How to climb out of a reading rut

Recently I’ve had trouble getting absorbed in the books I’m reading. I asked Twitter for advice, and compiled the suggestions here.

Recently I’ve been experiencing a reading rut. I used to find it easy to get absorbed in a book and forget the world around me, but lately I’ve been struggling to stay engaged when I read.

I tweeted about this a few days ago and discovered I wasn’t the only one. A lot of people chimed in with their troubles concentrating long enough to read and their inability to get sucked into books. (And who said Twitter was dead?)

A tweet by A.S. Akkalon that reads:

Recently I've been having trouble getting into the books I read. I can enjoy them, but they never transport me. I don't know if it's them or me. Has this happened to anyone else? Any ideas?

#WritingCommunity #books
The tweet that started it all.

I also got a lot of useful suggestions.

Here I compile the main theories for why reading ruts occur and a collection of suggestions on how to deal with a rut. If you’re struggling with your reading, I hope some of the advice helps.

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2024 debut books to support, thanks Cait Corrain

Cait Corrain tanked their writing career by review-bombing debut books by authors of colour whom they considered competition. See their victims’ exciting books here.

If you’ve been on Twitter recently–or read the normal human news–you will have heard about the Cait Corrain review bombing scandal. If you live in a cottage in the woods without internet (in which case how are you reading this?), the short version is that Cait, who was to be a 2024 debut author, created a bunch of fake Goodreads accounts to give 1-star ratings and nasty reviews to a bunch of 2024 debuts written by authors of colour, while giving 5-star reviews to their own book.

If you want the long version, which reads like an inept villain story, withcindy gives a much more detailed explanation in this video.

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Why I haven’t read your book

I usually try to read books written by my friends, but I often fail. Here are the main reasons why.

If you make friends with enough unpublished writers and stick around a few years, you find yourself friends with a lot of published writers. And because you’re a supportive friend, that means a lot of books you want to buy and read.

I always start with good intentions.

I like you. I want to buy your book, read it, love it, and leave a helpful, honest review on Amazon for your future fans to find.

Usually I manage the first step quite well.

The second step is harder. The third even harder.

Please allow me to offer some possible explanations why I haven’t read or reviewed your book.

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Shaking a book funk with mega-popular books

To shake a reading funk, I’ve decided to read a string of mega-popular books. The Hate U Give was the first. This is not a review.

I’ve been in a reading funk recently, maybe because I’ve been running full tilt (metaphorically speaking) and I’m still falling over. The result is I’ve been having trouble getting emotionally engaged in books.

Is it me? Is it the books? Only the Great Cat knows.

To shake things up, I’ve decided to try something I rarely do: seek out and read mega-popular books. And by mega-popular I mean more than 10k reviews on Amazon, or books that “everyone” is talking about.

I feel bad because these authors probably don’t need my support and so many wonderful books are undiscovered, but I’m tired from doing the discovering myself.

I’ll return to undiscovered books shortly. Right now I need a break.

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15 lessons a fantasy author learned from reading horror

This is not a review of “The Rats” by James Herbert and it contains a lot of spoilers. But if you’re ever in a horror novel these lessons might save your life.

At the behest of my friend and critique partner, Anna Kaling, who is also a talented romance author, I recently read “The Rats” by James Herbert.

It was partly my fault. I did agree to read a book from her favourite genre, horror, and in exchange she read a fantasy novel I chose. Check out how that turned out.

Don’t ask me why a romance author prefers to read horror, but I’ve read some of Anna’s books, and you can barely tell that the author gets her jollies from reading about people being eaten alive by giant rats.

Yes, this post is going to be one huge spoiler for “The Rats”, but it’s really old so if you haven’t read it yet you were probably never going to.

Also, saying that people get eaten alive by giant rats in a horror book called “The Rats” can hardly be classed as a spoiler. Come on.

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