Monday, June 27, 2011

When Addiction Fades...

My 'About Me' on my blog says - I am a voracious reader and book addict.

However, recently I'm starting to feel that might no longer be the case. I have a horrifying confession to make.

Hello, my name's Lesley and I'm a former book addict. :(

It used to be the thing that as soon as I finished one book I had to start reading the next immediately. Now I can sometimes go for days at a time without reading a page.

I hope they don't kick me off the Island.

This is an addiction that I don't want to break...so what to do? In the case of any other addiction I'd be looking for something stronger or taking more of what I'm addicted to. But that doesn't really apply in this situation.

Maybe it's a case of genre fatigue? I have been reading urban fantasy for a very long time, it's probably the genre to which I have been most faithful. But I think that's for a very good reason - when it's written well, I think it's the best genre there is (IMO of course).

Maybe it's the case that the books in my TBR pile have started to feel a little interchangeable - whether it's a persecuted band of vampires, or a persecuted pack of werewolves, or a persecuted coven of witches...yawn. There doesn't feel like there's an incentive to pick up anything off the shelf.

(I'm not saying that I haven't got original stuff on my TBR pile - there is some really good stuff there - Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts, Seanan McGuire's October Daye - but it feels like such a small amount of it).

Maybe it's the case that I need to take a break from reading for a while? And come back to it, fresh and eager. To be honest it could just be a lack of enthusiasm. But if that's the case - Why do I feel like this? Why isn't there something out there to inspire me to read and read a lot?

Am I the only person who feels like this, or just the only person who feels like this at the moment? Does anyone have any suggestions for breaking out of this reading fatigue? Have you gone through it yourself? Do you think it's on the increase, and if so why?

I have a copy of Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews to give to one commenter who posts either on this thread or my Tuesday thread. Winner to be chosen by random number at random.org and announced on Wednesday.

14 comments:

Chris said...

Not entering the contest. :)

I hit genre fatigue with UF/PNR about two years ago. Fortunately, I discovered m/m romance and have been happily addicted to that ever since - it handily includes UF/PNR/mystery/romantic suspense/contemporary/etc.

If you want to read a really good scifi m/m romance (I'm not particularly a scifi fan, but it worked for me), I recommend Knight Errant by KD Sarge, which you can buy for $0.99 through Goodreads. It was an absolute delight! And there's absolutely no on-screen/page sex.

Aurian said...

I believe it is totally normal to sometimes experience a readers block. Nothing attracts you at the moment, and you start doing other stuff. I spent a lot of time at the computer, on the internet, doing games or just chatting. But after a month or so the books began calling me again. I started with re-reading the books I really really loved, and eventually, the new ones by my most favourite authors.
There is nothing wrong with you, believe me. And perhaps a change of pace or genre will make you fall in love with reading all over again. How about re-reading some children's books you used to love?
Just enjoy the book, don't think about having to make a review, not thinking or concentrating too much on the book itself.

❤ Stephanie said...

You know, I'm like this, but I think it comes out more from my packrat qualities. I have to have every book I see, every book that's on sale, every book that makes bestsellers -- ooh look! Bargain books at Amazon!

I just have this sagging shelf in my room, and I'm not offering it any relief. I think I've become quite sick of books in the past year since I've exuberantly read a few a week for reviewing purposes. I guess this is why they say not to mix work with play!

Sullivan McPig said...

I usually switch genre when this happens to me. From UF/PNR to SF/F or cozy mysteries. Or even to graphic novels/comics. I get my reading bug back in no time that way.

Another great way to get back into reading: rereading my favourite books.

Mary Anne Graham said...

This echoes Sullivan a little bit - the first thing I'd do for reader's fatigue is to go to my keeper shelf and pick up my favorite book of all time in the genre. Better yet - pick it up for your ereader (if you have one now).

For me, that book might be "The Flame & The Flower" by Woodiwiss or "The Magic of You" by Johanna Lindsey. If re-reading it doesn't get you engaged, you may want to try a radically different genre.

If you happen to be an author (like me) it could be that your WIP is occupying all your attention. Or, maybe you've gone a little astray in the plot. Once you get over the rough spot or take your characters back where they want to go - you'll probably feel like rewarding yourself with something from your TBR stack!

CC said...

Well,now that you mention it, maybe this is what I have going on... I still start a new book immediately upon finishing the last but sometimes I just get bored in the middle and will go a day or so before I admit to myself that I'm not going to finish the book. And then I have a hard time deciding what to read next.

Maybe I need to explore another genre?? hmmmm what to try?

Danielle Gorman said...

This just happened to me a few weeks ago. Everything that I picked up was just so blah to me. This actually happens to me every now and then and when it does I try switching up genres or reading something that I normally wouldn't read.

iqb99@yahoo.com

Pamk said...

I do that sometimes. I just have to swap genre's sometimes. I think it refreshes the palatte so to speak.
I read UF, Fantasy, Scifi/futuristic, and Romantic Suspense and very occasionally historical and contempory. When I get in a reading slump with one genre I pick something out of one of the other ones.
I'd love to win Magic Slays because i've not picked this one up yet.

SidneyKay said...

I just read C.S. Harris' entire Sebastian St.Cyr series back to back...I was very happy to return to my addiction of romance novels. I think every once in awhile, one should take a cleansing breath/eye and pick up a different genre.

LesleyW said...

Chris - :). Thanks for the recommendation. I still like m/m and I still like UF, it's just at the moment I'm finding it difficult to raise the enthusiasm to read anything.

Aurian - that's good advice.

LesleyW said...

Stephanie - I'm usually like that. But this year I've made a concerted effort not to buy any more books until my TBR bookshelf has a few shelves clear. And it's almost like the less books I buy, the less books I read.

Sullivan - I think a temporary genre switch might help. Even if I just spread the UF books out a bit more between other genres.

LesleyW said...

Mary Anne - I'm making a note of all these suggestions. My goto re-read is Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, and I haven't re-read it for a while, so maybe now's the time. Failing that I do have a few Lindsey Davis books on my TBR pile which are quite different to my usual UF fare.

CC - Glad I'm not the only one. I think maybe quite a few people are going through reading/book fatigue at the moment.

LesleyW said...

Danielle - 'blah' sums it up exactly. I'm reading this really exciting passage and know that I should be enthralled by what I'm reading but somehow I'm just not.

Pamk - Swapping genres seems the most popular way to reinvigorate your reading muscles, so it looks like that will be the way to go.

LesleyW said...

SidneyKay - I think a genre cleanse is definitely on the cards. :)

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