This blog post is written by Katie Kiekhaefer, Head of Youth Services
It’s the secret librarians don’t like to reveal: sometimes we don’t read. We get into a reading slump. And sometimes weeks and months go by and we haven’t read anything. I know, it’s shocking. As part of my job, I need to read a lot of children’s and young adult literature so I can help connect kids, teens, and grown-ups with great books. But this spring and summer, I found myself stuck: I wasn’t reading anything and I couldn’t remember the last book I read, much less the last book I enjoyed.
Has this happened to you? Here’s how I got back into reading, and here’s my advice for you if you find yourself in a similar slump:
I acknowledged that I was in a slump, and I stopped feeling guilty. I also put it in perspective. I’ve been a reader for nearly 30 years of my life, and in all of that time, I’m bound to have times when I’m just not reading as much.
I started small. I started to read more magazine articles. I brought books home and made them readily available. I also took time out of my day to read more often. Instead of pressuring myself to read for 30 minutes before bed or finish a book in a week, I made it my goal to read just a few pages a night, every night. This helped me get back in the routine in a way that didn’t feel overwhelming.
I chose carefully. If you’re in the midst of an epic reading slump, maybe don’t try to read Infinite Jest. I read books that I knew would be easy and enjoyable. I tracked down favorite authors and checked out other books that they had written. I went back to a series that I liked and read the next book. I also skipped picking up books that I felt I “should” be reading. I avoided genres that weren’t appealing and stuck with favorites.
I gave myself permission to quit books. I started a book in February, and it had been sitting on my bedside table, half-read since then. I thought that I could break out of my slump if I could just finish that book, but it was bogging down my reading energy levels. See ya Outlander!
I put down my phone. You knew this was coming, didn’t you? It’s true. While Buzzfeed listicles and Instagram stories are certainly appealing, they are not helping you break out of your reading slump.
It took a while, but finally, I finished a book! And then I finished another one. And another two! Here’s what I’ve (finally) been reading:
Caroline Carlson writes the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series, which I’ve always enjoyed so I decided to try her latest book, a mystery. It’s the story of Toby Montrose, an assistant at his uncle’s detective agency and a wannabe detective, and Ivy, a self-proclaimed premier detective with a penchant for disguises. Famed detective Hugh Abernathy announces a contest to choose the World’s Greatest Detective but the plot thickens when a real-life murder happens.
Stef Soto is in 7th grade and is dealing with friends, mean girls, pop stars, art supply shortages, her over-protective parents, and her family’s taco truck, Tia Perla, which feels like her constant companion. This slim book balances multiple plot lines and creates a cast of incredibly endearing, winning characters, especially Stef herself.
Susan, Esther, and Daisy are roommates at their first semester in university in this graphic novel series. I read the first two volumes pre-reading slump and enjoyed seeking out the next two volumes. This series is hilarious and bizarre while also feeling incredibly true to life.
Back to blogs