Most of us go through a reading slump at some point in our lives, and I’ve seen a lot of people talking about it lately. It seems like we did a lot of reading during the lockdown, and now that restrictions are easing up in a lot of places, many of us have been experiencing changes in our reading habits.
Reading slumps can be frustrating, so I came up with a list of ten tips to try when you are in a reading slump. If you are struggling with your reading, give them a shot! You’ve got nothing to lose, right?
- Reread an old favorite. This one is like ensuring that you’re going to be reading a book you like, and you don’t have to devote too much mental energy getting invested in the story since you already know and love it.
- Try a different genre. If you typically read fantasy (or romance or any other genre), try a completely different one. Sometimes that gives us the boost we need to keep things fresh and exciting.
- Give shorter books a try. A book can take a lot of energy and mental bandwidth. If you’re having trouble focusing long enough to finish a book, cut yourself a break and read something short. Short stories or novellas are perfect to get you back into the habit of reading without committing to a book that is several hundred pages long.
- Ride out the slump. Sometimes we just need a break. Don’t beat yourself up for taking time away from reading! Do some other activities that you love and come back to reading when you’re ready to refocus.
- Try out a different format. If you’re struggling to get into physical or ebooks, give audiobooks a shot. If you can’t focus your attention on an audiobook, try to read physical or ebooks. They’re all reading, so why not try to switch it up and find out what works best for you right now?
- See if there is something that’s preventing you from reading, and work on that. Sometimes it’s because we have too many demands on our time, or distractions get in the way and prevent us from focusing our attention on a book. That’s okay! If distractions are a problem, you may want to set aside some “me time” for reading.
- If you’re having trouble finding a book that’s sparking your interest, try writing instead. Have you ever just had a hard time finding a book that gives you everything you’re looking for? If that’s the case, try your hand at writing! It may spark an interest in reading more books in that genre, too.
- Join a book club, or give buddy reading a shot. Buddy reads and book clubs are a gentle kind of social support. There aren’t any harsh consequences if you don’t meet a deadline, especially if you buddy read with a flexible partner, or are part of an informal book club, but it might just motivate you to pick up a book and discuss it with someone. Plus, it’s a great way to ease back into socializing after the lockdowns.
- Pick up a graphic novel. I’ve only recently discovered the joys of graphic novels. They’re quick reads that challenge a different part of my brain. I don’t have to devote as much time to reading them (see tip #3), and they remind me a little of reading the Sunday comics as a kid, except that instead of one little strip, it’s an entire story!
- Watch a TV or movie adaptation of a book. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said, “The book is so much better,” I’d be rich. Often, watching a movie or TV show adapted from a book inspires me to read the actual book – if I’ve already read the book, it’s to reassure myself of how much better the book was, but if I haven’t read it, it’s to find out if the book is, indeed, better. (Hint: It almost always is).
Most importantly, cut yourself some slack! Everyone goes through reading slumps. It will pass.
How do you get through slumps? Share some of your tips that I might have overlooked!
Categories: Bookish Posts