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Would We Get Into Slumps If All Books Were Excellent?

A photo of a person laying on a beach, obviously exhausted

This photograph was taken by Anna Loverus (no longer on Flickr).

It’s something you don’t think will happen if you’re only reading good books and abandon those you’re not enjoying – you think you won’t fall into a slump.

At least that was my belief when I was going through a good reading period. Not every book was top notch but none were bad; at worst they were good enough.

I paused in my reading when I was at Hay – I took a single book with me, a lengthy one, intending to finish it because I’d made a date for the review. And I was enjoying it, the lowest star likely from me was 4. Because it was hard to find the time when I was being drawn to Twitter and had filled my days with events, it wasn’t really a slump, it was a time issue, but in the exercise of it it was rather like a slump.

I think we can get into slumps if all we’re reading are good books, super-duper books, even. In this case it’s because, ironically, our reading would be lacking variety – we surely need a mix of good and not so to fully appreciate literature and appreciate excellent books. Those of us who write about reading would have less space for critique and gushing can get dull. Even if we didn’t have slumps, we’d need varied books if we were to be good, informed, readers. Without the bad, life would be boring, we’d have fewer conversations, debates. And we need variety to help us improve, to help us recognise what works and what doesn’t. We might scorn bad books, but we need them.

This all said it’s not something we need to worry about happening – it’d be pretty impossible to actually achieve because you never know until you’re into a book whether you’ll truly like it. Even if you abandon a book you’ve still experienced a bit of it.

I’m getting off topic, so: do you get into slumps when you’re in a good book period? What do you think would happen if great was all you knew?



August 29, 2016, 9:00 pm

I always get into a slump after a series of amazing books, I just get that feeling that the next one I read won’t be able to top the one before and my brain gets muddled and can’t chose.

Jenny @ Reading the End

August 30, 2016, 2:15 am

I have definitely experienced what I call bookish hangovers, when I’ve just finished a book that blew me away, and lesser books won’t cut the mustard for a while thereafter. It happened after I read People in the Trees, it happened after I first encountered Maggie Stiefvater, and a few other times in recent memory. A different kind of bookish slump, but a slump nonetheless!


August 31, 2016, 5:07 pm

I definitely get into book slumps, not often but they always take me by surprise because I am usually in the middle of good books when it happens. There are times too after a book that blows me away that nothing else can follow no matter how good it might be. I think reading nothing but A+ books would get exhausting after a while.


September 2, 2016, 5:05 pm

I think if I had a run of great books my head might go bang! Sometimes a need just a good, comforting book :-)


September 5, 2016, 11:16 am

Alice: Interesting. I often fall into a slump whilst reading that next book after an amazing one, but not from the the feeling of not being able to top it. I can understand it, though. You always hope you’re picking a good book.

Jenny: Oh definitely still a slump, yes. I haven’t read Stiefvater but can well imagine her work’s hard to follow up.

Stefanie: Interesting. Perhaps the length of time between them is the reason they happen during good books? I haven’t heard of it happening like that before. Yes, good books always would mean you’d always be thinking about them, too much, and so many notes to make!

Jessica: So true, great way to put it! It’d be like information overload and it always seems more of an overload when it’s in regards to something you like. ‘A good comforting book’ – perfect description, love it :)



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