In this insightful episode, I dive into a topic that resonates with many book lovers - the dreaded book slump or burnout. Join me as I explore the reasons behind these periods of literary fatigue and uncover strategies to reignite the passion for reading.
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Hello readers. This is Charity, your host, a Booktrovert Reader Podcast. In this episode, I'm going to go over the difference between a book slump and a book burnout. I thought this is a very fascinating topic to discuss, just because of the fact that when I wrote this blog article, I thought there wasn't too much of a difference between the two. I thought they were one and the same, but I actually look it up. There's actually a big difference between the two, and I have actually have experienced both sides of the equation. So let me first go over the difference between the two, because just by describing this, you kind of get an idea of what I mean by how it's different from one another. So books slump, also known as a reading slump, refers to a temporary period when a reader struggles to engage with or enjoy books during a book slump. You might find it challenging to get into a story, lose interest quickly, or feel like you're not finding books that captivate your attention. It can happen for various reasons, such as stress, distractions, or having to read several books in a row that you didn't resonate with you. A book slump is usually a short term phase, and readers often overcome it by discovering a book that reignites their. 2s All right. Book burn out. Book burn out, on the other hand, is more intense and prolonged. Feeling of exhaustion and disinterest in reading occurs when you've been consistently reading a lot, whether due to personal goals, academic requirements, or even being part of a book club or reading challenge, the constant pressure to read can lead to burn out, causing you to feel emotionally drained and unable to enjoy books like you used to. Book burnout may require a longer period of rest and self care to recover from. So now that you kind of know the difference, book slump is temporary. Book burnout is longer. And I thought that was very interesting. When I experienced book burnout between I would say, I would say almost 2017 to 20 14 to 2017. It was about 3 or 4 years, I would say roughly that I hardly ever read. It was about four years that I just didn't read anything. I just came out of college, College. They required you to read 3 or 4 books a quarter. So I was constantly having to read books I just didn't care for. And just I'm just I'm going to admit it. I never finished them. I know they said that you needed to, and they asked you on their test if you finished it. And I never did, just because a lot of times they were the same books, just told in a different way. And I just got so tired of them and so would I. Left college and got married, got went straight to work. I did not pick up anything at that point. I just, I don't know, I just never was like interested in it because every day was, was brought on of surviving financially. We were my husband and I were broke. We just came out of college. We were interns. We had no jobs, so I just didn't have the time. And I never knew where the library was, never knew anything about buying books. I didn't have the money for buying books. I didn't have a Kindle, nothing about that. And so I just never did anything with that. And I think it was in about 2017, I. Start working at another place. And there was this coworker that was a voracious reader. I mean, she puts everybody to shame, and she actually she actually buys all of her books, and she made it her mission to find a book I liked. And I was very shocked about that. She gave me like a cozy mystery, and I never picked it up. I didn't care for mysteries even when I was younger or anything like that. And then suddenly she just like she bought another book and it was a fantasy book, and it was read Queen by Victoria Alvord. And that just ignited my passion for reading once, once again. I haven't stopped since then. I talk about like I think that year I read only 19 books at the time, and that was a lot coming from somebody who never read for a while there. And then I just I discovered Goodreads after that. And, you know, it just went almost like an uphill, I wouldn't say downhill. It went uphill from there because I started discovering new books or rereading some fan favorites, like Eragon series. I've reread that Harry Potter series. I've finished the whole series during that time, because when I was younger I wasn't allowed to read it, and I only got up to book three at the time, and then I decided to finish it. That was actually the Harry Potter series was the first book series that I bought for myself when I started, you know, being able to afford to buy some semblance of books. I bought it off of Facebook Marketplace. Thank goodness for that. For and then of course, I I've continued reading like nuts. I think my goal