We (don’t) want the funk! Take 5: Ways to break out of a reading funk in the new year
If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. I promise. One day, you’ll pick up that next book on your TBR pile, have no idea why it’s there, and 50 pages in realize that you don’t remember the main character’s name and don’t care to figure it out. Then you’ll realize that you can’t distinguish the last book you just finished from this one and you’d really just rather go bake a cake and stare out the window. And then it’ll hit you like a ton of bricks. You’re in a reading funk. And man, is it not a fun place to be.
The year is ending, and a fresh start is upon us. But that doesn’t always mean that we’re ready to hit the ground running. These funks know no calendared boundaries. But reading is part of the job. Reading is part of the job that most of us adore! So what can we do about it?
1. Bake a cake and stare out the window.
Really, the world will not come crashing down if you take a reading holiday. Give yourself a little vacation to indulge in your other hobbies (because remember – this reading thing probably did start out as a hobby) and see how you feel in a week.
2. Take a recommendation from someone you don’t usually ask for advice.
What is the head of the Circulation department reading? Your barista? What about your 8 year old nephew? Stray further from your regular PLN and see if someone else’s enthusiasm about their favorite genre might be contagious.
3. Dig deep into your TBR pile.
Don’t look at the top of the pile or list — look at the bottom. What were you itching to get your hands on two years ago? Scan back and find a time that you were in the opposite of a reading funk (What would that be? A reading fervor?) and pull something out that you didn’t have time for. Maybe connecting back to that energy will bring it all back home.
4. Find your old favorites.
What’s the book you can always read one more time? Pull out your old paperback, or treat yourself to a shiny, fresh, new edition and sink into the comfort of the pages like the embrace of an old friend. One of the best things about this kind of reading is that you can pick up and leave off just about anywhere and it’s not jarring. Skip the parts you don’t care for and focus on your favorite passages. See where it leads.
5. And now for something completely different.
Always read YA? Try an adult nonfiction about history. Usually tend toward realism? Pick up that fantasy novel everyone’s been talking about. When I get into a reading funk, I can usually break out by pulling out a fluffy, sometimes raunchy celebrity memoir. It’s nothing that I’ll ever talk to teens about so it’s purely self-indulgent reading. It’s fun, there’s no obligation to write about it, and it’s all mine.
How do you break out of your reading funks? Share in the comments.
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About Heather Booth
Heather Booth has worked in libraries since 2001 and am the author of Serving Teens Through Reader’s Advisory (ALA Editions, 2007) and the editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Servcies along with Karen Jensen.
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