Friday, February 19, 2016

BBAW Day 5: How To Fight Reader's Block


I missed Day 4!! But between job interviews, submissions and classes, I found no time to blog yesterday. Anyway, here is the last prompt for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week, how do you keep things fresh in your reading?

Short answer, I don't always. If you scroll back through this blog, you will find complainey posts nearly every seven months, about not finding time to read, about being tired of thrillers, bored of fantasy and too swamped to write reviews. I always have phases in reading, the Ayn Rand phase, the horror obsession, the latest is memoirs. But over the years, I have discovered a few ways to make time for reading and make it through lulls. 

1. Visit book stores, book sales and libraries - There is something almost unfairly attractive about paperbacks. Even if they were to lose the convenience argument to ebooks, physical books were the ones that made most of us fall in love with reading. A walk through a bookshop or library can be so inspiring. You never know when a book might pop out at you and open new reading doors. A discount only helps the process.

A couple of favourites I stumbled upon at libraries and book sales: Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice by A.S. Byatt, Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra

2. Bring diversity to where you read - Do you always read in your armchair? Or on the bed? Or in commute? My favourite is lying on the bed, with the book propped open in front me. But I have realized over the years that if you only stick to one place where you read, you will end up in a rut. Read a chapter on the train, sneak in a page in the kitchen, find a cosy spot in a garden, on a bench, in a coffee shop and even in your library. A creative choice of place adds to the atmosphere of the book. 


3. Join a book club - You will meet like-minded people and very different people. The good thing about being in a book club is, it will sometimes literally force you to read books you would never have picked up otherwise. And while that is not always a good thing, you will end up with some cool new reading experiences. Not to mention, get some worthwhile recommendations along the way. 


4. Consider other modes of reading - Seriously. I am not the biggest fan of audiobooks, but they are a real time saver. And a good narrator can do wonders. I know lots of people who most of their 'reading' through audiobooks, and I can understand the appeal. At the end of the day, it is the content that matters, not the mode. Graphic novels, similarly, are a whole different treasure, and one every reader should branch out into. (I am pretty much a novice when it comes to these, though, but recommendations are welcome.)


5. Find inspiration wherever you can - Be it books you find mentioned on a TV show or in a movie. Participate in readalongs and reading events. Join Goodreads, follow and interact with other bloggers. Take on book challenges. The list is unending.

My favourite inspiration post - Books I Read Because of Gilmore Girls

And to keep the blog from suffering through your reading ups and downs, post about other things, be it travel, recipes, music, movies or interesting stuff from your daily life.

12 comments:

Words for Worms said...

AUDIO BOOKS!!!!!!! I cannot tell you how much I love them or how much they've changed my reading life. I really owe that to the blogosphere.

SHANAYA TALES said...

Oh I so agree with all those things! They work for me too, though I have only recently ventured into audio books, and graphic novels are still unexplored territory for me.

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

I love the suggestion of moving yourself physically to different places to read! I like to do that myself, but I hadn't even thought about it as a conscious choice -- just that I like reading wherever I am. But it's a particular treat to get to lie out in the sun when the weather's agreeable, and read on a picnic blanket.

Literary Feline said...

You make such good points! Turning to television or movies--or even other interests I may have neglected because of my reading--works for me sometimes when I need a break from reading. I really like your point about bringing diversity to where you read. I hadn't thought of changing where I read, but what a good idea! Sometimes I find shifting to short stories or magazines help when I can't get into a novel.

I am glad you took part in BBAW! It's been fun meeting new-to-me bloggers and reconnecting with old friends. I hope you have a great weekend!

Kay said...

These are definitely some good ideas. I love my book groups and always come away with new suggestions for books and new ideas. :-)

Deepika Ramesh said...

While I love this post, I adore Point 2, Priya. :)

Marce said...

I love walking through a book store also, so inspiring even though I do all my reading on my Kindle, I do love the beautiful covers of a hardcover.

I joined a bookclub and it was the worst reading year of my life, which I discuss in my post.

Great post Priya

Shannon @ River City Reading said...

So many great ways to mix things up! I think sometimes it's easy to get stuck in a reading rut and these are all great suggestions. I love that my book club pushes me to pick up things I wouldn't normally lean toward.

Brian Joseph said...

Another really interesting post Priya.

These are all really good suggestions.

I have found that not having nearly enough time to read for years on end has solved this problem for me.

Priya said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. :)

Literary Feline, I did not think of shifting to magazines. I do it too! BBAW was a treat.

Rolling Stone said...

I have been stalking your blog since long.Throughly enjoying your satiating reviews. And yes, I read your story 'Dew Eagle' yesterday and I really liked the ending, it made recall a quote by Rumi "Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.". Are there more such stories?

Priya said...

Rolling Stone, it's beautiful quote! Thanks for that. So far no other stories have made their way out of my drafts into a submission, but maybe someday. :)

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