The Sunday Symposium is a weekly feature in which I'll be discussing various bookish topics and asking for your commentary, as well. This week, let's talk about those ugly reading slumps we all fall prey to and how to remedy them.
I am chagrined to admit that I've let my review schedule dictate most of the books I've read lately. And when I get behind on said schedule, I tend to grab the audiobook version. Yes, that means I'm purchasing the audiobook of a book I already own a galley of. I feel such a keen obligation to review a book that I've requested that apparently I'll go to any length to accomplish it.
But this post isn't to complain about my compulsive behavior -- or idiocy, whatever you want to call it. No, it's to call out those books that have really disappointed me lately. Okay, so that's not really the point of this post, either, but surely I will feel better once the blame has been laid. Right?
Anyway, I wouldn't say that I'm in a full-blown reading slump right now because I have read and listened to some amazing books in the last couple of months. But I have been trying to ward one off for the last couple of months. And it all started with Taken. I've been trying to scour reviews since to ensure that that mess doesn't happen to me again. No such luck with Chantress, although I did DNF at 28%, but I did miss out on the crazyship that was September Girls. Even so, that stupid, beautiful cover still has me contemplating it. What if everyone else was wrong?!? *sigh*
At any rate, I've kind of just been picking and choosing what I want to read from my review books the last couple of weeks, even reading some months ahead of schedule. *gasp* I'm such a mood reader these days, and I feel like half the books I've read lately have been in vain because I wasn't in the right frame of mind when I picked them up. I'm still hoping that's the case with Chantress because I'd been looking forward to that particular book for months, so it was really disappointing when the dialogue of all things was what made me give up rather early on in the story.
The worst of it is that even audiobooks aren't immune to the slump. I don't love every audiobook I listen to, but I do enjoy the majority of them. However, in the last week alone, I listened to two that were rather unsatisfactory, one because of the story and the other because of the story and the narrator. So disappointing were these books that I don't even want to do full reviews, not even to gripe. I think I'm going to join the trend and do mini-reviews for these so I can finally put them out of my mind. The sad thing is, both of those stories (not the audiobooks) had been highly recommended to me.
With so many awesome books releasing each week, it's really discouraging when I pick up several less-than-stellar books/audiobooks in a relatively short span of time. Is it me? Is it the book? Should I take a break from all of this? These books all seemed promising, and other reviewers loved them. Maybe I'm just too snarktastic for my own good.
But then, then I read The Bitter Kingdom. Slump be damned! And the words to convey how much I loved this book evade me now, but I'll get a review up closer to release date. I'll probably have re-read the book by then, too, because it was freaking genius. Genius, I tells ya! It's even renewed my interest in this whole endeavor. Because this book proved to me that it's not just me. I do still love to read and I do still love to share awesome books with people. I was obviously just reading the wrong ones. I will just have to be a lot choosier with future reads. I hate DNFing a book and I hate reading something I'm not enjoying.
So, I shall maintain a reading/reviewing schedule, but I will no longer allow it to be my prescribed reading list. And I will continue to monitor reviews for books on it, and if something seems like it's not going to be a good fit, out the window it goes. No more forcing myself to read things just because I requested them. No more purchasing audio when I have a perfectly good review copy in my hands. If it has to wait, it has to wait.
Do you experience reading slumps often or at all? What books have pulled you out of a reading slump?
Any and all commentary, chastising, and public flogging is welcome, as per usual. And thanks for stopping by! Also, be sure to check out Let's Discuss to find more bookish discussions all over the interwebz!