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Teen Board Question - April 2016

Teen Board Monthly Question

Teen Board Question - April 2016

Spring is finally here and we at Teenreads are feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to tackle our overwhelming TBRs. Looking at our lists and piles, however, had us thinking about every bibliophile's worst nightmare: the dreaded reading slump. We know even the most dedicated readers can fall into a rut, so we asked our Teen Board Members about their most recent reading slumps and how they pulled themselves out of them. Check out their answers and advice below!

Let's face it: the (highly overrated) "real" world can overwhelm the best of us. And when I can't even navigate my own life, immersing myself in a fantastic universe can feel downright overwhelming. Last January, for instance, the AP bio vocab, looming midterm exams and college admissions worries buzzing through my brain left little room for fictional woes. But, when real life had sapped my powers of imagination --- and coherent thought --- creative non-fiction had me covered. Memoirs, such as Jim Gaffigan's FOOD: A Love Story, didn't demand I learn my way around a galaxy far, far away; instead, Gaffigan's chummy self-deprecation, keen insight and unashamed reverence for a good sandwich made my galaxy a little more bearable. --- Alison S.

The last time I was in a reading slump was right before winter break. I was so bogged down in school work that I had no time to read! Finally, when I had completed all of my midterms, I made myself sit down and start reading. Six hours later I couldn't believe I had ever gone more than a minute with a book in my hand! The book I started with was actually HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS. I knew I needed to choose a book that I already loved to get out of my reading slump! --- Aliza M.

My last reading slump occurred near the beginning of sophomore year and lasted until winter break. That's about a four month reading slump that occurred largely because of the amount of stress from the large amount of homework I was given. I pulled out of the slump by simply realizing how much I had missed reading when I finally had the chance to sit down and read. There were no books in particular that pulled me out of my reading slump. --- Alyssa L.

I think my last reading slump was actually the first book I read to review. It was a biography but I felt like it hadn't really interested me. After putting myself into the story, I imagined myself going through all those things. Immediately, I enjoyed it even more. When I visualize and put myself in that perspective, I become the main character and see myself going through the story. I think about how I would react and do things, and then I read further to see how it actually turns out. I find it more engaging and it typically helps me get out of my reading slumps. I did this the most with the first book I read, THE TROUBLE IN ME by Jack Gantos. --- Ariel G.

The last reading slump I can actually remember started the summer I left elementary school and entered 6th grade. The last person I expected to help get me out this slump was my brother, who at the time was in the 11th grade. He recommended THE HUNGER GAMES to me, and after I finished it I was ready to read CATCHING FIRE. That's when I discovered the vast amount of books in the teen section of Barnes and Noble, and my love for reading came back. --- Asia H.

My most recent reading slump is actually right now. It is April 11th and as of today, I have only read two books. Of course, my definition of a reading slump might be different than someone else's, but my goal this year is to read 120 books --- roughly 10 books a month --- so I am a little behind this month. To try to get myself out of this slump, I checked out ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes from my local library since the movie is coming out soon. I cried my eyes out watching the trailer, so I figured I would fly through the book. I am about 50 pages in, and I am really enjoying it. Fingers crossed that ME BEFORE YOU will get me out of this slump! --- Bryn D.

Surprisingly, I do not get into reading slumps that often. I can’t even remember the last time I had a reading slump. Whenever people ask me what to do in the case of a reading slump, I always say that contemporaries are the best way to go. My go-to book to spring me out of a reading slump would be ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins! --- Brynn S.

I was in a reading slump for pretty much the first two months of 2016. I read STARFLIGHT by Melissa Landers a few weeks ago, and it really jump-started my current reading mood. The way I pull myself out of slumps is different every time. Sometimes watching my favorite BookTubers will get me excited about a book and I will pick it up. Rereading my favorite books can also work especially in the anticipation of a new release. I know that I have to carve out reading time or I will never actually get to read anything. I'm currently still backed up on highly anticipated releases because I am very much a mood reader as well. --- Grace P.

I recently got caught up in school, with not a lot of time to just curl up with a good book. The only reading I was doing was for school in English class. But when my friend told me there was a fourth book in a book series I love, I was ecstatic. ALL IN by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is the fourth book in The Naturals series. I wasn't expecting another book, so it was a wonderful surprise. I read it within two days and my friends and I talked about it for weeks. I definitely recommend this series. --- Hafsah K.

My last reading slump was around September of last year, and it lasted for around a month. I have had reading slumps last longer than that, but I am always able to get out of them by finding a book that I love. This time I started reading THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir, and I dropped right out of my reading slump. So, I would suggest finding a book that has gotten amazing reviews from the community or a book that you have been waiting to read for a long time. --- Harleen K.

I've been in an on and off reading slump for the past year or so. I'll get a book I'm excited for and devour it, but I have trouble finishing anything else. There are some books that I'm always happy to reread, and so I'll read those to get the book feels flowing. I can reread Sarah J. Maas and Wendy Higgins any time! --- Isabel C.

My last reading slump was pretty much the final trimester of  my junior year. With difficult classes and track practice, I really struggled to find time to read for fun, and when I did I had trouble focusing. When I felt I really stressed out, I would often reread Harry Potter, which felt relaxing and familiar after focusing on new material for school constantly. --- Janine C.

