We’ve all been there. The dreaded reading slump. One of the worst possible things to experience as a book-lover. You find yourself starting and putting down one book, then another, and another, because nothing is really catching your interest. So, what do you do? How do you get back in the mood to read? I’ve been through my fair share of book slumps in my 20ish years as a reader, so here are a few of the things that have helped me personally get through them.
- DON’T READ.
I realize this might sound a bit counterproductive because it’s the exact opposite of what we’re trying to achieve here. But sometimes too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Reading a book when you’re not really in the mood for it is not fair to the book. You might be forcing yourself through a book and consequently not enjoying it as much as you would under different circumstances. You could be missing out on a great reading experience had you only started the book when your reading slump had passed. So, give it some time. Let your mind rest. Watch some netflix, do some yoga, hang out with your friends. Spend time on other hobbies and eventually, that urge to pick up a book will strike, and then you’ll know it’s time.
- Watch Booktube videos or scroll through Bookstagram.
Booktube and Bookstagram are a great motivator for me. Listening to someone talk about their passion for reading or looking at pretty pictures of books on Instagram really helps me remember how much I love reading. It can also help you find recommendations on books that sound interesting and may help get you out of your slump.
- Get Cozy.
If you don’t already have a designated reading spot, make one. Being in the right atmosphere will really help set the mood and get you inspired to read. Get a bunch of cozy pillows and blankets, light some candles, grab a cup of tea or coffee, and just make it your spot. I normally just read in my bed, but if I need an extra boost of motivation I’ll read in my reading corner in my office.
- Make some tea/coffee.
This might sound like a silly tip, but I swear it helps me! There’s something about sipping on a cup of coffee while immersed in a book that just makes your reading experience so much better!
- Read a book that doesn’t have a lot of hype or one you’ve never heard of before.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been let down by a quite a few over-hyped books, and this can sometimes lead to a book slump if said book doesn’t quite reach your expectations. In my experience, picking up a book that I’ve never heard of is a better idea because you may end up being pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoy it! And if you don’t enjoy it, at least you won’t feel too let down because you had no expectations for it to live up to in the first place!
- Read an old favorite.
Whenever I find myself in a book slump, the first book I reach for is always Harry Potter. I’ve read it so many times and because of that, I don’t have to concentrate too hard on what I’m reading because I already know what happens! Instead, I can just enjoy the story and the nostalgia it brings. It’s also a pretty good reminder of how much I love reading.
- Put your phone away/get rid of all distractions.
This can be an issue even when you’re not in a book slump. I always have my phone next to me. Every time I finish a chapter, I’ll pick up my phone, check instagram, goodreads, facebook, etc. and it slows my reading down so much! This is even worse when you’re in a book slump! You need to eliminate anything that could change your reading atmosphere. You want a relaxing, quiet, cozy space, and your phone does not belong there. So, give yourself 30 minutes or an hour, set your phone on silent and just read. No distractions.
- Reorganize your bookshelf.
It’s a fun way to be around books without actually reading! And you may come across a book that you’ve been meaning to read for a while but forgot you owned but sounds really good!
Here are a few things you should not do if you find yourself in a reading slump:
- Set a goal.
This will just put unnecessary pressure on yourself and make you feel forced to read when you really don’t want to, which will just make the slump worse. Refer to tip #1 above, and just don’t read, especially if you’re not feeling it!
- Force yourself to read.
Again, refer to tip #1 above. If you aren’t in the mood to read, then don’t. Give your mind a break. Watch some Netflix instead.
- Read a long book.
This may work for some people, but for me, I prefer to read short, fast-paced books to get out of a slump. Something light and fun is going to be much easier to get through than something long and deep that requires a lot of concentration. Stick to light contemporaries or fast-paced thrillers! Then, when you’re out of your slump, you can reach for the big books! You’ll enjoy them much more that way!
Well, that’s all I have for now! Hopefully this was helpful! If you have any other tips for getting over a book slump, I would love to hear them!