Top Ten Tuesday: How to tackle a reading slump
In recent weeks I've been known to wander from room to room going 'I need a book' in what I know is an annoying, whine-y way. But you can't help it when you're in a slump. I've been saved since by Judith Kerr's When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Andrea Levy's Small Island, the fourth Game of Thrones (so, so good) and Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked. But they're all very different so I'll be back on the hunt when I'm done with this one. It's never-ending! Still, working in a library helps of course. This weeks TTT topic at That Artsy Reader Girl is 'books to pull you out of a slump', so here are some of the things I look for in a book when I desperately need something to read.
Something epistolary or diary style
They suck you in quick and they never feel like hard work. There are lots of good stopping places because you've got short letters or diary entries instead of long chapters. And that makes you more likely to think 'just one more'.
Something First Person Perspective
A 'Popular' classic
By this I mean books that they wouldn't get you to read in school, but were big bestsellers back in the day. They're usually easier reads than your 'real' classics, but if a book sells well there's usually a reason. Romances, family sagas, detective or adventure stories are always a good shout. Something you can get your teeth into.
A 'proper' classic
Whether you read classics or not, they're classics for a reason. Sometimes if you're looking for something to really get you back into reading, you need something you know is good. I'm a big Jane Austen fan so I'll revert to one I've not read so for ages to get me back on the reading wagon. Whether you're more Dickens or Thomas Hardy or a Harper Lee kind of person, sometimes you just need something well-written with a story good enough to have stood the test of time.
A Childhood favourite
If you want the ultimate comfort reading experience you'll need an old, easy read favourite. Plus, if you loved it when you were a kid and still love it now, then that's officially a good book. Or try something you loved but can't remember anything about, might be you'll fall in love all over again.
A book you know nothing about whatsoever
I recently read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine on a recommendation from someone who said it was 'difficult to explain' what it was about. I loved it. And I think some of the joy (and tears) came from the element of surprise.
Something Contemporary-ish (but not too fluffy)
I'm more of a fantasy/ historical fiction/ classics sort of girl, but I've got to admit there's something about contemporary novels that make them easier to read (unless they're *shudder* literary.) Sometimes you just don't want to bother wading through flowery language and archaic speech patterns.
A sprawling series or saga
If it's pulling out a slump you want, you might even need a book with a few sequels to keep the momentum going. I've just finished reading the the fourth Game of Thrones (Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold) and it was so much better than I was expecting. It's a while since I read the others but I'm pretty sure its the best one. Would recommend.
A Book adapted into a film/series you love
You already know the film back to front, so you've got a prior interest and connection to the characters. The book might be filled with a wealth of extra detail you didn't know you needed, or it might be completely different, Either way, its interesting comparing the two.