My last reading slump was over the summer, as I couldn't find a book that I really liked. I pulled myself out of it by searching for a book that I knew I would enjoy, based on the genre and author. A few books really helped me spring back after a particularly dreary slump, specifically MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, by Huntley Fitzpatrick and THE INTERN, by Gabrielle Tozer. They helped me get back into reading! --- Juliette G.

My last reading slump was actually fairly recently! It was during the month of December when everyone was super busy with getting ready for the holidays. I just could not find the time to read and if I'm being honest, it wasn't a big priority. I was definitely in a slump. Fortunately for me, PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken was released in early January. I read the first page of this book...and could NOT put it down. I was hooked and immediately after I finished the novel, I reread every novel written by Alexandra Bracken that I possessed. Just like that, I was snapped out of it! --- Kate F.

For me, it is particularly hard not to fall into a reading slump during the school year; with work due constantly and assigned reading as it is, sometimes reading outside of school, as much as I love it, begins to feel like a disappointment…especially if I happen to fall into a rut of books that just don’t “do it” for me. My go-to solution is to re-read my favorite books --- whether it’s a story I haven’t read in a long time, or one that I know will always be a winner. It takes the hesitation out of starting a new book and feeling like I’ll only find out later that it isn’t what I had hoped it would be. I have rarely found a cure to a reading slump so effective as taking a trip to the cupboard under the stairs on Privet Drive… --- Laura T.

My last reading slump was pretty recent. Whenever I am trying to read something dense and wordy, like some of William Faulkner's works, I have a hard time motivating my myself to finish. To get out of the reading slump I go back to an old classic like some of my favorite series or THE GREAT GATSBY or TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Just something to get me on a wading roll again. --- Lauren H.

This school year has been the biggest reading slump for me. It's senior year and there are a lot of things that distract me from reading. Even when I do read, sometimes I find that I can't enjoy it because I'm thinking about other things. One book that I read this year that really helped me through the slump was ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven. It reminded me that reading doesn't have to be a stressful thing, and it allowed me to relax and get lost in the story. --- Leanna R.

I would say my last reading slump was last summer. I just kept on going on Netflix binges and lounged around the house. It wasn't until I reorganized my book shelf that I realized I should get back into the habit of reading daily. My go-to books that ALWAYS get me out of a reading slump are SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo and THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman. They're extremely fun and adventurous books and are always great for when I want to emerge myself into a different world. --- Linnea P.

My last reading slump was about October to December of last year, and it was awful. The books VENGEANCE ROAD by Erin Bowman and BLACK ICE by Becca Fitzpatrick really helped me get back into reading again, and even though it's probably too much to ask, I hope I never get into another reading slump. --- Maggie D.

I would describe myself as a seasonal-book-slumper. Every year like clockwork, I say I'll give up reading for a little rejuvenation at the start of summer break, only to end up not actually reading a book cover to cover until August. What I've found though that really helps me get out of this slump is 1. Reading with friends, either in real time or via Goodreads. Or 2. Picking up short(er) books with a happy/funny undertone. Fingers crossed that I can avoid the slump in these coming months, and that everyone here finds their reading rejuvenated this spring season. --- Megan B.

With so much going on in our everyone's lives, we are all bound to fall into a reading slump at one time or another. Personally, I have found myself being too busy to read and looking at books as a distraction (rather than something enjoyable to do). The last of these episodes was about a year ago. I was a YA girl, through and through. I knew about all the new books that came out and had read/watched every single book review marked "No spoilers!". When I got into my slump, I could not find a YA book that held my interest for more than three hours. Almost on chance, I stumbled upon an article highlighting the best opening lines from novels. I loved each and every one of them. What surprised me the most was that I was attracted to books I never would have read a few weeks earlier. Stepping away from the normal helped me discover new topics and subjects I enjoyed reading about. Anyone who find him/herself in a reading slump should try to read a book out of their comfort zone to make them excited about reading again (and eventually bring them out of the slump)!! The two books that have helped me most are THE METAMORPHOSIS Franz Kafka and LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov (both of which are definitely not YA). --- Pranshu A.

To be honest, I get into reading slumps a lot more often than I'd like to admit. The slumps seem to come especially after long school breaks, when I feel like I've read to my utmost capacity between assigned school readings and my personal reading. However, when I read Gavriel Savit's ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN, I was absolutely drawn into the vortex that is literature once again. It still is my favorite book, and it will be for a long time. --- Rachel D.

One of the nastiest reading slumps I've ever been in was The Great Reading Slump of 2014. My sister and father had just gotten into a terrible car accident and I just didn't have enough time to read between going to the hospital, going to school doing my homework, and taking care of my sister. My sister was temporarily paralyzed and she couldn't walk for a month after the hospital. In order to cheer her up and entertain her when she couldn't move, I would read to her. She's never been a Shakespeare fan, but would read her little bits of ROMEO AND JULIET every single day. ROMEO AND JULIET was really the book that helped me spring out of my reading slump. My sister and I would choose different characters to play, and despite her distaste for Shakespeare, she was completely entranced by how she could become a whole different person without having to move or get out of her bed. I felt like a superhero after I was able to see a smile on my sister's face after so long. Even though she is fully recovered now, ROMEO AND JULIET remains a permanent resident on my bookshelf and one of my top 10 favorite books! --- Vaishnavi S.