is 200 now and pacing got two books behind. But anyways, I went on that stupid rabbit trail. Sorry about that. But regardless, I now that I've got out of my book burnout, I had to work on avoiding books slumps or reading slumps because of the fact that I'm, you know, I'm constantly reading, whether for my podcasts for, you know, book clubs, for Facebook groups that I'm a part of or for my own pleasure or, or that awful like Bookstagram made me do it kind of read and. Now I'm constantly having to avoid those scenarios. I find it that I'm learning along the way. Some tips and tricks on how to keep myself from entering a book burnout or book slump. And I cannot recommend these recommendations enough. I definitely recommend you going over this list. I'm going to attach the blog article to the show notes to show you know, if you want to refer to them to kind of, you know, read for yourself what works. Or you can look at the transcript, whatever you want to do, just look over them. If you're kind of experiencing one or your you want to avoid the next one. So the first one is acknowledge your feelings. I think this is just thing in life that I feel like it would be great. As a reader readers, do, I think it's okay to say, hey, I'm not liking the series. Oh, I am not enjoying reading right now, or I'm just not in the mood for this. And I think Amber Paige, she even talked about she even said, acknowledge your feelings, acknowledge where you're at, and it's okay to feel like you're just not into reading at the moment and think it's. That's when you feel that pressure kind of lifted because you're not just ignoring it, you're acknowledging it. And I felt like that that could be so powerful in itself to just let that pressure off of you, because sometimes that pressure of like, I got to be reading, I got to look like I'm reading, enjoy reading, get all the time. And, you know, and it's okay to say I'm not. 2s So one is take. Take a break. Give your self permission to take a break from reading. Step away from books for a while and focus on activities you enjoy. This is going to be another point as well. There has been days where I'm just like, I know I need to finish this book for, you know, for the series or for this group, but I'm just I'm not feeling reading right now, so I just purposely just not do it. And I think I give myself permission to do it because it's okay to tell yourself you don't have to read today. You don't have to. Reading is fun. Reading as a hobby. It's not a job. And if you treat it like a job, it's going to feel like a job. You're going to feel like you're showing up on Monday. Every time you pick up a page or you flip through a page. So I think if you just learn to say it's okay to step away, it will give you that freedom. And when you go back to it, you'll feel a little more refreshed. Read read a favorite. Now, I know this is advice I don't take this advice for myself too often just because I. I don't reread quite often. There are times where I do kind of have a hankering for reading reading favorites, but I. 1s Maybe I should try it. Just listen to my own advice. But I think sometimes rereading a book that you truly enjoyed will kind of give that spark back. I know for me, I when I was getting back into reading, I was reading Eragon again. I was reading Harry Potter. I was reading what was a series. I read Elena, The First Adventure by Tamara Pierce. I revisited the Twilight series. I finished that all over again. And so no, actually, I did take my voice, pat myself on the back because when I was getting out of the burnout, that's what I did. I revisited a lot of classics that I read when I was in high school and middle school, and I don't regret it. I do have more series that I'm going to tackle that technically, I read when I was younger, so I'm kind of excited about that. Read something light up for lighter genres like romance, humor, or young adult fiction. I do that sometimes. Like as a fantasy reader, you can sometimes read a fantasy book that's very heavy and worldbuilding, very heavy in the conflict of the story, very heavy about the characters and what they're going through. So kind of flipping over to a fantasy genre that might be beneficial to or, you know, just that it's lighter. There was a book called that is like a fantasy rom com. I like to call it fantasy rom com. Just because of that. It's the time that I got Drunk and saved a Demon by Kimberly. Lament or lament? I thoroughly enjoyed that because it gave me all the fantasy elements, but it still gave like a light rom com field. There was conflict in the story, but it wasn't super heavy and worldbuilding and all this tearjerker stuff. So it was a nice refresh to kind of go to a story that's just simple and just, you know, entertaining. So that is some that's a good book, and maybe I'll write a book article about that, you know, like what books that are light fantasy reads that you can pick up today. Set realistic goals. Now, I, I will admit that. Sometimes having