set for this year and I’m still trying to get out of a reading slump… I hope it goes by soon!

  8. How much I get into reading definitely depends on my mood and feeling and in the winter with it being gloomy and my attention span running low, I have put down a book I was looking forward to reading. I am heading out to read a book of my choice (Redefining Realness by Janet Mock came out this week) because it is harder for me to read books in the house or recommended. Also, I can’t read ARCs.

    I go back to my favorite books when I get into a funk or try to do a light, beach read to get into the groove. You’ll get back into your swing soon enough.

    • YES I really do think Winter has somethign to do with this. BLEH winter. Especially THIS winter. Going to check out that book you mentioned! I do also think recommended book sometimes there is PRESSURE. Maybe I’m going to read a book I bought solely while I was browsing in the bookstore and knew nothing about it.

      Thanks for the pep talk! :)

  9. I know what you’re talking about because it totally happened to me last month! I
    t’s weird, like, there was a fog on my mind that kept me from enjoying the book FULLY enough. But strange thing was, I didn’t want to stop reading. I was getting my reading mojo back but I couldn’t enjoy the books! So most of it fell on the ‘meh’ eventhough it’s actually far from ‘so-so’.

    From the answers I got, I figured that what’s best for me was to keep reading but juggle it a bit between two or three books with different genre or different setting.

    I think it’s different for everyone, though, so I’d suggest you to do what you think is best for you. If you need a break, well, you can take a week/more off reading, or if you still want to continue reading, you can switch between the books.

    And I can assure you, no it won’t be forever! I’ve passed this strange phase since the end of last month, thankfully. Hope it’ll pass soon for you, Jamie! :)

  10. Just a reading slump, that’s all. We all go through them, especially those of us who read a ton of books. Read some palate cleansers — books you don’t usually read — and don’t stress!

  11. This happens to me too, and it’s tough because I’m a YA Librarian so I have access to amazing books all the time, and sometimes just nothing seems to be speaking to me. I think the winter makes it harder too–I’m just harder to please in general after this exhausting weather. I suggest re-reading something you love. I feel like Fangirl is perfect for this situation. If I were a doctor, that’s what I’d prescribe!

  12. This usually happens to me when I’ve been reading too much of the same thing so the cliches of that genre become more noticeable and annoying. Post Hunger Games I read WAY too much dystopian and definitely OD’d. I will definitely overdo contemporary (Adult or YA). Best way I’ve found to break a slump is to pick up something very different and a little more challenging than my normal fare. Last year I read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and this year it’s American Gods by Neil Gaiman (both around this time of year so maybe it is the weather).

    Anyway you’ll come out of it. If nothing else you know Isla is coming out later this year :)

  13. I’ve had lots of books I’ve liked this year but only one so far (Me Before You) that I absolutely loved. I feel disappointed, but keep trudging along! I mean, it is kind of great to have that one diamond in the rough — they can’t ALL be good, right? :)

  14. *HUGS* I get that so much. I’ve struggled this year. At the same time? Most of what I’ve had time to read are ARCs. I’ve been busy and those take priorities. I haven’t been that impressed with the things that I’ve read for 2014 so far. I’m starting to wonder if it’s 2014 in general. 2013 had SO much good in it and now I’m feeling. . .I don’t know. Kind of let down? I’m really hoping it picks up, because I’m not that impressed yet. We can find the next best thing! Somehow, someway, someday.

  15. Haha, it’s been a slow and tortuous reading year for me so far, too. There have been one or two gems, but for the most part, I just can’t get into anything and even the ones that everyone loves, I’m all MEH about. What is wrong with me?!! I still get excited about the idea of a book, but when I go and try to read a book, I’m not as enthusiastic. Sigh, I hope this passes for me and you both.

  16. I got so many amazing books from ALA this year that I cannot wait to read. The one I loved thus far is Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg.

  17. My trick for this is to read about 3 really short standalones. I was feeling the same way as you and found that I could get back into reading by starting off with three quick standalones. I read Never Fall Down, Where the Stars Still Shine and The Distance Between Us in like a week and a half and that made me feel really good and want to keep reading!

  18. I went through a very similar slump but it kind of lasted through the end of 2013. My co-blogger Rachelia and I actually wrote quite an extensive post about our experiences with this. For me personally, I now feel like I’ve found my reading groove again, so to speak… but it certainly took quite a while, which is definitely discouraging. I know how you feel! And hope you feel like your old reading self again soon. It sucks when such a source of comfort is taken away by an inability to love what you used to love, if that makes sense.

  19. I have a feeling it might be the ARC thing. With ARCs, there’s always that feeling that you’re on a deadline, or that you’re simply reading it because you’re responsible for providing a review. I went through the same thing last November, and once I started reading more of the books that I had bought for myself, and had been sitting around for months, I started loving reading again. Hope you come out of it soon!

