Ways to Beat the Reading Funk

November 23, 2014 About Me, Discussion 23

So so so you say you’re in a reading funk!? The big bad TBR pile has got you down!? The toppling tower of books and review schedule has you so flustered that when you actually DO manage to finish a book that you spend more time trying to figure out which book you SHOULD read next rather than what you WANT to read next!?

Sound like you? Well then deary pull up a pile of cushions and have a listen.

I’ve been in a funk a couple of times now this past year but no funk has even compared to the one I’ve been in since lets face it late August. I blame pregnancy hormones and various other personal life stressors. For several months straight I’ve had almost no desire to read whatsoever! Or the inability to read in some cases from having problems concentrating on the written word. I felt so guilty about it for awhile because the review books just kept piling up.

But it make me realize – that is the WRONG response.  Reading is something I love and enjoy and should never be something I feel guilty about NOT doing. Once I realized that – and once I started feeling more like a human instead of some person some alien parasite had invaded leeaching the lifeblood and health from me (oh my little minion if you ever stumble across this someday forgive me but yes incubating you has been some of the most trying and painful months of my life thus far LOL…I’ll pay you back for it when you’re older) ahem anyhowwwwww…..

I’ve been feeling better lately. Oddly enough even while I was sick I was finding myself more motivated to do art of various kinds. That must not require the same kind of brain power and concentration.

I realized I had a few things that could possibly help other people enjoy their reading again if they find themselves in a funk. This likely applies more to book bloggers.

1. DON’T READ! – OR AT LEAST GIVE YOURSELF THE OK NOT TO! Say to yourself…‘Self I’m not going to read, reading is not my job, I don’t need to read…I’m just going to fabricate this paper mache hot air balloon, eat some cheesecake, puke my brains out if thats what the parasite demands or crochet/knit myself a freaking toy to squeeze its head off while I go be sick in this corner’ It’s ok – doing anything other then reading is fine. Heck turn on the boob tube and let your brain veg and go blank! Reading will be there when you’re done.

2. GET THE HECK OUT! Some of you may get out a lot already. I personally do not. I work from home, and when I’m not specifically going out grocery shopping or out to see a friend then usually I’m at home. I even do the bulk of my shopping that isn’t for groceries online because I just don’t like going out. Maybe that makes me lazy. I can tell you I don’t get sick as often but then I’m also as pale as a baby’s bottom (one lady in my book club says I look like snow white because of my dark hair and super pale skin…I still don’t know if that’s a compliment lol). Get out – forget about reading, DON’T BRING A BOOK WITH YOU! Why? When we know most of us always have a book on our person at all times. For that precise reason – because while you are out – if you do have that ‘spare minute to read’ and for once you find yourself WITHOUT a book – you’ll miss it and there the seed be planted (maybe that’s what will pull you out of your funk…maybe not)

3. STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER! IPAD, PHONE, SOCIAL NETWORK. – Do you find yourself always needing to be “connected” yes yes as a blogger I’m sure you do. But you know what that is just going to feed any feelings of guilt you might be letting take seed. Take a break and don’t put a limit on yourself about it. Why!? Because hell your bloggy friends are not going to just abandon you because you disappear from commenting, visiting or posting posts for a week, two weeks, or hell even a month. Leave a quick message saying peace out for awhile and take a break you likely need it.

4. STOP REQUESTING BOOKS! Just stop, don’t do it, don’t pile the guilt on yourself any higher. If you really “must” have it – then buy it for crying out loud then there won’t be that nagging pressure associated with the book. Trust me it makes a huge difference. If you don’t feel that impulse to buy it – are you really in need of it anyway? I say – No sir, no mam.

5. WHEN YOU DO FEEL THE DESIRE – READ WHAT YOU WANT! Not what you “must”!! So after all of that – I finally started reading again. Hooray.

 But here are some things I’ve done while in my reading funk:
– Did a 30 day drawing/inking/doodling challenge where I drew every day and improved my skills greatly!
– overcame my fear of adding color to my art – and zowwy look at it now
– I knitted my first and second peice of clothing (granted they were toysize but I DID it!)
– crocheted a BUNCH of toys – some even of my own design – how did I manage that when I couldn’t concentrate on reading? Well I didn’t write the pattern down which I regret but aye I just you know flew by the seat of my pants.
– found new art mediums I wanted try and made cool things! Yarn paintings, painted with pencils…
– binge watched some anime shows, and some Grimm and even a few movies that I had kept letting pass me by.
– Tried World of Warcraft again and realized that phase of my life is likely over lol.
– Ok so maybe some of these are really simple but you get the idea. I indulged in other hobbies to fill the gap of my lack of reading.

Stalk me!

Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
Stalk me!

