Ah, the Reading Slump. Just saying the words causes my stomach to turn. If you’ve spent any amount of time in the bookish community, you likely have heard the phrase. It’s used to describe the awful feeling that accompanies not wanting to read. I know, NOT wanting to read? Blasphemy.
However, it is a totally normal thing to feel. While it can definitely be discouraging, here are five tips that I’ve used that have successfully pulled me out of that dreaded pit of despair.
TIP #1: Try to read something short.
This first tip might be a bit obvious, but reading something shorter gives yourself a sense of accomplishment. If you’ve been neglecting reading simply because your TBR pile has grown to gargantuan proportions, this is an easy fix. No matter how long or short a book is, it is still a book. It counts toward your reading goal and makes your reading slump a little less ‘slumpy’.
TIP #2: Read a different medium.
Perhaps you’ve grown a bit bored with long, drawn out novels and are in need of something different. Reading a play or graphic novel can jumpstart your reading momentum and encourage you to tackle those other books in your TBR. As I said with length, it doesn’t matter if a book is written in play format or accompanied by pictures. A story is a story, and it counts.
TIP #3: Try a standalone story.
Starting a series or trying to work your way through a series can seem daunting when in the midst of a slump. A standalone allows you to see the definite ending, while series (especially ongoing ones) can give the illusion of no end in sight. A one and done novel might be the ticket to ending the slump.
TIP #4: Mix it up!
I’ve fallen victim to a seemingly unending parade of YA fantasy stories. Those are my favorite to read, and I am always confused when I can’t seem to push through a reading slump to read more YA fantasy! Maybe this is why. Getting lost in fantasy can be a good thing, but reading one fantasy after another can cause details, characters, and plot twists to get muddled. Those wonderful books can get lost in the massive genre. So, try mixing it up. After reading a fantasy novel, try YA contemporary then a classic. This helped me recently, and reading Geekerella was just the contemporary bit of fluff that I needed to read again!
TIP #5: If you can’t sit down to read a book, then listen to one.
Lately, I’ve been busy and can’t seem to find time to sit down and read an honest-to-goodness book. In the past, I never considered audiobooks partly because I am a visual person. I need to see the words on the page and feel the book in my hands. When I ventured into the world of audiobooks, Audible was the obvious choice. If you’re into classics, Librivox is a wonderful free app that offers different versions of your favorite classic books! The quality isn’t as good as Audible’s, but it’ll do in a pinch. I started listening to audiobooks this year as I got ready for work, running errands, and driving. I get so much reading done! It helps when I feel like I’ve neglected my precious books.
BONUS TIP: Don’t beat yourself up. Really.
I went through a four year long reading slump. Yes, you read that right. FOUR. YEARS. It wasn’t fun, and I hated it. But, it ended. I’ve found myself reading books one after the other again. These tips helped me, and I hope they work for you.
Maybe these tips won’t work. If that happens, that’s okay. It’s okay to be in a slump from time to time. It’s normal. We all go through it. It isn’t fun, but try to remember that. Just know that the slump will end! When that happens, you can find a new favorite, and that’s something to look forward to!