Every time I write another post about reading habits, I feel certain I’ve tapped the end of interesting questions related to said topic. But then another assortment of questions crosses my radar. This just goes to show there are many unique ways to enjoy the reading process!
How do you handle reading slumps? And a note on seasonal fluctuations
Last week Suzanne asked how I handle reading slumps. I had to mull over this for a bit. April and May were hit-and-miss in the book department. I abandoned multiple books and finished others that could be best described as mediocre. Sometimes a consecutive run of uninspiring books turns me off from reading anything – even old favourites – for a while, but this is mostly buffered by the fact I have a natural break factored into my reading routine: summer.
June through August is peak reading season for many bibliophiles; books are the perfect complement to a day at the beach or a long airplane journey. But I have always prioritized reading during colder months when, at least in rural Canada, there isn’t much else to do with leisure time.
I don’t consider this summer break a “slump” – I genuinely look forward to time away from books. Some of this is the longer days and nice weather. Get outside and look up at all the beautiful wonder around you – my mind subconsciously screams. The kids are off school and bedtimes creep later, so there is also functionally less time in my day for reading. And, since I get most books from my local library in hardcopy, it is more of a hassle to juggle returns when we’re away on vacation.
Goodreads tells me I’ve read 47 books so far in 2022 and there’s a good chance I’ll read 47 more, but those will be concentrated between September to December. The last few weeks have been a nice reading reprieve, but I already have a list of holds deferred for the end of August and I’m excited to resume regular book consumption at that point.
*I do read some over the summer, but I’ll average 1-2 books/month instead of 8-10.
do you prefer to finish – or start – a great book?
Hmmm. So tough. I think I prefer to finish a great book. It leaves me sad when something wonderful is over, but there is a unique satisfaction that comes from completing a great book.
do you REcommend books to others?
I don’t recommend books very often and, if I do, it’s almost only to close friends. I’ve read too many books that others have raved about only to be disappointed, so I tend to mention what I’m reading relatively casually and let others take the lead if they want to know more. In short: I don’t want to be the one who recommended a book someone else hates.
Do you belong to a book club?
I have never formally joined a book club and don’t have much interest in doing so. I also don’t go out of my way to discuss books with people – generalizations will usually suffice.
If I’m reading a non-fiction book on a topic that feels applicable to a conversation (say a discussion about parenting when I’m in the middle of reading Hunt, Gather, Parent), I might mention something relevant.
Reading books with the main purpose of discussing them in a group sounds…tedious. Especially if I didn’t like the book in question. I’ve gotten better about abandoning books and think the sense of obligation I would feel to persevere for the sake of a book club would frustrate me. But what do I know – maybe I’d actually love the experience?
Do you have a favourite author?
I don’t. I’ve loved many books by many authors, but I can’t easily identify a front-running favourite.
do you seek out movie versions of books (or vice versa)?
I don’t. I’ve watched lots of movies that have been based on books. I think Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy was spectacular, and Meghan Follows hits it out of the park as Anne of Green Gables. I actually like The Hobbit movies more than the book. But, in general, movies based on books tend to be a letdown.
I’m trying to remember a single movie I’ve watched that has spurred me on to check out the book. I did watch Unbroken first, but didn’t actively seek out the book because of the movie (that said, Unbroken is one of my all-time favourite books).
*I’ve posted a list of YA books that have accompanying movies – this made for a fun reading adventure with the kids.
fiction or nonfiction?
If you were tasked with writing a specific genre of book (let’s assume – for the purposes of this exercise – it would be bestselling either way), would you rather have your name on a work of fiction or nonfiction?
While I gravitate toward nonfiction, with a special spot reserved for memoirs, I’m not sure about this one. I feel like my natural inclinations lend themselves far more to nonfiction, but for this particular hypothetical – guaranteed to be a bestseller – I think I’d opt for fiction?
Your turn. How do you handle reading slumps? Do you maintain a full reading schedule over the summer? Do you prefer to start – or finish – a great book?