The Next Best Book Club discussion

218 views
Revive a Dead Thread > What would you call Reader's Block?

Comments Showing 1-46 of 46 (46 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Fiona (Titch) (new)

Fiona (Titch) Hunt (Titch) Reason I am asking is because I have not read properly for a while. I want to read, but just can't sit down anymore and read. Wondered what everyone's take was on this. I know I have been on here posting, but I just can't seem to pick up a book and read.




message 2: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) I had that for a while. Reader's Block sums it up brilliantly!

I was too nervous to concentrate on something else, even if that other thing was fictional, and my attention span was so short that I couldn't read more than a page or two at a time... doesn't make keeping track of story and characters very easy, augmenting the first problem - vicious cycle.

I watched a lot of TV in that period and re-read my favorite mystery series, and Harry Potter, one right after the next.

Hope it doesn't stick with you too long.


message 3: by Robin (last edited Jan 29, 2009 02:30AM) (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 1002 comments I have had times when my mind is thinking on other things and I will read a page and not know what I read then had to re-read.

I've also had times when I just can't bear to sit down and pick up the book - this is probably more akin to what you are talking about because writers will hate to sit down to write. It is generally due to a book that is "going slowly" and can be further complicated if it is a very long or "tightly spaced" text book.

-- Wife of GR author Michael J. Sullivan: The Crown Conspiracy (10/08) | Avempartha (04/09)



message 4: by Julianne (new)

Julianne | 314 comments Fiona,

You have just pinpointed my December 2008. There seems to be no time for reading, and then when you sit down to read nothing seems interesting. I would fall asleep within 10 minutes of reading (no matter what I was reading), and when I put a book down I had no interest in picking it back up.

To fix it, I 1) got through the holidays, 2) read something EASY that I knew I could put down several times, no big deal.

This, too, shall pass........


message 5: by Fiona (Titch) (new)

Fiona (Titch) Hunt (Titch) Thanks ladies xx


message 6: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (slhansma) | 2 comments I have had this too. I think that mine was because sometimes I just couldn't get into the book. I would get into these times when no book would grab me and keep my interest. I would read a lot of magazines and watch tv during those periods. It takes awhile, but it would always come back to me once I found a book too good to put down.


message 7: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 954 comments I just read this wonderful article for class called Is Google Making Us Stupid, and it is basically about how our cognition has changed b/c of the internet. For example some people who are very well-read find it hard to concentrate on a book/deeply read for awhile b/c they are so used to the internet and snippets of information. Maybe this has attributed to your reader's block.

When I get readers block, I force myself to read. I shut the laptop, get my coffee ready, find a comfy spot on the futon and get down to buisness. Needless to say, hours usually pass and I wind up getting out of my reader's block.


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) I think you need a book that will captivate you from the first and for that I recommend Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I promise it will grab you from the first. Others that grab you from the first are Harlan Coben's and Total Control by David Baldacci.

Good luck Fiona !


message 9: by silvia (new)

silvia  | 282 comments that happens to me when I'm to tired and overworked.
last time was during december, i was working to many hours...

I tried different books but still nothing. even books that I was really enjoying didnt work.I only got up to my normal reading speed on the middle of january


message 10: by Kandice (new)

Kandice We have been talking about this! I was reading a really long book I just didn't want to, so would find every excuse to put it down and do something else! I hate to quit a book, but finally did, or who knows how long I would have struggled.

Now, I am waiting to begin a book with some friends and don't want to start anything substantial in the meantime. It doesn't feel as useless as last month, because at least I am catching up on magazines;)


message 11: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (missfryer) | 454 comments I just read this wonderful article for class called Is Google Making Us Stupid, and it is basically about how our cognition has changed b/c of the internet. For example some people who are very well-read find it hard to concentrate on a book/deeply read for awhile b/c they are so used to the internet and snippets of information. Maybe this has attributed to your reader's block.

When I get readers block, I force myself to read. I shut the laptop, get my coffee ready, find a comfy spot on the futon and get down to buisness. Needless to say, hours usually pass and I wind up getting out of my reader's block.


