Reading Slumps and Overcoming Them

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One of the biggest reasons my YouTube videos had stopped for about 5 months was due to a reading slump. I love reading and I was reading so much that I think I just pushed myself that little bit too far, and no matter what I did, I just could not bring myself to pick up another comic. I was burnt out.

It certainly has nothing to do with my passion and interest in comics, because that is still alive and well. But I think my job played a pretty large part to do with this. Like a lot of you out there, a lot of my job requires reading pretty dry documents. I also do proofing as well and so at the end of the day, the last thing I have been feeling like doing is sitting down to read. It’s like my work sucked the joy out of any recreational reading.

I am still battling this reading slump if I am honest but I just want to push on through. I feel like this happens more regularly than we talk about, and so I thought I would share some tips for getting through reading burnout:

  1. Reorganise your shelves
    Sometimes just going through your shelves and re-arranging your books will get you looking at each of the titles again up close. I know when I did this recently with my comics, I was so inspired to read again. There are so many comics on my shelf that I am yet to read and looking at them all organised, it was a nice reminder of why I am so passionate about comics.
  2. Re-read an old favourite
    This is a really good trick for two reasons really. The first is that often in a reading slump, there’s a “can’t be bothered” factor, and so you don’t often need to give your full attention to a comic that you have read and loved before because you know what to expect. But secondly, the benefit here is that a lot of those feelings also come back when you’re reading a favourite and it can help with that spark. This happens to me when I am reading Hush or The Killing Joke.
  3. See if one of your favourite writers or artists has any new titles out
    This definitely gives me a kick in the butt. Basically if Gail Simone has a new series out, I am always on the bandwagon. Something new can give us the push we need to keep reading.
  4. Go to the comic store
    If I am in a reading slump, I especially love making the one hour drive to Melbourne and going to our huge comic store there (All Star Comics) because you cannot go there and not be excited by all of the titles they have. Plus, because of the distance, I always make sure I go when I have a good amount of spending money so that it’s not a wasted trip. New comics is motivation to get through them!
  5. Go digital
    I know not everyone loves digital comics and people do have big opinions on whether this is the way to go or not. But honestly, when I first went digital for my monthlies, I noticed that I was actually reading more than ever. That’s primarily thanks to technology and my need to always have my phone or ipad mini on me. So time spent in waiting rooms, or queues or my lunch breaks at work were spent reading instead of playing on my phone doing nothing.

There’s so many comics and new titles coming out all the time. Not to mention the huge backlog of trades that I have to read as well, and it can be a lot sometimes, I completely understand.

Of course, sometimes you do just need to listen to yourself and if you need a bit of a break, then do it. But when it’s time to get back into the reading game, these are the things that really make a difference to me.

If you ever go through the same thing as me, I hope these tips help you out next time you’re feeling a little uninspired!

Melissa / holybatgirl

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