high goals. I have 200 as my book reading goal and I'm pacing two books behind at this point. I'm thinking that I might be a little over my head about it, but I'm choosing not to let it get to me and just read at my own pace. Still, I'm reading. I'm still reading at almost a 200 book pace, but I'm not stressing myself over it. But I will say that some people set those goals a little too high for themselves, that they're like, oh, if I don't do it, then I'm not going to reach my Goodreads goal and blah blah, blah. And I think, like, we should be recognized when we're kind of stressing ourselves out and be okay with changing our goals. I mean, I've even considered decreasing my goal by 20 books, you know, like if I still hit 200, great, I am awesome sauce and I will probably never go past 200. I think sometimes that we can put a lot of pressure as readers to read a certain amount of books in a certain amount of time, because other people are doing that and you think that you are a failure for not reading as much as the other person. I think the person who says, oh, I hit my goal 25 and we're in August. I think that is amazing. You go, you go. You know, just keep going, keep doing your thing and set the pace for yourself. And you, you know yourself better than anybody. And if you're stressing out over it, I think it's time to kind of evaluate. 1s What you're reading and how how fast you're trying to read it. Join a book club. Sometimes that can be a good and a bad thing. Not that it's like super bad. It can help you find some new books. I've seen a lot of times in these groups. They said, hey, I'm in a book slump. I tried reading these things and I can't. I can't finish a darn thing. Is there a book suggestion that that I can pick up again? And a lot of times a lot of people get a lot of the amazing suggestions. I'm always scrolling through it because I'm like, hey, I want to find some new books, some new authors, some new stories to dive into. So joining a book club on maybe on a Facebook group level is is a good idea. Sometimes I do like those book book clubs on Instagram or whatever the case may be, that it makes it optional whether you want to join or not. I will like, oh, I'm okay with committing here, so I'll read that book with them. Oh, that's not a book I'm interested in. So I'm not going to I'm going to opt out and it's okay. So maybe find a book club that where they're not going to force you into reading that book with those people to stay in the group. Create a comfortable reading space. I'm that person. I've read somewhere where you should have a designated area for conversation at dinner. There's a place to work and there's a, you know, like you should have sections in your home. So you know that when you mentally enter that space, you know what it's used and intended for. So I have I used to work like I have a separate job outside of this, and I used to work in my reading space, and my and I craft a lot too. I would work in that area, and I noticed that I lost passion for to doing any of those situations or like reading or crafting, because I created that space to be my working area for my job. And when I moved, I made it a point to separate those two because I wasn't enjoying reading. I was trying to find places in the house and I couldn't find a place to read. You know, be comfortable and spend long periods of time reading up because I oh, you know, let me go get distracted by this, distracted by that. And when I created that space, I now can set for quite a while in the mornings reading and feel like it's my space. And then also I tell my husband all the time, like, you're not allowed to talk about work in my space in my library, because I want it to be my sanctuary of just doing what I love the most. 1s Limit distractions. I am, I can be bad about that. You know, Instagram your your notifications and think it's going to be super important just to reduce the noise of your phone. I think the phone is the biggest culprit. I know for me, it's easy for me to just stop what I'm doing and look at bookstagram, see my notifications, engage in everything. And I think I found that once I started like putting my phone face down away from me, I noticed that my distractions got started being limited and I try not to have any. No other electronical devices in that room engage in other hobbies. Now, this is a personal thing I know for sure. I, I do for sure because like I said, I'm doing I'm constantly reading for my podcast, for bookstagram, for other things. And what I do is now I intentionally don't read as much on the weekends. I try to craft, I try to play video games. I do have a video game I play every once in a while and I try to go outside, find activities outside. 