Skip to main content

After Committee Reading Slump

Everyone who had been on committees before me warned me of this: the feeling of not wanting to read another book after your committee year is up. Committee work is hard-it's filled with long days (and evenings) of reading, non-stop re-reading and note taking, and so much analyzing and discussing of books, it's no wonder it wears you out as a reader.

I thought I was prepared. I had been told to expect this. I even read outside my typical YA genre that I read so much of for Printz and read more middle grade and adult titles after my committee work was up. I listened to audiobooks nonstop.

But now, it's happened. I'm in that post-committee reading slump. Maybe it's not even a reading slump, but a too worn out to read mindset. I have piles and piles of books I can't wait to read and that I've heard great things about, but I just can't bring myself to read them.

If you're a reader of the blog, you've probably noticed my posting has been down a bit. This is why. I just need some help and motivation to get reading again. So I'm hoping you will help me. What are some great books or audiobooks I can read to help pull me out of my slump? Have you ever felt this way? Any advice for pulling out of it?


  1. Like you, I thought I was prepared, but I was not! And I made the mistake of jumping into another Printzy sort of commitment almost before I was done with my committee work. Here's what's working for me, YMMV:

    It took me a while, but I realized that my #1 problem was a profound aversion to programmatic reading. I wanted to read exactly what I want, when I want, in any genre or for any age group. So I needed to eliminate anything that felt like a reading responsibility (other than reading I do for work, obviously).

    So, I (regretfully) stopped writing for SLJ's Someday My Printz Will Come.

    I am on a break from writing book reviews til September.

    I am giving myself permission to follow my every leisure-reading whim: rereading Pride & Prejudice to compare it with the Lizzie Bennett Diaries? Sure! Checking out a stack of picture books? Don't mind if I do! Catching up on the backlog of Sarah Dessen novels I didn't read when they first came out bc I wanted my students to get first crack? Yes, PLEASE.

    I am also listening to audiobooks -- mostly adult nonfiction, which I love and had not read any of in years.

    I wish I had done this right away, because I think I could have ended my reading slump much sooner if I had just listened to that small, still voice, but it took me over a year to get out of this reading slump. I now feel re-energized and excited about YA in a way I hadn't for all of 2012. Which is good, because I'll be spending all of 2014 reading retrospectively for Edwards!

    I hope some of this helps! You'll get there. :-)

    Donalyn Miller has written about this phenomenon, too. You may find her insights useful:

  2. Yes, I would second taking a break from any sort of reading responsibility. Dive into old favorites just for fun...match your reading to your every mood...put down a book mid-way, just because you finally can! I plan next year to only read on a obligations, no pressure...

  3. I say sit back and relax, maybe catch up on some TV shows with a book thrown in here or there. You'll find your reading groove again.

  4. I jumped right back into reviewing post-committee to my great regret (don't tell Angela at AB4T!). I'm having a lot of trouble balancing the enjoyment of a book and reading with a critical eye. I used to be able to do both! I wish I had just "allowed" myself more time to read for pure pleasure (or not read).

  5. I'm with you but for a different reason. In my prep for summer reading school visits I read almost 120 books in 2 months for grades K-7 in order to integrate as many fun and interesting fiction and non-fiction books as I could. Needless to say I don't think I can look at a book. What I've found working for me is reading all these awesome blogs, and magazine articles. They're short and sweet and give me information I need for work without making me feel like, "oh no! I still have 300 more pages before I can finish this!"

  6. I haven't listened to an entire audiobook since I was on the YALSA Selected Audiobooks Committee-- over five years ago! And now that I'm not a working middle school librarian anymore? I find it so liberating to sit around reading adult non-fiction and graphic novels whenever I want, no matter how long it takes me to finish them. Right now I'm reading a book about John Hughes movies, something I never would have had the time to read when I was assigned books. And I'm way up on new picture books because of my daughter. I say branch out to other formats and genres. Reading is reading!

  7. I don't have the committee slump, but I got into the college reading slump -- so many books that I had to read,and then pore over and analyze, so many that I didn't want to read for fun in the slightest. Mine got better with the rereading, which a lot of people seem to recommend. Anna and the French Kiss, Harry Potter -- beloved stories I haven't looked at in a long time. Also, Sarah Rees Brennan's newest, Unspoken, was the first book in actual months that I read in one (voluntary) sitting. Funny seems to help.

    Also, you've been killing yourself for a long time to read so much, do committee work, and now to do all the summer programs at a library. Watch bad television and take a break. You definitely deserve it.

  8. It's been four months since I finished my committee work and I STILL haven't really gotten back into my groove. Having time set aside that's best spent reading (my train ride) helps, but ... it's like I don't even know how to pick books I like anymore, and so much of what I do pick isn't what I was expecting. I'm reading a decent amount of adult nonfiction, but it's just not the same. I'm hoping that I'll get back to normal soon -- and I hope your reading slump doesn't last this long!

  9. It took me months. The best thing I did was read outside of the lines as per Newbery. Genre-y YA, adult, and big swaths of just not reading. I've gotten my mojo back now, but give yourself a break. It does get easier as time goes on.

  10. I made things even worse on myself--I wrote my book right before I was on the Printz. So between reading over 700 historical fiction books and all the Printz reading, it's no wonder that I kind of fell apart, reading-wise. It's been almost two years and I'm only just now starting to recover.

    What I found worked for me was what a lot of other people have said--read whatever you want, read outside of YA. Also, be willing to just not read for a while, if that's how the spirit is moving you. There's plenty of librarians who don't read. There's even YA librarians that don't. Reader's advisory isn't all we do, so perhaps this might be a good time to work on an area that you'd like to improve in.

    Hang in there!


Post a Comment

I love hearing from other readers! Share your thoughts and chime in!

Popular posts from this blog

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 5/5 Stars Genre: Realistic Fiction Release Date: 2/26/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Eleanor and Park are both misfits. When new girl Eleanor sits next to Park on the bus, they don't want anything to do with each other. But over the course of the school year, things change. It starts with comic books and becomes a friendship and a romance that the two will never forget. You never forget your first love. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Have you ever had a book sit on your shelf that you've heard so much hype about? And you think that books sounds like it would be right up your alley, but you're in a reading slump and you're afraid to give it a try unless it fails? I knew Eleanor and Park sounded like my perfect book, but I was in such an after committee slump that I even though I knew this book would help, I just didn't want to be disappointed. I should have known better because Eleanor and Park was perfect and everything that I had hoped it wou

Contact Me

  I love to hear from fellow readers and librarians! Send me an email to say hello! You can reach me at greenbeanteenqueen (at) gmail (dot) com

Post Downton Abbey Reading List

Downton Abbey is over (with a shocking and frustrating ending!) and now I'm suffering Downton Abbey withdrawal. I've got a reading list full of books that I hope will satisfy my post-Downton Abbey cravings and I thought I'd share what's in my pile and get suggestions for other after Downton reads. Here's what I hope to be reading this year (a mix of YA and adult titles):                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A couple Julian Fellowes reads:                And a few re-reads:                    Edited to add: What's on your Post-Downton Abbey reading list?