APRIL! I think GOOGLE has ruined me! I have a hard time reading for as LONG as I used to. I can only read for about an hour and then I need to take a break. I also listen to the TV while I read, so that helps keep my mind busy.



message 12: by Fiona (Titch) (new)

Fiona (Titch) Hunt (Titch) Laura wrote: "I think you need a book that will captivate you from the first and for that I recommend [b:Chasing Windmills|2310780|Chasing Windmills|Catherine Ryan Hyde|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I......"

Laura, I have read Harlan Coben books and I love his, might get a couple from the library and re-read them. Will look for the other book in the morning.


message 13: by Jen B (new)

Jen B (jennybee618) This happens to me when I'm overly stressed or if I'm sick. It seems like every book I pick up just doesn't hold my attention, and I end up quitting after a few pages. Whenever I get like this, I just have to put the books down and walk away for a few days. I love to read, but when it starts to feel like work, I have to let it go for a little while and do something else I enjoy. Then I can come back to my books with a clearer mind.


message 14: by Linda (new)

Linda | 887 comments Fiona, I think sometimes it is fear of the "bad" book after so many "great" books. I have this happen all the time with selecting the next audio book. I'll go through 3 or 4 before landing on the right one. Perhaps it could be the build up of pressure to compete with all the great reads/reading that goes on on this site. We all joke about sooooo many books, so little time, but it does seem daunting at times. Just keeping up with the threads can keep you from getting to "yes" with your next read. Keep plugging away and good luck.


message 15: by Melissa (new)

Melissa When that happens to me I make a point to watch a few movies that were based on books. Sometimes a movie makes me want to read the book it was based on. Plus, when I'm not really in the mood for reading as much, it's easier for me to read a book when I already have an idea of what's going to happen. It feels more "leisurely." Sounds lazy, I know, but sometimes it gets me back in the reading mood.


message 16: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (melissaconrad) | 23 comments I call it a slump! A reading slump.

Okay, that word sure is funny to type out.

My solution is usually to read something that I know I will FLY through. So that it doesn't matter what type of book it really is and if it matches my mood - I can just be reading something. (So I'll pick like a Jodi Picoult book or something. She's written like 15 books, so there are still some out there I haven't read.)

Because usually the problem is that I can't figure out what I'm in the mood for. Trying to read a "real" book that doesn't match my mood will just result in never picking up the book to read. So by reading something mindless, I can just get the ball rolling again, and hopefully soon, I can figure out what I AM in the mood for.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

There have been times I've picked up a book and grown so restless I had to put it down. Time to read is such a luxury that if the story doesn't immediately captivate, then everything else I should be doing slips into my mind. However I hate not finishing a book so usually I put it down and pick it up from time to time hoping if I read it for a little longer, it’ll grab me. I have three such books around her somewhere.


message 18: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) I was in a bit of a book depression since reading Prodigal Summer. I enjoyed one book since then - The Divide but that didn't fix it. I've only recently fixed it I think... I was still reading, but it didn't feel the same as before.

I think if you read a great book it is hard sometimes to read something else afterwards and perhaps it pays to have a break from reading every now and then just to let the other book sink in.

Sometimes I think if your mind is also full of something, or if you're stuck in a boring book you hate and just don't feel like reading. If Im feeling exceptionally down for any reason I can't read.

I find the best cure is perhaps to read a light book or something you really enjoyed before.


message 19: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 1002 comments I was "overwelemed" in December becasue I had several REALLY thick boos to read- I'm looking forward to some lighter reads ... so no Pillars of the Earth right now ;-)

-- Wife of GR author Michael J. Sullivan: The Crown Conspiracy (10/08) | Avempartha (04/09)




message 20: by Jensownzoo (new)

Jensownzoo | 338 comments I like to read fiction or essay anthologies during those times. Shorter time investment and you can skip around until you find something that appeals to you.


message 21: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (TheNightOwl) Usually, I do as others have mentioned- catch up on movies, shows, magazines, and/or try to get into something really light, like chick-lit. Sometimes you need to cleanse your palate after having a good meal. :-)


message 22: by Christi (new)

Christi | 35 comments When I get into a slump it is usually after reading a book that I loved and not wanting to read about anybody but the characters I just finished reading about. It is at it's worse if I am reading a book from a series and don't have the next one.


message 23: by Petra X (new)

Petra X (PetraX) I get reader's block when I have about three books on the go and none of them hold my attention so I scarcely read anything at all. Eventually I will either give up on one or will find something that really interests me and get going again.


message 24: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) I just had reader's block while struggling through "The Andromeda Strain". I spent the entire book waiting for something to happen. And nothing did. Such high hopes DASHED TO PIECES!

