Put the Book Down: When Life Demands Attention

Oh, reading slumps. The bane of every biblio’s existence. They are the unwanted hurtle in our path to achieving personal (and Goodreads) goals. They take reading steaks, our proud exclamation that we have read an ungodly number of books in a minuscule amount of time, and put a stop sign right in front of our faces.

“I think you’ve read enough for now,” they say. “Go watch Netflix. You should re-watch every episode of Supernatural ever,” they tell us.

IMG_3668I was on a beautiful reading streak myself a few months ago. I reveled in the times Goodreads told me I was three, four, even five books ahead of schedule. I was reading more books than most people read in their lifetime.

But no. Life happened. Moving happened. A break up happened. And a bad book decision happened. It all just happened and my reading is what suffered the most.

Goodbye Reading Challenge. It was nice attempting to be awesome with you. But adulting and life changes got in the way.

Maybe that’s the problem. Life. It’s not always a reading slump; a book hangover turning into a week of Netflix, two weeks of Hulu, and a whole lot of not reading.

Sometimes it’s life. Sometimes it’s your brother inviting his girlfriend to move in and deciding it’s time to venture out on your own. Sometimes it’s the end of a two year relationship or the start of a new one. Sometimes it’s homework, it’s working nonstop, it’s just life.

We can’t stop life. Even when life asks us to put the book down. Even when you’re submerged in a fantastical world, or on a roll of book reading insaneness, life might need you to be a grown up and get things done.

I envy those people that have jobs that require insane amounts of book reading. I really hope you know how blessed you are if you have one.

Because for me, my adult life requires me to leave my books at home. My relationship asks me to put the book down and cuddle. And my cat needs a little TLC sometimes. 

 I guess I’m trying to make a point for myself, and any other adult bibliophile that calls this a “slump.” Maybe life is calling right now. Maybe we need to step out of our joyous biblio worlds, as stinking hard as that is, and take care of some things.

Do your work, pay your bills, clean your house, feed your cat, then come back. Because life is the stop sign, but we are the ones who choose to sit there for months.

Being a hardcore reader is a balance. Life and reading. Or maybe life and reading and Netflix for a lot of us. If you get your crap done and still don’t pick that book up, that’s not a slump. That’s you.

So give life the attention it needs, then come back. Don’t blame a slump (like I did) because I had nothing to do and still didn’t pick a book up. Just start reading, anything, everything. Because eventually life will call again.


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