Monday, June 19, 2017

The Worst Reading Slump I've Ever Experienced

This month, I hadn't hit any books until I added Yasmine Galenorn's Fury Rising on June 13th. Neither did May--I read nothing on May. I was like, oh well. Reading slump is an eternal problems for readers, I think every reader has been in a slump or two. I usually entered this slump when I was done with my exams or on holiday. Weird, isn't it? On holidays, I binge on TV series or indulging one Korean drama title, and I read as little as possible. But they usually only last 3-4 weeks, and then I'll have this itch to start again. Not only reading slump, I also got into this blogging slump. I admit, I'm having a difficulty getting my mood back for blogging--especially reviewing a book.

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One day, a friend from a WhatsApp group sent a picture. The Stages of The Reader picture depicts several stages of a reader, in general. Basically, these 9 stages start from discovering books and ends (hopefully) in passing them to the next generation.

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Okay. So I entered Stage 1: Discovering Books on 2010. I had resources and I found the joy between the covers. And so, my identity as a reader began, and I also began my career (heh) on book blogging. As a hobby, because I never have any intention to make my book blog a commercial place, except for the rare book tours I joined. The peak of my love for books, Stage 4: Books As A Substitute For Human Interaction, came in 2014-2015. I read many, I reread plenty. Actually, I was always kinda yo-yoed between Stage 4 and Stage 5 for the past two years. As a university student, on her last years, I didn't have that many free times. It all came to this point this year. The Stage 6: No Books. I was finishing my undergraduate thesis (or skripsi, in Indonesian) and I didn't even have time to sleep properly! At first, I made time to read at least one book a week. The last time I added anything to Goodreads was April 6th, after reading Yasmine Galenorn's Autumn Thorns. Since then, I didn't re-read anything and didn't read new books at all. Even though I keep downloading books, mostly to keep up with my collections and kinda hoped that I'd be interested in reading again. Even when my thesis was nearly done and I have more time to lounge around my room, I still didn't feel like reading but hoping that I'd want to read again soon.

Wrong. I was dead wrong. I made it worse because I re-discovered my love for anime. Yep, Japanese anime series. So instead on reading, on the rare nights I got an early bedtime, I'd finish up the series I have. I watched up to 3 series in a week, and I also covered a lot of genres. From Slices of Life, Horror, Mystery, Romance, School, and I even squeezed in one Yaoi title. I completely forgot to read. It was crazy, even from my point of view. I'm collecting several anime titles that weren't even in my radar last year because I was so busy reading. I'm not an anime expert or something, I'm a recreational watcher. I didn't watch Naruto, One Piece, Gintama, One Punch Man, Bleach, etc, because I have this aversion of watching a series with more than 25 episodes. Long series only make me go bananas, and they eat too many gigabytes. So instead, I watch(ed) mostly comedies with only 13 episodes each title.

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I admit, I was bored. Bored with books. I'm a freaking reader, how could I be bored with books?? No matter how many times I was trying to read, the many formats I was trying, I couldn't get in the mood. Nothing would boost my reading mood. Not even re-reading my beloved titles, the titles that always (usually) got me back to my feet and start reading again. No matter how many tricks I did, I still didn't want to read. I read a paragraph, then I lost interest. I opened a new book, and then just like that, I closed it again without even reading the first paragraph of the prologue. Frustrated was an understatement. Imagine when you're sexually frustrated but you couldn't do anything about it because you just don't know how to satisfy it (bad analogy, but I have no other example :p). No matter what you do, they're all in vain because it's still lingering--the frustration. And so instead of forcing myself to read, I let it go.

Needless to say, two months hiatus from my books was my longest stretch without books. Somehow it made me more... appreciative with my time. Sometimes I disregarded everything while I was reading. Reading was my top priority. And reading was also a part of my downfall. One of the reasons why my thesis dragged was because I ignored it in exchange for more reading time. Well, this was my own stupidity because I choose to read instead of doing my thesis #sigh. After this, I'm not even sure I can make it to 60 books this year because I'm shouldering the responsibility of a firstborn and I don't think I'll have more spare time to read. Real life is calling. I realized that reading is good--definitely. Reading offers an escape from reality. But because I'm in no position to only occupying my time with reading (I'm not a socialite nor a daughter of a Mr. Grey with unlimited money and plenty of free time), I have to be more wise about the time I spend with reading. Not to mention, I'm still crazy about anime, so I'd have to divide my free time with reading and watching anime.

Although this was my worst reading slump to date, I learned a bit about real life (haha) and I still want to maintain the status of a reader. I just hope next time, my reading slump won't go on for this long. It sucked. Too little time, and there's just too many books.

This all the rants of a crazy person who just started to read again XD You don't even have to read this post, just go back to browsing and ignore this post.

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