Discussion Post: Books Guaranteed to Pull Me Out of a Reading Slump
It has happened to us all at some point. One minute you’re on a roll, reading one incredible book after another, and then boom, it hits…the dreaded reading slump. As soon as the slump hits, you try book after book from your TBR pile, but nothing seems to satisfy and instead of being the wonderful hobby that you love so much, reading suddenly becomes a chore.
I’ve been fairly lucky on this front and (knock on wood!) have only fallen into a reading slump a few times in my life so far and most of those were in college when I was required to read a lot of books for my English major that didn’t necessarily appeal to me. But man, when those slumps do hit, they just make me so depressed. Seriously, is there anything worse for a book lover than to suddenly not enjoy reading anymore?
Usually switching to a different genre for a while is enough to help me bust through my slumps, which is how I’ve developed such eclectic tastes in books over the years, but every once in a while, changing genres is not enough. Sometimes I just have to set aside my entire TBR pile and go back and revisit some cherished old favorites that always remind me why I fell in love with reading in the first place and give me the kick in the pants I need to get back on track with my reading.
So what are my go-to slump busting reads?
There’s nothing like taking a moment to go back and rediscover those favorite characters and settings from my childhood. I’m a huge fan of doing this, especially now that my son is old enough to read my childhood favorites. I’ve been trying to instill a love of reading in him so it has been wonderful for us to read and enjoy my childhood favorites together. He gets to discover these wonderful characters for the first time and I get to take a stroll down memory lane.
BOOKS THAT RESONATE
These are books that no matter how many years have passed since I first read them, I still think about them. They taught me lessons that have stuck with me to this day and they are books that are guaranteed to make me think. These are books that I remain passionate about no matter how many times I re-read them.
BOOKS THAT MAKE ME CRY
I don’t know about other readers, but sometimes I think my reading slumps are caused by other things that are going on in my life at the time. It’s not necessarily the books I’m reading, it’s just me. Whether it’s work stress, family drama, or whatever, just something gets all bottled up inside and when that happens, I feel like I need an emotional release and so I will reach for a book that I know will give me that good cry.
BOOKS THAT MAKE ME LAUGH
On a similar note, maybe a good cry isn’t what I need. Maybe it’s a good laugh. I don’t read a lot of funny books so this can sometimes be a challenge, but there are a few silly books out there that I love to pull out when I need some laughs. I know Pride and Prejudice is technically more of a romance than anything else, but the banter between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, not to mention the silly antics of Mrs. Bennett, is always good for a laugh. And I’ve all but abandoned the Stephanie Plum series for now, as I mentioned in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post, but let me tell you, if I hit another major reading slump, I wouldn’t hesitate to grab a book or two from that series. If the misadventures of Grandma Mazur and Lula don’t bust a reading slump, nothing will, lol.
Yes, this series is in a category all by itself. I didn’t read it until I was an adult so I can’t consider it a childhood favorite. But in a lot of ways, it covers all of the other topics above and then some. There’s just something about picking up one of these books that feels like coming home. Whenever I read them, I not only fall in love with the characters and the story all over again, but I also think about how many other readers this series has captivated over the years. This is the series that made so many people fall in love with reading, and I get caught up in that spell and all is right with the world again (at least as far as my love of reading anyway, lol).
So, what about you? What kind of books do you turn to when you’re trying to pull yourself out of a reading slump?
I love To Kill A Mockingbird. But, to pull me out of my slump…It’s Pride and Prejudice. Always. It’s my go to book and it’s the only one I have read more than once. It’s the only book I have wanted to read more than once.
I adore Pride and Prejudice. It never fails to make me smile no matter how many times I read it.
I hate reading slumps. It doesn’t happen to me often but after a streak of great awesome books I do tend to have trouble getting into a book. That’s when I turned to light and fluffy and funny and just a real good feel good book
I love “feel good” books too.
I’m pretty lucky in that I don’t really get reading slumps; at least not where they last for a long time. I’m with you on re-reading Harry Potter though. There’s just something about those books. I’m currently reading the second book again, but in the illustrated form, and it’s just gorgeous!
I love that you can now share your childhood favorites with your son. How fun!
Oooh, I need to get the illustrated ones. I bet those are fabulous!
