Reader’s Block

I know most people are aware of the term “Writer’s Block”  An author is unable to come up with a storyline, or can’t figure out where to go next with a scene or character. I’ve heard it’s fairly common, and can last hours, days, or even months. But what I want to chat about is “Reader’s Block”.

Some of you know exactly what I mean by that and it’s making you anxious just thinking about it. Yep, it gives me the shivers too. Some of you on the other hand are thinking what the heck is that? If you can read how can you have a block? For the uninitiated I hope you never experience it, but just in case lets discuss what it is and some tips I use against it.

Simply put it’s when you’re unable to find a book worthy of reading beginning to end. You think you’ve found that next great book, and you’re all curled up in your favorite reading space. You feel that rush of pleasant anticipation start running thru your veins as you crack that baby open, or turn on your e-reader and begin. You read a few pages, and then a few chapters, and all of a sudden it dawns on you that you’ve just read the same page 3 times. Not because it was so good, but because you just can’t focus. It’s just not happening for you. It’s a bad book. At this point some of you give up, or as we like to say, flounce. Others are more stubborn.  Some insist on struggling thru to the bitter end. Well one bad book is bound to happen every now and then, so you go onto the next book on your to read list, and…OMG…this just can’t be… it happens again. Well damn.

You my friend have just encountered “Reader’s Block.” Now I won’t pretend it happens a lot, cuz in truth it’s pretty rare for me, but when it does I gotta tell ya I panic a little bit. Scary thoughts kinda start racing through my mind “What if I never love another book again?” Or scarier still “What if I never find another fictional boyfriend to lust after  fall in love with?” I find that I usually suffer “Readers Block” immediately after I finish anything I would categorize as literary crack. If a book or series has owned me it’s hard to let it go. Aw, who am I kidding? I don’t want to let it go. I think about the characters, and the story, and I just can’t get them out of my head long enuff to let myself fall in love with somebody new.   What to do?

Tip #1- Switch to a different medium. Instead of a book read some magazines for a few days. This allows the characters and story that had grabbed you so hard emotionally to slowly leach out of your system. When I’ve done this the next book I tried reading was fabulous and guess what? It was the same one I had tried to read just days before and found unbearable.

Tip #2- Switch to another genre. Sometimes you really just need something different. So if you’ve been reading a steady diet of paranormal, try a mystery or a romance. Been reading lots of YA? Maybe you need something a little more adult or vice versa. The point is to trick your brain by giving it something new to feed on.

Tip #3- Do a reread. This may sound counterproductive but hey it’s worked for me. It’s probably like eating the same food over and over. It starts to lose its grip on you after the 2nd or 3rd time straight. Mkay except for chocolate. Anyways, some stories or characters just need you to spend more time with them before you move on. So go ahead and indulge yourself. I won’t tell 😉

Got a tip to share that’s not on my list? Well c’mon lets have it.

Tamie Xo

One thought on “Reader’s Block

  1. Thanks for this post, Tamie! Yes, I have to admit that I went through Reader’s Block in the past and I can testify to the fact that it’s terrible when it happens. Thank God there are many great authors out there that make us forget about it as soon as we pick up their books. ( a big Thank You to all of them )
    In order not to experience this kind of block , I also usually follow other readers’ recommendations. If a book is being talked about a lot by people, it means that it has to be good and worth checking out.
    Great post!


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