1s I just I totally do that just because it helps me reset. It helps me like, remind myself that, hey, book reading is supposed to be fun. It's not supposed to drag. I mean, if you want to, you don't have to do it the way I do it. It's just important to have other things to to that you're interested in that you want to do. If reading is the only thing you're interested in, fine, go for it. But that's just what I personally do for myself, and it helps me immensely enjoy it and not trudge through it. Because sometimes I can get into a slump or close to a burnout if I'm not careful in this area. 1s Set realistic expectations. It's kind of like the same as set realistic goals, but it's more of like, don't pressure yourself to finish a book that you're not enjoying. I have done that a few times. Yes, it has caused me in a slump. I did try to one time recently just read a romance book on audio or listen to audiobook. And I didn't. It's not like the story wasn't interesting or entertaining. I just wasn't feeling the mood. So I just like, you know what? I'm just quoting it. I didn't read it or anything like that. I just like, you know what? I'll just read it another time. You don't ever want to be in a deposition where you read a book, because you have to never, never, ever do that because it just it steals the joy from it. And that's what I tend to make a rule for myself that if I'm just not into this, just embrace it and just move on. Don't spend too much time forcing myself to do it. 1s Read shorter books. I don't have many shorter books, I. Unfortunately, I feel like I have a lot of chunky books, but there's a there is a season where I was kind of feeling that slump. So I started finding books that are under 300, and that's been helping out a lot because I think it motivates you when you do finish a book and you're like, yeah, another book done. And it helps you just keep motivated, keep going. A rediscover your passion. I think when you're doing bookstagram, you're doing anything that requires a lot of work in regards to. Reading several books in a month for for Arcs, for posting for podcasts, like us Searching myself. You kind of forget why you're doing this. And for me, sometimes a lot of times it's talking to indie authors is my passion. Talking to other people about fantasy books is such a joy of mine that I forget to. I forget that, and of course, just enjoying a book for what it is because you love it is something I forget. I sometimes can forget to as well. So I think it's so important just to go back and to. Why did you start reading in the first place? Why did you choose to pick up this book? Because I want to. I'm asked I asked a question like, why did you start reading? And some people, like, I started reading because of my mom, I read it, I started reading because of the pandemic. I started reading because I was younger and you know, this and that. And I think it's so important to ask yourself why and then to remind yourself of that why celebrate small achievements. That is super important because it goes back to the expectations of your goals. If you finish 25 books in a year, celebrate that. Be proud of yourself. If you finish one book in a month, be proud of yourself. I think that's just going to be so important because if you if you're not finding a reason to motivate yourself and reason, it does become a chore. When you find that one thing that you're proud of, stick with it. Just enjoy it. Practice self-care. It's important to take care of yourself. You know, I sometimes so addicted to reading that I would listen to audiobooks, and in the past I would listen to audiobooks even while I'm taking a shower, while I'm eating my my my meals, when I'm getting ready to dress for the day. And I stopped doing that just because I decided that I want to focus on myself. I started just not having anything on while I'm just getting ready for the day, taking moments in the shower just to breathe in, breathe out, do deep meditation breaths. Just because I feel like I have a tendency to be on the go so much that the fight or flight mode that I'm not realizing it and. Now that I'm taking a step back and not constantly filling up my headspace with something, there was a season that I was reading books so much at the dinner table that I wasn't talking to my husband anymore, you know? And that was a big mistake on my part that I wasn't engaging in relationships because I was so focused on trying to get that next book read. I just had to no more reading books at the dinner table. Just. And it's so sad. But it's something that I had to do for myself just to create that boundary and to make sure that my relationships is a form of self care for myself. Taking a nice long shower. It's a self care. Just enjoying my evening is a form of self-care. So. So yeah, those are the some some things that you can help you get out of book burnout, book slump. I highly recommend them. I hope that this helps you with your reading journey and just understand that going through a book slump or book burnout is completely understandable. Completely normal. A lot of readers go through it and just let you know you're not alone. Let me know what you think and if any of these tips help you. I love talking to you guys and you have a great day, readers!