If there’s anything readers despise more than running out of cups of caffeine, and books, is getting into a reading slump. What is it, you ask? It’s when the reader has saturated his/her ability to read, and regardless of the efforts, is unable to read. There can be several reasons for this tragedy to befall on you. Maybe you’ve read too much at a go, maybe the book you’ve read was so good that you can no longer drag yourself out of it or maybe a book you’ve read was terrible, and now you want your life back. Whatever the reason, not being able to read can get quite frustrating. But sometimes, getting out of a reading slump is easier than you think. Let’s see how:
- Rereading: Going back to books that have provided comfort, and are your favorites is the surest way to get out of a slump. The familiarity of the words, the rekindling of love with your favorite characters, and knowing how the story unfolds, helps your mind unravel. Remember, you’re unable to concentrate and pay attention to the story because you’re burned out. Not having to focus and knowing how the story unfolds helps to get in the flow.
- Shorten the length: Pick up shorter novels. Most of the time the thickness of the book intimidates you. The mere sight of them is enough for you to discard reading anything at all. Go for short stories or novellas or Graphic novels or comic books. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel after finishing these books will encourage you to read more. That’s what we’re trying to achieve here, right?
- Mix up the genres: It’s time to shuffle that TBR of yours. Monotony can be lethal. Step out of your comfort zone and read something you’d never dare to. I’ve realized that reading non-fiction always helps me beat the reading slump. It’s really weird and often baffles me. So if you’re someone who always reads historical fiction, go for a thriller. Not only will you fly through the pages, but you will also discover new genres.
PRO TIP: If you can’t find a particular book you seem to be interested in, I’d suggest reading the first two chapters of different books. Now depending on which one captures your attention the most, start with that one. (I only recently started doing this, and it works. Well, mostly. )
- Listen to the words: Audiobooks are the new cool. In a time where people are always busy and on the go, listening to books has been a life-savior. There are several apps that have free audio-books available. Just choose one that perks your interest, and listen away. My go-to app is storytel.in. Storytel app
- Making reading time fun: The ambiance you’re in plays an important role in helping you get into the reading mood. Make yourself a cup of tea, light a few candles, dim the lights and set some soothing music. You’ll find yourself winding down, your nerves starting to settle, and within no time you’ll be immersed in the book. You can also go to a café or a park to give you some alone time.
- Buddy read: There’s no better way to read than to read with your friend. You will get the motivation and encouragement you need. Pick a book you both want to read and plan a reading marathon. To spice things up, hold reading discussions. This will easily help you beat the slump. If you’re the competitive type, you’ll immediately get to work.
- Give yourself some break: It’s important to realize, reading isn’t a competition. It’s one of life’s most simple pleasures, one that cannot be made into a routine. If you feel worn down, take some time off. Bing watch on Netflix, or maybe movie-adaptations of your favorite novels, or go on YouTube and check out what other book tubers are up to. Take this time to journal and write down what’s happening in your mind. Whenever you’re in a slump, take this opportunity and write reviews of all the books you’ve been putting off. Just because you’re not reading doesn’t mean you’re not going to at least talk about it. I recently went on a social media detox that lasted for almost a month. It was refreshing, and I returned with a lot of enthusiasm and eagerness to read and blog.
Hope the above tips help you overcome your reading slump. Remember to take it one day at a time. If your reading slump still persists, I’d suggest buying books you don’t need. The guilt will make you do things you never anticipated.
4 responses to “Tackling the Big-Bad monster: The Reading Slump”
Excellent advice Shumaila! There are tons of articles on writer’s block but this is the first one I’m reading on ‘Reading Slump’ and it is just as much common. For me, it has mostly been because of two primarily reasons : either the book I was currently reading was not-so-interetesting and I am always finding reasons to not go back to it including avoiding other books as well.
Secondly, the availability. I know it’s doesn’t fit for a reader to talk about this but I rarely buy paperbacks. Sometimes, I read the reviews of books after buying them and they were not quite good so I didn’t even open them. I download e-books most of the times but then it is tiring to look at screen even more (it irks me how smartphones occupy so much of our time). So, the lack of alternative for on-the-go reading also contribute to my reading slump. Most of the times, the void is filled up by online articles, blogs, forums like Quora but I would love to push my book count up because I have truly enjoyed my time reading some of the really good ones.
Thanks again for this wonderful post! 🙂
‘Buying books you don’t need. The guilt will make you do things you never anticipated.’
Haha! That made me laugh really hard. God knows I have so many unread books. I have made short romance books my go-to for reading slumps. With their guaranteed HEA and rom-com elements, these really pull up my mood and push me towards finishing the reads I was previously struggling with.
Excellent tips! Mixing up the genres and taking up reading challenge have worked well for me. I am thinking of trying audiobooks but I am not sure if I will be able to pay attention.
I always pick Sidney Sheldon to get myself out of the slump. And sometimes I just wait.. take a break and watch movies or do other things that I love. That in a way helps.