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13 March 2013


I'm in a slump now, sort of, at least with print books, though for the first time in my life I'm starting to actually enjoy audiobooks, probably because I'm walking everywhere, which is in part enabled by long-term unemployment. I haven't put gas in my car since Thanksgiving.

Not that I am recommending poverty as a cure-all.

This is not the first long-term slump I've been in. In the past, my slumps have eventually evaporated on their own, and probably yours will too. Maybe you should read some bite-size YA books. At least that way you could race through a bunch and feel like you've accomplished something, even if they don't particularly satisfy your soul.

Oh hey, fiction you might like: A Prayer for the Dead, by Stuart O'Nan. It's set in Wisconsin! After the Civil War!

I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling out of sorts with your reading. I've been reading your blog for the last couple of weeks and you seem to read really interesting books.

I generally prefer to read non-fiction, but when things have been a bit heavy going for a while, I either choose something completely different to what I would normally read (it has to be short in length though otherwise it just reinforces the feelings of being in a slump), or if that doesn't work I pick up Anne of Green Gables for a reread.

Time to break down and subscribe to netflix and watch the following shows: The Killing and Luther. Books smooks.

Yes, oddly, it seems like lots of readers I'm talking to (or whose blogs I'm reading) are a bit at sea these days. I can't tell if we're just overwhelmed with books but still not finding what we need, or if it's just a low-ebb time of year for all of us.
Hey, kudos on no gas. Walking's the best. I park my car as much as I can, although it's a bit harder to walk everywhere now with CRjr in tow--he's got tiny little legs!
LOVE O'Nan. Thanks for the suggestion, although I might re-read "Last Night at the Lobster" before tackling "A Prayer for the Dead."

No worries. Something'll come along--as indeed it already has (I blogged about "Spillover" just a bit ago, and that was a fascinating read).
Another reader I trust also told me just recently that when she's stumped she changes genres. I do that, to some extent (finished a novel over the weekend, do a lot of magazine and newspaper reading, etc.) Hilariously, not long ago I re-read Anne too, and then plowed through the rest of the series I'd never read. All good ideas, but this slump is just different. I love blogging and talking with readers here, but I sometimes wonder if I don't talk to enough other readers in person--there's something recharging about that. The staff at my local library has turned over a bit and no one's as chatty about books--weirdly, I think that's made a real difference in my reading experience.

Also, Emily, thanks for saying I read interesting books. There's so many good books published that I feel like the failure for not being able to consistently find ones that light my fire lately.

Amen, sister, and I've gone that route too. (Rewatching Jeeves and Wooster currently.) LOVED Luther, but holy cow, dark. Too dark for an endlessly cold and dark March. I want to start The Wire but have stayed away from that for the same reason. Maybe if we ever get some 40-degree weather I'll be up for some pitch-black TV. :)

Unruly Reader recently posted about her slump. She was having similarly unsettled feelings.

I'm usually not one to suggest books, but I read this one and tell everyone about it. It's a fiction novel, Young Adult, and a mystery. The main character is just so endearing and the story is a very quick read. Try it out, I think you'll like it!

Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz

Yes, poor Unruly (she's the blog I linked to the post). I hope she gets over this malaise soon too!

C. Gerner,
I'm always so glad to hear recommendations, and it's always good to try a new genre--thanks for the title!

Cara, I have BEEN THERE. About ten years ago reading began to feel like work, so I stopped entirely and focused on listening to music. I pulled out the bands of my youth to see if Ben would like them, I started sampling classical music, opera, Gregorian chants. It was wonderfully refreshing. It felt like I was using an entirely different part of my brain. I also stopped carrying books around with me. If I found myself sitting and waiting somewhere, I just gazed off into space and thought about cake or Gabriel Byrne or whatever. I think there was a certain "if I'm not reading, what kind of librarian am I?" shame attached to the whole thing too.

I recommend Le Mystere Des Vois Bulgares.

Roberta, Cara,
So glad to know I am not alone. I like the music idea. I think the bump to get over will be how weird it feels not to want to read every single minute.
It certainly would be nice to discover any other parts of my brain that might exist--I feel I've squeezed what I can out of the little bit I currently use!

It's true: the unruly has become downright... ruly. There appears to be a small glimmer of light in my own pit of reading despair, but I'm eyeing it with caution... I hope we both emerge from this weirdness *soon.*

Pop-up books? or the Matt Kish's every-page-of-Moby-Dick-illustrated? (Sounds daunting, doesn't it? but stimulating, too.)

This is many posts back - catching up - but audiobooks seems to get me out of slumps. And readalongs. Mixing it up always seems to help, too.

Yes, I was sorry to read you were slumpish too. Hope you are indeed coming out of it! (And congrats to your boy Caro on his latest big award!)

Hilariously, I read an abridged child's version of "Kidnapped" the other day because I just couldn't find anything else around that was intriguing! Maybe pop-up books would be just my speed now.
I have been listening to "Blood Bones and Butter" on chapter-a-day (public radio), which was a book I didn't enjoy in print form, but in half-hour abridged doses it's kind of interesting.
Thanks for the tips!

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