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Musing Mondays ~ Book Slump

August 24, 2008

Time again for Musing Mondays. Miz B at Should Be Reading asks about Book Slumps: What do YOU do when you find yourself in a reading slump? How do you get out of it? Do you keep trying different books until you find one that draws you in? Do you just give into the slump until it passes, and do something other than reading for a time? Do you ask for help? And, if you ask for help what great (or, not so great) advice have you been given on how to get out of the slump?

This was a very interesting question for me and one that made me look at my reading in a different way. I’ve never really felt that I was in a slump with my reading ~ heaven forbid you should ever find me without a book in hand or at least nearby. Though now that I’ve pondered this question as I sit at work tonight maybe a slump is exactly what I’m going through. Miz B references that she runs into slumps after finishing a really good book. The next one she picks might not be that appealing so she moves on again and, maybe, again until resorting to book comfort food ~ a favorite author.

Once I read her response I had an “ah-ha” moment and went “maybe that’s it.” Currently I’m reading Stealing Athena and finding it’s not holding my attention the way I thought it would. I read Ms. Essex’s other book, Leonardo’s Swans, and really liked it. Spotting Stealing Athena on Elizabeth’s blog, As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves, I dropped her line and we traded books. But alas it’s not doing the trick for me. I recently finished reading The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff and absolutely loved it. So much so that I wrote 2 different blog posts about it within the same week.

For me Stealing Athena is a bit slow on the story line and this is where the slump comes into play. I’m finding it’s a letdown after finishing a really good read. I always go into a new book expecting great things and hate the disappointment that comes when it doesn’t live up to my expectations. I’m a 1/3 of way through and have yet to reach what I consider the main plot line ~ The Elgin Marbles have been displayed in the British Museum for nearly two hundred years, and for just as long they have been the center of a raging controversy. In “Stealing Athena”, Karen Essex chronicles the Marbles’ amazing journey through the dynamic narratives of Mary Nisbet, wife of the Earl of Elgin, the British ambassador to Constantinople, and Aspasia, the mistress of Perikles, the most powerful man in Athens during that city’s Golden Age (from Amazon). Also, if you plan to read this book you better brush up on your Greek mythology.

Finding the next book to read isn’t a problem for me. I usually know which book I’m going to read next before finishing the one I’m currently reading. Yes, I’m a bit of planner and because most of my reading has a commitment tied to it such as a book club or review for a publisher. That doesn’t make my reading any less enjoyable. It just means that I prioritize my books but I still love them all before opening the cover.

My rule of thumb for putting a book down is 50-60 pages. If it hasn’t decently got my attention by then I rule it a DNF and move on. There are way too many books for me to spend my time reading something that doesn’t at least peak my interest or hold my attention at a certain level. The level changes depending on my feelings about the book/author. If I feel it has potential or is from a favorite author I might give it more pages but even then I’ve fallen out of love with authors.

I’ve never asked help in getting through a slump most likely because I didn’t recognize it for what it was.

So how do you conquer a book slump?

  1. August 24, 2008 11:58 pm

    Thats really a nice question. I find myself in these situations often. I am a software engeeneer and sometimes the stress is so much that all you can think of when you reach home is grab a pillow and go to sleep. Sometimes I am grateful if I can read even 1 book per month.
    But somehow reading a chicklit or as you said a fav author gets me out of it.

  2. August 25, 2008 8:49 am

    Sorry that you seem to be in a slump at the moment! Hope it goes away quickly (mine is gone, already –thank the Lord!). 😉

  3. August 25, 2008 9:28 am

    I read old favorites or I write essays on book. I did an esssay on Farworld which just got posted this morning.

  4. August 26, 2008 11:25 am

    Thank you for stopping by my Musing Mondays post.

    Favorite authors seem to be our saving grace.

    Miz B~
    The slump ended Sunday night. All I needed to do was move on to something else even though I keep hope that Stealing Athena would be eventually get better.

    I love old favorites as they’re always dependable for pulling me out of a slump.

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