  20. I think it might be the fact that you’ve been sick and the fact that you’ve read a lot of ARC’s. What you shouldn’t do is stop reading, because I know what will happen (it happened to me): you’ll find it even harder to pick up a book in a few weeks, because you’ve distanced yourself from it for some time. I think you should pick up a book that’s been hyped a few years back, so you’ll still know it’s been hyped, but don’t know why. If you pick up a book and know why it’s been hyped, you can get disappointed. This is what I did when I didn’t feel like reading and it surely has helped me. I hope you can come back into your reading groove soon!

  21. I’ve gone through similar slumps. Especially after reading a book I felt was SO amazing, anything I read afterwards would just pale in comparison. Namely when I finished the Harry Potter series several years ago.

    My solution: I read a comedy! I read something I knew was only meant to make me laugh and as long as it lived up to that end of the bargain then it wasn’t like I was disappointed that it didn’t make me think or cry or get angry like most really great literature (ie The Book Thief) do without much effort.

    My suggestions: ANY Christopher Moore book (namely The Stupidest Angel or Lamb…) or an auto-biography of sorts by Jenny Lawson called “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened” (I laughed till I was crying it’s so hysterical! People on the train were looking at me like I was a weirdo while I read it!)

    Hope this helps…when in doubt, laugh it out…

  22. My reading year has started off much slower than I imagined- I’ve only read 3 books this month and I’m already behind on my goal! It’s not for lack of books either- I have two stacks at home of books I was DYING to read… but I can’t muster up the energy or the will. I think it might be due to moving recently and work getting very busy but it makes me sad! I want to go home and read but it’s been a struggle so far. The three I have read have been excellent. If you ever want to break out of your favorite genres, read Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn- amazing, compelling, readable, descriptive book about ancient Rome. The characters are incredible. I’m 100 pages from finishing the second companion novel and it’s sooo good!

  23. Compared to December 2013, when I read what I wanted to and had been waiting all year to just do that, this year has been okay so far. I loved Shadow and Bone and Just One Year whereas I enjoyed No One Else Can Have You in January. But that’s pretty much it.

    I have never been in a reading slump before. The only time I couldn’t read was back in October 2013 when I only got to read one book as I was so busy with everything else. I do get disappointed when I can’t seem to catch a break with reading all the meh books but then I turn to the bestsellers and hope that it’ll take my breath away. Like right now I intend to read Scarlet and Cress soon and I so want to be blown away, y’know.

    I think in a situation like yours, I’d turn to my go-to genre which is contemporary YA or I’ll re-read my favorites or choose from friend recommendations.

    I’ll recommend you VE Schwab’s Vicious because it’s such a great, engaging read and I can not get enough of it. I hope you get out of your reading slump soon, Jamie! 2014 will book rock, I’m sure of it. =)

  24. If I’m being REALLY honest, I go through a slump every couple of months or so in a year. With the amount of reading I do, it’s not particularly surprising that there comes a point where (1) I’ve had enough of books for the moment or (2) I find every single book to be okay or awful. Usually, it’s a temporary condition!

    Major suggestion for how to bounce back? TAKE A BREAK. Either completely step back from reading for a little bit OR read books that you’ve been wanting to read that are already published!

    Other things you can do that may or may not help (and will at least make you feel better):

    1. Eat lots of donuts/cupcakes/fro-yo.
    2. Get Chipotle.
    3. Have a pillow fight.
    4. Have a random dance party — on your own.
    5. Watch your favorite series on TV, both those that are current and those from the past.
    6. Watch a favorite movie!
    7. Journal or write something.

  25. THIS. I read so many great books in 2013 (89 total read!) and I feel that I’m much pickier now about what I like in a book. It’s been a downer for me… not reading as much as I’d like because I feel stuck in crappy books. I have an ARC I need to read and I don’t want to because I’m not into it, and well it’s just perpetuating a cycle for me.

  26. THE SANDLOT!

    Kill your ARC list! Read some of your own purchases/non-review copies. I did that in January with the first three books in the epic fantasy series the Gentleman Bastards which starts with The Lies Of Locke Lamora and now I am seeing them everywhere which is neat. But yeah, those weren’t on my ARC list and totally made me one of those I LOVE THIS LET ME LOVE YOU PREACH IT types after reading.

    For you, I think you need a book that speaks to you and will make you want to preach it and that book has probably been sitting in your stacks purchased from back in your COLLEGE STUDENTS goodreads group days.

