Coffee Time Tuesdays: Relabelling the Reading Slump and Finding a New Favourite Book

Illustration of a person sitting down, drinking a hot beverage and reading, with a stack of books nearby and the words Coffee Time Tuesdays, current reads, bookish reflections written in brown and orange across the middle.

Welcome to Coffee Time Tuesdays, a new weekly column exclusive to Coffee Time Reviews, where I invite you to take a few minutes every Tuesday afternoon and reflect on your reading.

This week, I’m writing about my current reads, my attempt to relabel the dreaded reading slump, and I will also be diving into some bookish reflections. We end every Coffee Time Tuesday with a new book release, that I will carefully select to reflect the times and overall mood of the world.

What I’m Reading

I haven’t been in the best place with my reading since May came along, but I’m trying to enjoy the experience and think less about my reading goals.

Right now, I’m reading three books, one physical, one audio, and one digital.

My physical book of choice is Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, a widely acclaimed favourite in the bookish community and one that has been on my TBR for embarrassingly long.

I must admit, though, that the beginning feels a little wonky. Although it starts with a bang, and it does everything to lure and intrigue the reader, there’s such a huge cast of characters that I’ve been struggling to keep up with.

I’m trying to get in about a chapter every day, but it is proving a little bit challenging, for reasons I’ll get into shortly.

The audiobook I’ve picked up the weekend just passed is Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You?. I’m about two hours in and it’s good. The writing is beautiful in its simplicity, and I already like the average-seeming characters. I’ll say it as many times as I need to: literature is in dire need of average characters living their average lives.

Digitally, I’ve been enjoying Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. I’m not much of a nonfiction reader, but, surprisingly, this book is the one I’ve been picking up the most out of all three. I’ve been reading 20–30 pages every night before bed and I love the witty, cynical tone and the easy to digest language.

Bookish Reflections: Is It Time to Stop Acknowledging the Slump?

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this. This year has so far been my best one yet, reading-wise. I’ve been reading at least four books every month, most of which have been a huge success. 

Naturally, when May came along, I expected the same upward path. This is where mixing reading with stats can genuinely trick you. It sets a precedent, you start thinking in numbers, and when those numbers inevitably change, you panic. Or, at least, I do. 

It’s 10 May and I’ve only read one book this month. Judging by my meagre progress on my three current reads, it doesn’t look like I’ll finish any more for at least another week or so.

At first, I started feeling seriously concerned about this. Am I in a reading slump? How have I fallen into it? What could have caused it? Is it salvageable? Maybe I need to read something short or fast-paced.

But then I stopped to rethink my strategy. So what if I’m reading a lot slower than last month? Who am I racing against? Is it time to stop acknowledging that reading slumps exist, and start reading intuitively?

That definitely seems like an attractive option for me right now. Reading intuitively. Not because I feel like I need to, because I might be falling behind.

Hot New Release

And for the new book release I’m recommending this week, I bring to you When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill.

This came out just last week and it sounds wicked. A feminist fantasy where women become dragons and start wreaking havoc in the world of the 1950s when we all know how women were treated? Sign me up.

This is part of the blurb:

A rollicking feminist tale set in 1950s America where thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons, exploding notions of a woman’s place in the world and expanding minds about accepting others for who they really are. — via

What are you reading with your hot drink of choice (if it’s coffee, let’s be besties) this Tuesday? Do you agree with scrapping the concept of the reading slump altogether, if it starts messing with your reading flow? And do you have other new releases to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Published by Eliza Lita

Founder and editor-in-chief: Coffee Time Reviews. Freelance writer and Higher Ed comms person.

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