I skip around from genre to genre when I read, so I don't get in a slump between books. I always have some new kind of book to focus on. For instance, "The (boring) Andromeda Strain" was Sci-fi, so now I am onto "The Reader", which I guess you'd call historical-fiction, although its only going back to WWII, and I like my historical-fiction a bit older than that. :)

I like to jump from one corner to the complete opposite one with each book. Sword and dragon fantasy then a Shakespeare classic, then a vampire book, then a swashbucklin' pirates tale, then a apocalyptic plague, then a romance... I'm just all over the place!


message 25: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 253 comments Fiona wrote: "I was in a bit of a book depression since reading Prodigal Summer. I enjoyed one book since then - The Divide but that didn't fix it. I've only recently fixed it I think... I was still reading, but..."

Know just what you mean Fiona! I have gotten out of my book depression by reading light books; ones I can read in about a day. Also makes me feel good to be able to list more 'read' books on here!


message 26: by Mary (new)

Mary Crabtree (boonebridgebookscom) | 42 comments Cindy - I do the same thing. I find reading book club choices that I don't want to read can do it to me or just a disappointing run of books. Also being physically tired can do it.

But I always reach for my medicine which I call my palate cleanser.
No it is not a dirty martini.....it is a fun fluffy read like a mystery or a sookie stackhouse book would be an example of a palate cleanser....nothing high literature....just plain fun.


Abigail (42stitches) | 360 comments I feel your pain! As much as I love reading, sometimes I just can't. Most of the time I can fix the problem by getting an audio book or watching a movie/dvd while I work on art stuff. But sometimes I can't even do that. Just the other day my hands hurt because I had been sewing pretty steadily the past couple days so I tried to read a book and realized after awhile that I had been staring at the wall for almost an hour when the book lost my attention. *shrugs* Just happens sometimes. What I ended up doing was rereading a few favorites and some essays/anthropological stuff. Just started a new novel and I feel better about it already. Hope you get over it soon.


message 28: by Jamie (new)

Jamie (storybox) That always happens to me, but I've found that if I just sort of make myself pick up the book and start reading then I'll continue reading and everything is good again. :P


message 29: by Helen (new)

Helen | 14 comments Abigail wrote: "I feel your pain! As much as I love reading, sometimes I just can't. Most of the time I can fix the problem by getting an audio book or watching a movie/dvd while I work on art stuff. But sometimes..."

I am a language teacher and I tell my kids (12 yr olds) who don't like to read, that they just haven't found the right book - it usually works out that when they find it, they get hooked. I think that is why I read 3/4/5 books at a time - whatever mood I am will dictate which book I pick up - also, which character I am missing the most.


message 30: by Cameron (new)

Cameron (GlitterBaby) | 2 comments My Mom calls it readers freeze.I get out Linda Howard and Sandra Brown and other old favs for comfort reads


message 31: by Liz (new)

Liz (HisSheep) For me, reader's block is when I've just finished a really wonderful book and have a problem deciding what to read next ...


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

I experienced the same problem, I would WANT to read but when I sit down and pick up my book I've lost all motivation to read at all. Then again the beginning of my book was pretty slow and boring and I just got to the start the really interesting stuff. Maybe you're book is just in a boring chapter or something.


message 33: by Leila (new)

Leila (softlyblush) I know how it feels as well. At the moment, I have this 'reading' block when I cannot seem to sit down and read. I just got my hands on The Book Thief and I have been waiting for it and been so excited to read it but I just can't seem to do it. I don't have the mood or motivation to sit and read, even though I want to. It's been like that for a week :(


message 34: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 546 comments Christi wrote: "When I get into a slump it is usually after reading a book that I loved and not wanting to read about anybody but the characters I just finished reading about. It is at it's worse if I am reading a..."

I'm exactly the same - after reading a great book I don't want to sully the characters by bringing others into my imagination.