    Also, rereading an old favorite is a cool idea, like dive back into some Foer, you love him from what I remember and I bet you’d love a re-read of his other book not Everything Is Illuminated, but the other one. Or maybe from your stack you could read that Turn Around Bright Eyes book because it’s so different from everything else you get for review and you know, shaking things up is awesome.

  27. you should read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS again. Because how can you hate that book?? It could be nothing great has come out/is coming yet! I feel like last year, most of my GREAT reads were in the second half!! It could also be the discontentment from lack of work/etc. spilling over into everything else. My one friend is going through that atm. *hugs* Good luck!!

    I personally read something I really like or stop reading what I HAVE to and read something I really WANT to, even if it’s months away from release!

  28. So, I feel a little late to game here, with so many other comments ahead. But I’m still going to leave my two cents because that’s what blogging is all about (at least to me). Connecting to other readers.

    I’ve definitely gone through phases where every book I read is okay, but nothing is AMAZING. It can be frustrating that’s for sure. And I’ve never really paid attention to how I’ve gotten out of these phases. I’m someone who usually just tries to push through it. It won’t last forever.

    I do like re-reading – that particularly helps me when I am in a reading slump (which I don’t think is exactly what you’re going through). I actually like to re-read books that may not have been all-time favorites, but are really enjoyable and safe feeling. That’s just me though.

    I’m not one to take huge reading breaks. Like I said above, I like to push through. But I may take a few days where I don’t read much. Maybe only 15-20 a day. That way I’m not feeling guilty about not reading, but I’m not making myself reading something if I’m not feeling it.

    Also, sometimes I think it helps to read a book in a different way. When I’m in a reading slump, I realyl try to focus on an audiobook. That helps me a lot.

    About being nit-picky. I can really relate to that. I’m like that way too much. I don’t really have a solution. But if you find one, PLEASE PASS IT ON TO ME!

    As my reading year so far – it’s actually been pretty great. I’ve read so much (I’ve been in a reading binge) and almsot everything I’ve read I really liked. Not everything has been mind-blowing but I’ve liked nearly everything.

  29. That’s how I’ve felt so far this year until I reread Cress, which I loved even more the second time around. I’m still waiting for a book to wow me, and I have a few in my TBR that I’m hoping will live up to my expectations!

  30. I was in a similar place for most of last year. I just felt like the books I was reading weren’t as good as I wanted them to be, plus I stuck with books that weren’t good when I should have just dropped them. One of the things that helped me get out of my slump was reading a book in a genre I hadn’t read in a while, which happened to be fantasy. I think reading something different from your usual can help. I also found that reading books but not reviewing them can help me get out of a slump, because I don’t feel the need to be so critical of them.

    I hope you find something that works for you :)

  31. I seriously don’t want to jinx myself, but out of the nine books I’ve read so far this year, six have been 4 stars or higher! I’m thinking part of this is due to my new outlook on blogging/reading – these days I only read an ARC if it’s one I feel I’ll love rather than pick it up and hope for the best. I’ve also started to focus more on reading what I want (meaning books I already own or library copies) rather than constantly looking at upcoming releases.

    This slump could be due to the craptastic weather we’ve been having. Step away from the blog/books/Internet (!) for the weekend. Revisit an old favorite or a comfort read. If you’re worried about having a bad experience with a book you already love, take a break from reading altogether! Binge-watch a season or two of a new show. Plow through your netflix queue!

  32. You win everything for using The Sandlot gif! I still sometimes say that word drawn out like that lol

    Any time I get into a reading slump it’s usually bc I’ve read too much fic and I did too much overload in book reading! Lol def not your case but the right book is out there waiting for you to pick up and loveeee

  33. Funnily enough I am going through a similar thing now. I just don’t feel like reading new books, if at all. When I do read, I’m either re-reading favourites or Kristen Ashley (because I love her!). I can’t even get out of my funk for the new releases that I have been waiting freaking forever for.

    To push my self in another direction, I’ve been listening to audiobooks, because I can’t stop reading completely otherwise I would go insane and get really bored on my commute. It’s going really well so far and I have even got back to a few series that I stopped in the middle of.

  34. Ugh, I went through this probably the last quarter of last year. I have noticed that since I started blogging, my standards have gotten higher. It takes a lot more for me to rate a book 5 stars now. I think it just happens. Things picked up a bit in the last couple months, but I’ve still only had one 5-star book (that wasn’t Harry Potter. Those are always 5 stars!).

  35. I didn’t read very many books last year, but I’ve started this year pretty strong, and I’ve already found one book I adored. If you haven’t read The Knife of Never Letting Go–well, I’ve been recommending it to everyone. It’s amazing. And I just finished the second in the series which wasn’t quite as good, but I’m going to read the third and last book now. But I would definitely recommend the first. I’ve seen a few people who didn’t like it, but I think it made them feel strongly one way or the other. Good luck getting out of your rut!

