Reading slumps can be so frustrating, especially if you’re generally an avid reader. So, wanting to find a way to end it is totally understandable. The good news is chances are you’ve beaten reading slumps many times before, so you can certainly conquer it again.
Here’s some ideas on how to accelerate that process:
- Participate in a Read-A-Thon. Read-a-thons, when a group of readers plan a time to all be reading, can be fun ways to “schedule” in some reading and provide you with community support as well. Just check on twitter and search for “readathon” since there are often people posting to see if others want to do a read-a-thon together.
- Ask a librarian or your local bookseller for recommendations. If the books you currently have aren’t doing it for you, there’s nothing wrong with just putting them on hold and letting someone else inspire you to read.
- Flip through some children’s books. I personally love children’s books with cute moral lessons or fables with pretty pictures. A nice way to get you in the reading mood.
- Try reading a comic book. There’s a lot of interesting and substantive stories told via comic books, it’s not all superheros and capes, though there is plenty of that as well. Maus, Persepolis, Blankets, Marvel 1602, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, From Hell and City of Glass are all popular graphic novels.
- Change your environment. Visit a park or a cafe if you don’t normally read there. Or if you prefer being at home, just try cleaning up around your place or adding a nice touch like some fresh flowers.
- Turn off your phone. Phones are fantastic little devices, but can ruin your concentration. Silence it before you start trying to read.
- Have a spa day. Give yourself a sheet facial (or pony up the cash to have a professional one), do your nails, take a nice bath, listen to some relaxing music. Then try reading after once you’re primed up and totally relaxed physically and mentally.
- Get comfortable. Put on your comfiest pajamas or bath robe and get a glass of wine ready. Snuggle up in a blanket and then start reading.
- Try a new format. If you don’t normally read ebooks, try reading an ebook. If you do, try reading a hard copy book.
- Read in transit or in a waiting room. If you have a long flight, an appointment where you’ll be in a waiting room or anything like that, plan ahead and have a book with you. If you have nothing else to do, you might as well read.
- Bring a book everywhere. Upload an audiobook onto your phone, put a shortcut to an ebook on your desktop and keep a paperback with you at all times. When you’re tempted to go on your phone to kill time, try reading instead!
- Get organized, and plan a small amount of reading. Set aside a time to read a specific amount (a few chapters) and don’t read any more than that. If it goes as planned, plan the next section at a specific time and so on. Sometimes the best way to tackle a task to is break it off into parts and go one step at a time!
- Spend an afternoon at the library or bookstore. Having more reading options at your fingertips can be a good way to help inspire your reading. Just read whatever catches your eye and see if it sticks.
- Join a book club. Find a friend to form a club with, check your local libraries and bookstores for community clubs, join one online or find a group on meetup.com.
- Try some short stories instead. Bite-sized literary snacks can sometimes help you to feel more mentally in the right place to tackle a larger novel. I’ve posted a list of my favorite short stories if you need some ideas.
- Experiment with audiobooks. This actually got me out of my last reading slump. Sometimes you can’t get into reading, but it’s easy to just pop on an audiobook and see how far that takes you.
- Go on a book buying ban. Impose a book buying ban until you finish something off your TBR.
- Read out loud. Read to your cat or your dog, or even an audience if someone will let you, like a grandparent or young sibling. Do voices for extra points.
- Read some fables or fairy tales. Short, sweet and familiar stories.
- Re-read a book you know you love. Trying reading a book you’ve read and enjoyed many times before.
- Re-read a book that you loved, but have since forgotten about. Scroll through your Goodreads for a book you remember really liking, but don’t remember the plot to anymore. It’s like reading a new book, expect you know you’ll like it!
- Go to a literary event like an author’s reading or talk. Getting in a literary mindset can sometimes help clear up a slump and give you ideas on what you might be in the mood to read.
- Do some writing. Try doing a creative writing exercise and let yourself rediscover the fun of words and reading.
- Go on a media-strike (no TV, no movies). Clear your head of any media. Sometimes having sensory overload can be exhausting. Give your mind a rest for a week or two and see if you have more space in there for a nice novel afterwards.
- Plan a weekend getaway. Vacations are prime reading time for me. I love to just drive somewhere a few hours away and spend the night in a cabin or hotel. It’s great for clearing your mind to get you in a good mindset to read.
- Stop sweating it. Honestly, unless you have to read for work reasons, pleasure reading should not feel like a burden. There’s nothing wrong with just not reading. I know as a book lover, you might feel pressure to read more, but it’s really okay to cut yourself some slack. And maybe when it feels like something you want to do instead of something you need to do, you’ll find that your slump has ended!
Hope these tips are helpful. Feel free to drop a comment if you know of something that works for you!