Let’s Talk Bookish: Best ways to get over reading slumps

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts:   Sometimes you just don’t want to read anymore, how do you get back into it? Do you give yourself a break? Watch booktube or read blogs? Read an old favourite book to reignite that spark? Do you just force yourself through it? Maybe you read a picture book or a graphic novel?

I went through a reading/blogging slump around the beginning of the year and didn’t quite realize it was a slump until I was already deep in it. I was feeling sluggish and nothing in my digital and physical shelves seemed interesting at all. Even new books I was previously excited about couldn’t get me to crack a book open. Self-imposed blogging deadlines didn’t mean too much either. There were a few things that helped.

Read something short. Books can be long, and when part of series, feel even longer, delaying the gratification that comes with completing it. Read something short like a novella so it doesn’t take as much time to reach the ending, and it still provides a sense of accomplishment.

Reread a book. I am a fan of rereading. The nice thing about rereading is that I already know what is going to happen next. I also know that I only reread books I like so there is no surprise about whether I will enjoy it or not.

Blog hop. While I may not want to read a book, there are plenty of people who are reading. Blog hopping can provide an alternative to books. If interest in books is lagging, bloggers can help restart it. If a trusted blogger is reading something new and they loved it, I am much more willing to not only put it on my TBR but also read it.

Take a break. Ride the slump out and let your brain rest. It’s possible that a slump happens because you’ve been reading too much. You can step away from all things bookish or you can just step away from reading but continue to blog or participate in the bookish community like attending author discussions or panels.

Have you ever gone through a reading slump? What strategies do you suggest?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Prologues and Epilogues

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts:  What’s the difference between having something as a prologue vs. a chapter 1? Is it too much to have both a prologue and epilogue? How does having one (or both) affect how readers perceive the story? Do you think epilogues have more value because they might tie up loose ends? Do prologues have more value because they can set the scene? Do you prefer having neither?

I’ve never thought about how I feel about prologues much. I’ve welcomed them when they help set up the story, a primer of sorts to acclimate readers to what is ahead. On the other hand, they can be bothersome, especially in sequels, when I’m trying to jump right into the book. Good prologues have me thinking about them throughout the book, trying to make connections and predictions.  Epilogues are a different story.

I used to dislike epilogues because I mostly liked endings as they were. If an author included an epilogue, I wondered why it couldn’t have just been included in the last chapter or why the last chapter couldn’t have just been tied up more nicely. I have since changed my mind, at least as it relates to romance novels. Reading romance novels has made me more accepting of epilogues.  I’d go as far as to say I look forward to them. Epilogues have spoiled me by providing glimpses into a couple’s future, sometimes a few months to a few years later. Now, I am often disappointed when there is no epilogue in a romance novel because I don’t get the confirmation of their HEA. As I’ve grown to embrace epilogues in romance novels, my desire for them has also bled into other genres. I sometimes wish some of my favorite fantasy novels included epilogues. I would have appreciated some loose ends being tied up.

Generally, my feelings about prologues and epilogues have often depended on the individual novel. Not all prologues nor all epilogues are equal. I do wish some never existed. 

What are your thoughts on prologues and epilogues?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Appreciation for book bloggers

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts: Do you feel appreciated as a book blogger? Who do you think appreciates the work of book bloggers the most? Do you think that bookish social media is aiding in the depreciation of book bloggers or is it supporting them? Is it wrong to want compensation from the book industry for our work?

I started blogging because I happened upon a discussion calling for more diversity in reviewers, and I was also searching for an outlet to talk about books. I didn’t know if anyone would read any of my reviews. I always feel appreciated whenever I receive views, likes, comments, and/or follows. Literally me, “Yay! Someone liked it! Oh! There’s a comment. Someone read this! ” Considering that I started with zero expectations and wondered if anyone would read what I wrote, nearly anything makes me feel appreciated.

