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The Ultimate Guide to Getting Out of a Reading Slump


7 tried and tested ways to get out of a reading slump
7 tried and tested ways to get out of a reading slump

It happens to all of us. The dreaded reading slump or reading rut. If you’re a mood reader you probably find you have bouts where nothing seems to call your name. You pick up a book, read 20 or so pages, and then put it down, only to repeat the cycle with the next book sitting on your TBR. Or maybe you’re someone who white-knuckles through a book because you won’t leave a book unfinished—but doesn’t that make the entire reading experience suck? A reading slump feels frustrating when you usually enjoy reading or use it as a way to entertain or relax yourself.

 

Why do reading slumps happen? A reading slump can happen for all kinds of reasons: you’ve just finished an amazing series, you’ve been reading a lot of the same kind of books, life has gotten busy, or you’ve grown out of your usual genre. No matter what it is, there isn’t a need to criticize the why, but instead focus on the how—how to get out of a reading slump.

 

Here are seven tried and tested ways to get out of a reading slump.

 

Browse In-Person

This is a great option if you’ve got the time to spend browsing shelves and reading book blurbs. It lets the universe direct you to your next read! Your favourite book store or library location are great places to start. I would also recommend used bookstores that have a sense of chaos to them—you never know what you’re going to find!

 

Switch it Up

Focus on book options that you wouldn't normally read. This is a great way to stretch your brain and find something new that reignites your sense of fun with reading. This can look like: trying an audiobook, picking up a short story anthology to give you variety, reading a genre you don’t usually gravitate towards (fiction vs. nonfiction, romance vs. graphic novel), or whip through a poetry collection to get a sense of finishing a book.

 

Joyful Activity + Reading

Actively create a link between your reading and activities that bring you happiness. This can bring back a sense of fun and enjoyment to the reading process that might be lacking during a reading slump. For example, squeeze in a few pages on your lunchbreak to disconnect from work; take your book to the park or coffee shop for a new atmosphere; try an audiobook on your commute to make it more pleasant; or pair your reading time with a bath (just be careful not to drop it in the water!).

 

Sign up for my online book discussions

If you’re a reader of thrillers, you’ll know that a ticking clock can be a great way to spur action. Joining one of my online book discussions can do just that: it narrows your focus to half a dozen books (so you it’s not overwhelming) and you have a deadline to work towards. This can be beneficial to keep you making progress on a novel, even just a few pages at a time, instead of picking up your phone for distraction.

 

Consult Someone You Trust

Forget turning to social media which can turn up millions of posts (and sometimes only recommends the same 10-15 books)! Instead, consider who in your life you enjoy taking reading recommendations from. Ask your closest reading buddy, your favourite librarian, or, I’d be honoured if you chose from my top 10 favourite novels list!

 

Re-read A Favourite

One of my favourite things about re-reading novels is that the older we get, the more life experience we gain, can change what we take away from plots and characters. If you’re in a reding slump, try picking up a book you really enjoyed in the past. You can approach the re-reading experience from a place of curiosity: Is this book as good as I remember? What do I notice more of this time around?

 

Recommendations From Your Favourite Authors

This option involves a little bit of research, but can be super helpful if you have specific authors you tend to always read. Looking through your favourite author’s social media accounts or reading/listening to interviews featuring them can reveal what books they like and inspire their writing—making it likely you'll find something similar to their works that you might enjoy.

 

If none of these options help you might want to reframe what the reading break can mean: remind yourself that it is an opportunity to spend your energy elsewhere until you feel called to read again. Catch up on your Netflix shows or podcasts, pick up a hobby to keep you busy in the evenings, or schedule in some time with friends. This can not only take the pressure of trying to overcome a reading slump but often things will percolate in the back of our brains allowing for a sense of excitement to return.

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