  36. Jaime Lester says:

    I can’t stand it when this happens. It makes me sad, because reading is what I DO! It is what I love, and it is my escape. I love to read, and when I pick up book after book and leave feeling disappointed, it really stinks in a big way. But I have come to realize that it happens. Usually when I can’t seem to get interested in any new books, I do exactly what you suggested; I do a reread or two. I am a big time rereader anyway, but rereading has also pulled me out of a slump a few times, so it is usually my go to fix. I would give it a shot if I were you! And don’t worry, it happens! You will get out of it! Maybe read a book you have wanted to read for years, and have never had the time for. OR ask for recommendations of different genres, and make a list of the ones that interest you. I will go ahead and give you one now, but be warned: if you don’t like language or sexual content, stay away from the first two series. Otherwise, go for it! The Immortal Empire (God Save the Queen is the first book) series by Kate Locke, The Experiment in Terror (Darkhouse is the first) series by Karina Halle! The Graveyard Queen series by Amanda Stevens (The Restorer is the first) and a good old YA contemp, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson! Hope you can love some of these as much as I do!

  37. I’ve had a lot of mediocre reads so far this year and I have already DNFed three books. I haven’t written many negative reviews because I just can’t be assed to finish those books right now. I think maybe you are just getting more critical, Jamie, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I know it’s upsetting but I can tell you that when you read a magical book that blows your mind, it will make all you are going through right now worth it.

    I also think there were a lot of meh books that came out at the beginning of this year. The one that really blew me away was Something Real by Heather Demetrios.

  38. Gah, slumps are SO not fun. (But yay for a The Sandlot gif!) I hope it’s something that passes soon. I had a really mixed year last year in reading, but so far this year I’ve been lucky. I’ve been moved to tears by a few books, and I hope I can keep reading excellent books this year.

  39. I’ve had a ‘meh’ or ‘liked it’ reading spell for the past several months. There’s been a book I very much enjoyed every so often but not as often as I felt before. I think the more you read, he more you realize what you do and don’t like and what needs to hit you hard in the gut. I think this is just what happens to avid readers and slumps do happen. But you have a lot more to enjoy book-wise, guaranteed.

  40. This may be the most relatable blog post I’ve ever read. I went through the same thing recently and it unfortunately lasted a few months. I found that it was because I was reading too much of the same genre and the stories were starting to become somewhat predictable. I started reading short stories for a while from authors like Shirley Jackson and Flannery O’Connor and after a while I felt a lot better. I think it was the fact that I was able to read a lot of different stories and genres in a short amount of time and that helped me find some new genres that I wanted to explore a little deeper. Change is often times the best remedy.

  41. Ugh, Jamie, I am sorry people shame you for liking most of what you read. I mean, I know I’ve probably sounded like this sometimes. I know I’m like that about GR, but I mostly just want to know people are being HONEST. Like, the occasional thing that isn’t the right book happens, you know? But I am just off of a slump, and dude if every read could be a 4-5, YES. That would be amazing. Like, every so often a hate read is a fun, but I need good books to sustain me. My slump was actually mostly DNFS, and 2-3.5 stars. That’s not even like hateful books. I liked a number of them, but I didn’t LOVE anything for a long time and it was depressing.

    Ahhhhh, so yeah, like three star books are good and I’d recommend them probably, but they do not SUSTAIN me. I don’t know how the people who hate read constantly do it,because I just need the emotional ruining and the fluffy grins to get through.

    Ummm, I don’t have any advice. I just kept trucking through it. Maybe try something new? Like a Neil Gaiman audiobook? Maybe the format switch would help. Fortunately, the Milk is 45 minutes and super adorbs. OR you could go read like some really short fun things from back in the day, like Meg Cabot. That did help me.

    Me: I don’t have any advice.
    Me: Here’s some advice.
    >.<

    Anyway, I know I'm late, but I hope you are out of this because it SUCKS.

Trackbacks

  1. […] you ever had a moment when everything you read just doesn’t seem to be good enough? This post by Jamie is really interesting, and you should definitely read […]

  2. […] Jamie wonders what’s happened to her and why she’s a grumpy reader this year. […]

Comment Policy:

Thank you so much for reaching out to me via comment. Seriously, it makes my day. I appreciate and read EVERY SINGLE comment. I do try real hard to reply to comments but I'm not able to do so daily and sometimes I get very behind because...well..life. You know how it goes sometimes! If I haven't replied back to you, feel free to tweet me so we can chat further as sometimes that is easier for me to get to when I'm on the go!

Speak Your Mind

*