That’s also how I show appreciation to other bloggers–likes, views, comments, and/or follows. I carve out as much time as I can to blog hop because it’s important for me to show my appreciation and be engaged. I genuinely enjoy the content from bloggers and love talking about books when possible. When I wonder about a book, the first thing I do is look to trusted bloggers for their thoughts. Appreciation, then, likely comes from others in the bookish community and are likely to also be bloggers themselves. We want to interact with others who share in our love of reading, and we understand the time and effort it takes for a single post, whether it be a review or a list of recommended books.

As more accessible alternatives to blogs become available, blogs may become less valued. Blogs are more text-intensive as opposed to newer platforms like Instagram and TikTok. More visual platforms likely require less cognitive effort. It doesn’t necessarily mean blogs will cease to exist or will no longer be valued. There will always be a place for blogs but they may not receive the same amount of traffic. Consider newspapers and the rise of television. Although most people say they get their news from the television, newspapers are still around. Each medium still has an audience.

With the time and effort expended, I do not think it’s wrong for bloggers to want compensation, especially if a blogger has a large following. Creating content on any platform requires a lot of work. Like with any job, there should be compensation for time spent and/or output. Those compensated should then be transparent about it, allowing readers/viewers to decide how much weight to place on the review.

I would love to know your thoughts. Do you feel appreciated as a blogger? How can people show their appreciation of you and your content? Should bloggers be compensated? Do blogs have a future especially with the rise of alternative social media outlets?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Why do people lie about reading books?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts: Some people will say they have read books when they really haven’t; why do you think that is? Have you ever personally lied about reading a book? How do you feel about people who lie about reading books? Do you think there’s a certain type of book people are more likely to lie about reading?

**Please note there may be some sarcastic remarks in italics **

Close friends usually tell me like to tell exactly what they think when I suggest they read a book I liked. This ranges from, “I don’t want to,” “Make me,” “I hate reading,” and the infamous “I’ll pick it up later.” (Translation: I will not be reading it, but I know this might make you feel better, and I know that it will make you stop pestering me about it for the moment.) I love my friends, and this is how it should be! We shouldn’t feel the need to lead each other on about whether we will or won’t read a book, but, on occasion, people may not be as forthcoming about reading books.

Social desirability bias refers to a response bias where participants in a survey provide the socially acceptable answer. Because participants want to be looked upon favorably, they give the answer that is expected of them.  For instance, if individuals are asked whether they voted, they are likely to respond that they did because it’s the socially acceptable answer. Being asked about reading likely works in a similar way. When individuals are asked if they’ve read a book lately, they may be likely to respond affirmatively because reading is viewed as “good behavior.” If I tell you that I read, maybe you’ll see me in a better light. Reading is often perceived to be associated with intelligence. If you are a reader, you must be smart! (Right?! Also the opposite assumption must be true then.)

However, not all reading may be considered positive. Let’s take this one step further and consider genres. Certain genres are seen as more acceptable or even more superior than others. For instance, romance novels are often viewed negatively whereas classics are viewed positively. Science fiction and fantasy are often perceived to be only for nerds and geeks. Romance novels are often perceived to be read only by women. Due to social desirability bias, these stereotypes can influence responses. Generally, people may be more likely to say they do not read romance novels, even if they do. The stigma surrounding romance novels may prompt these negative responses. Similarly, people may be more willing to respond that they’ve read books by Toni Morrison or Jane Austen because books by these authors are deemed literary classics. Smart people read classics. (Obviously!)

Why do people are people not as forthcoming about reading books? There are plenty of smart people who do not like to read but it is hard to say no when society tells everyone that it’s what they should do–it’s what smart people do (apparently). Of course, only certain types of books are acceptable though. While I love reading, I understand there are so many things other people may enjoy more. Time is a scarce resource so we should spend it doing the things we love. I might try to convince you to read a book but I also respect that you don’t want to.

What your thoughts on this? Why might people not want to disclose that they aren’t readers? Why might others lie about reading a book? What can we do to create a culture that doesn’t shame individuals who cannot read or do not like to read?