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23 Responses to “Ways to Beat the Reading Funk”

  1. Anya

    Love this so much! If I don’t feel like reading, it just takes me a day or two of doing something else to start craving a book in particular and then I just have to go with that mood. I like the idea of listening to an audiobook while crafting, ever do that??
    Anya recently posted…Updates from the Lair 11/23/14My Profile

  2. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    It’s great that you are feeling better, Tabitha. I was getting worried there! This is a great list of tips; I’ve been there a few times myself, and agree with all of the above. Especially the social media stuff. I try to have at least one tech-free day every two weeks. It’s a must!
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Early Review: Black Widow by Jenifer EstepMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yes exactly! So I did stop requesting books and every once in a while I would accept a book that a pub emailed me about but for the most part my mailbox has been dry dry dry – heck i haven’t done a mailbox post in forever because I haven’t gotten enough of anything to warrant a whole post for like 1 book you know? Now I’m beginning to miss all my mail packages and knowing I won’t be going to BEA this year is breaking my heart because I won’t get sooo many books.

      I can’t even reread when I’m in a slump lol.

  3. lynnsbooks

    I’ve been having a bit of a slump myself this month – for a number of reasons not least of all stress at work and home which kind of makes you moody and not feel like reading – I’m sure you can relate to the ‘moody’ part only too well with all your hormones running amok! (Not that I’m saying you’re moody – I take the crown for that!)
    I totally relate to your No.4 – I don’t request loads of books to be honest although it is very tempting – but, the books I buy I can leave for months and month and months!! I guess even though I don’t think I’m having any guilty feelings about the review books I must subconsciously be putting myself under pressure to read and review them.
    Reading is definitely for fun though.
    I find that if I’m in a bit of a slump stepping into a different type of reading usually does it – like a hot romance!!
    Lynn 😀
    lynnsbooks recently posted…Ellie Quin in Wonderland by Alex Scarrow (No 4 of the Ellie Quin series)My Profile

  4. Molly Mortensen

    Yes!! *pulls up cushion* I’ve been in a funk for a while now and I’m at that point right now. I want to read one book, but I should read another and that’s what’s bothering me. Okay you’ve convinced me I need a ‘me’ book. 🙂 Thanks for this post. I needed this post.

    I think if I took a reading time out I don’t think I’d be as productive as you. I hope your reading continues to go well.
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Indie Book Review: The Empyrean Key By JL TomlinsonMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Haha! yes yes! The funk was so long and then it just made it worse the longer it lasted. I’m finally in the MOOD to read and now I feel like I just want to read everything now that its over. But it really did take me just mentally going “screw the review schedule of books I’m gonna read whatever I dang well please!” It also helped that I hadn’t really requested any books and I started to miss being in the “know” of what books would be coming out because I also had stopped looking at catalogs and for the most part was only visiting the blogs I regular read once a week instead of daily. I just needed an all around mental break from all of it.

      Course my blog stats really reflect how little I’ve been doing. I dropped overall monthly page views by 400-600 every month that the funk continued to rage on. So hopefully I can get back to normal again. I did notice that once I got the urge to read back though I haven’t touched my art stuff for over 7 days now (since sunday before last) but I’ve read lets see….

      Dreamer’s Pool
      Mortal Gods
      The Bloodbound
      and partially through Endsinger – So I’d say it’s well and truly over!
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  5. Lola

    When I am in a reading funk it really helps to give the okay to not read and if I want to read to pick something I want to read, that can really help you get out of a funk or even prevent it in the first place. I felt a funk coming up last week and quickly picked up a non-review book and after that the feeling of an upcoming funk had disapeared. Doing something else beside reading, like gaming or watching a tv series with my boyfriend can also really help when I am in a reading funk. Stepping away from the computer and going outside are a bit difficult for me as I work from home and need the computer for my work.
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #102My Profile

  6. Kel @ Booked til Tuesday

    I have to laugh because your reading funks are so much more productive than mine! I tend to get sucked into lazy TV/Netflix watching mode for a week or so and then I get back to reading once I’ve thoroughly melted my brain.
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Art It Up! – BookmarksMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yeah I hate lazing around. There is just something about non stop TV watching that really bugs me. My dad stayed in our hour for almost a year back and he’s retired and all he did was watch TV and play poker on his computer and it bugged me to no end that someone would just sit on their butt all day just sucking in TV. For some reason I feel like I wouldn’t have had a problem with that if it were books instead of TV lol. I also get really upset if my husband or son watches TV all night I feel like they could be doing SOMETHING else – being productive. I just can’t stand it. I mean I’ll binge watch a TV show every now and then and there are 2-3 shows I watch Grimm, Big Bang Theory and Face Off but other then that I’d rather be doing something that I walk away with something at the end. Like art or crochet or even with reading at least my blogging efforts makes me PART of something , a community that I interact with and hey free books right? LOL
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…What if you could store backups of human beings just like storing backups of data?My Profile