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Getting Out Of A Reading Slump

Updated: Mar 7

For the last 3 months, I have been in a serious reading slump. In total between February and April, I read a total of about 6 books. That's almost unheard of for me. I have a TBR list about a mile long but I can't seem to pick up a book and read it. I am making it a goal for the rest of the year to read a book a week but I know when I give myself that goal I will want to surpass it. My yearly goal is always 100 books and I am really going to try and achieve that this year. I just barely made it to that goal last year with my final book being read in the last three days of 2022. I know that I have mentioned my reading tracker before but I love having the physical tracker especially when I am in a reading slump, it's nice to see a visual representation of what I have read. I typically have at least 1 reading slump a year but they can either be a couple weeks or months long.


How To Get Out Of A Reading Slump

There are many tips online about how you can get out of a reading slump but these are the top 9 that I typically use. I am going to give a quick outline of why these tips work for me.

1) Reread Your Favorite Book; this is a tried and true tip and one that you will find on any tip list. If I reread my favorite book (or a recent favorite) it reignites my love of reading, which in turn makes me want to read the next book on my list and so on. {I will be using this tip this week to try and pull myself out of my slump!}

2) Read A Short Book; pick up a novella or short story, this way you can jump back into reading without being stuck with a 400-page book.

3) Schedule Some Reading Time; Self-care is important here. Pick a time each day to read for an hour. You may only read for ten minutes, but over time, it might grow to twenty minutes or an hour and soon enough you’ll be devouring books late into the night; another helpful thing that goes along with this is to try reading somewhere new {do you always read in your room? Try reading at the kitchen table, on the couch, outside, etc.}

4) Try a New Series; Trying out a new series will not only allow you to enter a new world but also give you something to look forward to once the world-building pulls you in.

5) Don't Get Mad At Yourself For Not Reading; Remember that it’s okay to not read. That may sound like blasphemy to us Book Nerds, but if not reading is causing you stress, and that stress is causing you not to read, go ahead and give yourself permission to not read for a week. Think of it as a reading vacation: take a week off and know that you’ll get back to reading in a week the same way you would taking a break from school or work.

6) Set Goals; I never make monthly goals for myself but I will always have a yearly goal.

7) Always Carry A Book With You; I will always bring my kindle with me, doesn't matter if I don't use it I will always have it in my bag, or I will have a book in my bag instead. This doesn't mean that I will read it just that I have that option.

8) Read Something Else; When in a slump, I tend to head more towards blog posts from some of my favorite blogs, or I head to fanfiction to have that sense of escapism without having a book in front of me.

9) Organize Your Bookshelf; If you’re feeling uninspired by the books on your bookshelf then it sounds like it’s time to declutter and re-organize it. I know that bookworms all dream of having their own libraries (I am definitely one of those bookworms). But you want that library to be full of good books, right? I think many bookworms hoard every title that comes into their hands because it expands their book collection and makes it look more impressive. However, if part of your collection is made up of bad books or books that simply no longer suit your reading tastes anymore, what is the point in keeping them? Make room on your shelves by decluttering and filling the space with great reads instead. If every book on your shelf is one that you’re excited about and actually want to read, you’ll be spoilt for choice and out of your slump in no time.


Other Tips to Try

1) Switch Genres; Reading slumps could be partially due to boredom with a particular genre. A tried-and-true book category just may not hold the same interest it once did, at least for now. There are many captivating genres to choose from to shake it up. Check out the following list.

  • Science fiction (sci-fi)

  • Romance

  • Thrillers

  • Biography/autobiography

  • Historical fiction

  • Memoirs

  • Poetry

  • Essays

  • Fantasy

  • Short stories

  • Mystery/suspense

  • Action/Adventure

  • Graphic novels

Some genres overlap. For example, a memoir is a type of autobiography that focuses on key moments in the writer’s life that shaped and influenced them. Autobiographies, in contrast, are chronological accounts of the author's life events.

2) Change Formats; Although the traditional print book is a centuries-old favorite, 21st-century technology offers many ways to break those frustrating reading slumps. Newspaper and magazine articles (both print and digital) are easy to obtain and can allow exposure to a plethora of topics. Very portable e-readers contain countless numbers of full-length books. Listening to audiobooks can help those who, for one reason or another, simply don’t always have enough reading time to sit down and devote undivided attention to print books due to chores or other responsibilities. It’s often difficult to determine what kinds of time constraints face students outside of the classroom. Audiobooks, as a more passive activity, can also be used as a stepping stone to the more active mental demands of a printed or digital book. The benefit is that students can still be exposed to great literature despite the limits they might have on their time.

3) Seek Professional Help; Recommendations from people you trust, respect, and admire is a good way to get back into reading with a book that’s been vetted and suggested with your preferences in mind. In pre-pandemic days, going into your local bookstore or library and asking for some recommendations would also be a great way to get excited about something new, but if that’s not an option, we have a few recommendations for you.

4) Try A Book Podcast; A great way to find out which books are actually worth reading is to listen to book podcasts. Listening to other people discuss their favourite books can often inspire you to pick up the same titles and delve deep into yourself. Some Ideas Are:

  • Poorly Read: a hilarious podcast that analyses a few chapters each episode.

  • By the Book: where two women attempt to try out the advice in self-help books and report back.

  • You’re Booked: snoop around your favourite author's bookshelves with Daisy Buchanan.

  • The Penguin Podcast: interviews with some of the best and most famous authors – but there’s a twist. They look at the creative process of the guests via a collection of objects they have chosen.

  • Reading Women: a podcast highlighting books by or about women

5) Go To Your Favourite Bookstore; You may be in a slump because nothing on your bookshelves suits your mood at the time. The best option? Get something new and exciting that does pique your interest. Nothing beats the feeling of picking up a new read in a bookshop and racing home to read it. Pick your favourite bookstore (or bookstores!) and plan a bookish day out for you to find some new reads.


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