I am just slogging through Love in the Time of Cholera. It is taking me ages because although the writing style is Ok, I can't stand any of the characters. If the book ended in a massive explosion where all of them died I would feel most satisfied.


message 35: by Fiona (Titch) (new)

Fiona (Titch) Hunt (Titch) Thanks all. I have been reading kiddies books (Young Adults) and a couple of other books I have been given.



message 36: by Paula (new)

Paula (Paula717) | 52 comments Information overload. When I'm stressed with work, etc., I can't read. My mind goes into a frenzy...I tend to take a break for a few days and then I'm good to go again.


message 37: by Lori (new)

Lori Sometimes, especially during the semester, I will start a book and be really gung-ho about it, but then I inexplicably stop and start something completely different. I also had what I'd call reader's block over Christmas break (or Holiday break, if you'd rather) because I had a very disciplined plan as to how I was going to read 7 books at once. Needless to say it failed and I didn't finish as many books as I could have and should have over a 4 week break. When something like that happens, I either read a shorter book or an old favorite, just to get the ball rolling.


Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments i am definitely having a reader's block..i haven't read for more than 10 minutes in the past 2 weeks or so..which is WIERD. it's not that i don't like the book i'm reading..it's just that i'm stressed about getting a job i think..and because of the fact that i don't have a job i've had sooo much free time..and so i would just read..which was nice..but then it was like reading was no longer what i did for fun/to relax..it was what i did allll the time because i had nothing else to do. soo hopefully now that i got a job and start on thursday i'll pick up the books again.


message 39: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (TheNightOwl) Congratulations on your new job! That sometimes happens to me when I go through reading binges. I will get into a book and race through it within a day or so, then I'm left exhausted and I don't want to read anymore. Usually, I will take a break by watching movies or tv and that will help me get back into the groove of reading.


message 40: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I think I have this now.. I was reading about two books a week then I hit this lull.. I have about 3 started, but haven't gotten past page 50 on any and I read about 10 pages a day if I am lucky.


message 41: by Nadia (new)

Nadia (bagambo) I hate getting reader's block. I call it my reading rut. I start a book and can't seem to get into it, so I start another and the same thing happens and so I pick up a magazine, because I just want to read something and the easy read of a magazine kind of pushes me back into a reading mode and so I pick up a book I have already read, like a favorite (Cat's Cradle or A Confederacy of Dunces) and then I am off and reading like normal again.


message 42: by Joanna (last edited Feb 21, 2009 11:19AM) (new)

Joanna Compton-Mys (ColdSnap) | 101 comments I have that problem, and discover that either I have to go back and read an old friend or something incredibly non-taxing like Bucky Katt's Big Book Of Fun A Get Fuzzy Treasury. Then it gets better.


message 43: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (melissamarilyn) Unfortunately, I seem to have a severe case of this whenever school starts back up. I read tons of books over summer vacation, and then my desire suddenly shriveled up and blew away right as school started. It returned full force this week, as I had it off for February vacation and was bed-ridden most of the time because of a nasty cold. I'm not letting it get away this time though, you'd better believe that.


message 44: by Lori (new)

Lori Good luck Melissa! And feel better soon!


message 45: by Sara ♥ (last edited Feb 24, 2009 08:22AM) (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) I had serious reader's block in college! I got over that by slowly easing back into reading during my last semester with the Series of Unfortunate Events. I could read a single book in a couple of hours, so it wasn't too time consuming. It got my creative juices flowing again, which made me want to dive back into reading when I graduated.

Nowadays, if I'm having reader's block, I'll listen to a YA audiobook in my car while I drive. I really enjoy that. The Artemis Fowl books are INCREDIBLE as audiobooks. I actually haven't READ-read any of them!


message 46: by Rora (new)

Rora I notice I get in a reader's block when I've read quite a few books in a row that were only so-so. Then it takes me longer and longer to finish a book and I spend a lot more time on the computer or watching TV.

Sometimes it likes staring into the refrigerator, you're hungry for something, but don't what it is that you're craving.

Eventually a good book comes around again though, and then it's back to having fun reading. That's what I like about Goodreads, whenever I'm in a reading rut, I can always find good recommendations.




back to top