Oh, the dreaded reading slump.
That feeling when no matter how many books you own or have taken out of the library, nothing looks appealing. Every reader fears this slump and getting out of it can be a whole other beast to deal with. I hit reading slumps all the time. In fact, I’m in one right now. I started 2021 off great with some amazing 4 and 5 star reads and now nothing really appeals to me. I’ve been rereading old favourites (note that I am not and have never been a re-reader), because I want to recapture the feeling of reading a good book, but don’t want to pick up anything new.
So, to take my own advice, I’ve put this blog together on tips to get out of a reading slump. Hopefully they help you and I really hope they help me!
Figure It Out
What put you in the reading slump? It can be hard to identify sometimes, but other times it can be a bad book, your mood at the time, or something completely unrelated to reading. If you can figure out what put you in the slump you can avoid it or try and fix it. Don’t read that book again or wait until you don’t have so much going on personally that you can go find joy in reading again.
Switch It Up
If you’ve been reading a lot of the same genre, as much as you love it, it can lead to a reading slump. For me, if I’m reading a lot of fantasy, as I tend to do, I will get in a slump after reading a particularly good fantasy book. Is anything else going to live up to that?
I find it helps to switch genres, usually to a completely different genre. By exploring different worlds, characters, and tropes, it can respark the excitement for reading.
Try an Audio Book
Sometimes I find that switching up the medium helps me get out a reading slump. A lot of the times there are books I’m interested in, but not quite sure I want to read, so I’ll borrow them on audio book from my library instead.
Audio books can be a great way to get involved in a story without the act of reading. So, if you’re in a slump from reading, you can still enjoy a book and maybe do other things at the same time. I also find listening to audio books to be a completely unique immersive experience for a story and sometimes kickstarts me wanting to read to recapture that feeling.
Don’t Force It
If you’re in any kind of slump, sometimes it helps to remove yourself from what caused that slump. It’s okay to take a break from reading and do something else. Sometimes trying to hold ourselves accountable to a TBR or new releases can be stressful. I know it is for me. Sometimes I just really don’t want to read what’s on my TBR and that’s okay. It helps me to go do something else like write, watch a movie, play a video game, or start a new project. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? So take some time away from your books and you’ll start to miss them and will be excited to get back to reading.
Read Old Favourites
As mentioned above, I’ve started rereading some old favourites in my current reading slump. I’ve never been a rereader, but something about going into a book already knowing how it ends and how it makes you feel can be a comforting reading experience. If you’re like me and usually get into reading slumps after reading a string of really good books and fearing reading something bad, this method is quite useful. The book is guaranteed to be good and after a couple rereads might spark you to read something new *fingers crossed*.
Read a Short Book
When in a reading slump, the idea of picking up a 400 page book can be daunting. You already don’t want to read, why pick up something that’s going to take days or weeks to read in a good reading mood? Short books, novellas, or short stories can help beat the reading slump. You’ll still be finishing books, but you won’t feel the need to be committed for a lot of time. This method is really good if you still want to read your way through a reading slump.
What do you do to get out of a reading slump? I’d love to hear what works for you.