I definitely agree with a lot of these – Harry Potter and Narnia are books I read when nothing else looks attractive. Sometimes I go with Henry’s Sisters, which is guaranteed to make me sob every time I read it. Basically anything that will make me feel emotional helps get me back on track.
I’ll have to check out Henry’s Sisters. I’ve never read that one before and it’s always great to have a few new slump busters on my list 🙂
What an excellent post! Terry Pratchett – I love his books, particularly some of the earlier ones where his humour is less barbed and more madcap and comedic. Hogfather or Small Gods, preferably. Or I turn to C.J. Cherryh’s Rider at the Gate or Heavy Time… But it’s a LONG time since I hit a reading slump – not since I signed up for Netgalley and have a steady stream of different and new authors to read…
I’ll have to give Terry Pratchett a try. I know he’s one of my mom’s favorites.
I’m the same way! I have to reread past favorites when new books just aren’t doing it for me. Harry potter is a reread every year, but my husband frequently reads To Kill a Mockingbird. We love watching the old movie, too.
Do You Dog-ear?
Oh, I love the old To Kill a Mockingbird film too. It’s so well done.
Revisiting old favorites *nods* I haven’t read Narnia as an adult but I’d love to revisit. And laughs- I think humor is great way to beat a slump too!
I’m re-reading Narnia with my son now and it has been so much fun to watch him fall in love with the story as much as I did.
This is a timely post, bc I am in an audiobook slump of sorts bc books I’ve wanted to read for ages, just aren’t enough to keep me listening. Sighs. I think I need to think about what sort of audiobooks are my go-to ones to get me out of slumps. Maybe short stories I think? Something to mull about!
I struggle with audiobooks anyway. I seem to have the attention span of a gnat if I’m not physically holding a book and turning pages, lol. The audios that seem to work best for me are celebrity memoirs where the celebrity is reading his or her own story. I did the audiobook of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and loved every minute of it.
I don’t think I nessecarily have anything specific that pulls me out of a slump. I don’t often have one. Not a big one, maybe just for a few days because of headaches and such. But with bigger ones it helps me to just follow my mood more and easy and short things that I can finish in one sitting.
That’s great that you don’t really have reading slumps. I don’t have them often either thankfully.
Great choices. I do the same thing and reread favorites to help me out. My go-to is Vampire Academy. I always get excited about it, no matter how many times I’ve read it.
I still need to read Vampire Academy. It’s on my TBR but I always seem to bypass it and go for other books instead. I need to stop doing that, lol.
Reciently I have been reading the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child to get me out of out of a slump. If that fails, I head back to something that I have read many times before like the Tales of the City books by Armistead Mauplin. Fundamentally it has to be light but satisfying reading.
Oooh, yes. I enjoy the Jack Reacher novels too. They’re so addicting!
I honestly have not really been in a reading slump. I think it’s because I get to pick what I will read. When I am just feeling blah in general, a good contemporary romance always boosts my mood. I make sure it is from one of my go-to authors, and that never fails me.
That’s wonderful that you’ve not really fallen into a slump. I’m grateful that it doesn’t happen to me often.
I have several books that always break me out of a reading slump; the Little House books, the Anne of Green Gables series, any of the Jane Austen books, and Little Women. I like to re-read them about once a year anyway, so it’s always nice to have an excuse to read them!
I really need to re-read Little Women sometime soon. It has been way too long since I’ve picked that one up and it’s definitely a favorite of mine.
Blah, the dreaded reading slump. It happened to me this month too, with a thriller I was reading and then I just didn’t want to read anything else. So like you mention, I re-read an old favorite and it helped alot. Great list of books here, I love HP too. I re-read the series and it was just as good the second time around. I’ve re-read Pride and Prejudice a few times as well. I tend to re-read Stephen King novels the most.
Have a nice reading week!
I need to read more Stephen King. I’ve only tried a couple since I don’t read much horror, but my mom swears he’s a great slump buster too.
I also use Harry Potter to get out of reading slumps! I’ve also found that Annette Marie was a marvellous slump kicker, as are other favourite series and authors.
I’m determined to read an Annette Marie book this year!
I almost never reread, but I’m glad you have some old favorites that always cheer you up (or devastate you, as the case may be). 🙂
Thanks, I’m glad too. I don’t re-read much either honestly. I really only do when I have fallen into a slump.