Let’s Talk Bookish: What are the best ways to get over reading slumps?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today’s topic is What are the best ways to get over reading slumps?

Sometimes you just don’t want to read anymore, how do you get back into it? Do you give yourself a break? Watch booktube or read blogs? Read an old favourite book to reignite that spark? Do you just force yourself through it? Maybe you read a picture book or a graphic novel?

Every avid reader has had to battle a reading slump or two, and I’m sure my fellow bookworms would agree that having a great book right in front of you but no motivation to pick it up is the worst feeling. As a blogger, reading slumps are doubly distressing, because I’m probably missing a review deadline or two every time it happens and it can turn very stressful.

Personally, I prefer to follow the ‘prevention is better than cure’ philosophy, because my reading slumps wildly vary and can last from a few days to a few weeks, and in one particularly terrible instance, nearly four months. I’ve learned to recognize many indicators of an oncoming slump in my reading routine over the years, but they do sometimes appear entirely out of the blue and there’s no other choice but to work through it.

My go-to technique is to switch to a book that requires little to no effort to read, especially books I’ve read cover to cover so many times I could probably recite the dialogue in my sleep. There’s something very comforting about stepping back into a familiar world with characters you know so well, and it’s a rare occasion when this hasn’t worked for me. Graphic novels are a great choice and I’ve found that reading fanfiction works really well for me too.

Another method is to try and figure out why you’re in a slump in the first place. Maybe the genre no longer appeals to you, or the plot isn’t going anywhere. Switching genres, especially to a fast paced book is a great way to break a reading slump. The mode of reading could be a factor – there have been times when audiobooks have done the trick for me.

Reading environment matters a lot too. I’m sure most of us have a favourite reading spot, whether in our homes, backyards, gardens or elsewhere. But sometimes the places that work the best can be quite distracting for a variety of reasons, so taking your book somewhere new can help a lot. Alternatively, reorganize your shelves and reading nook if you have one. Looking through all those books can be wonderful motivation to read again. Moving to a different activity for a while can help take your mind off being stuck in a reading slump, whether it’s taking a walk or watching some TV.

One thing I’m very careful never to do is force myself to finish the book – the sole exception to this being if it’s an ARC I have to review soon. I wouldn’t enjoy the story and it would likely make the slump all that much worse. Binge-watching TV shows is something else I avoid – watching TV is too easy and it makes me feel lazy and unproductive and hence even less likely to pick up a book. The same goes for social media which I try to keep to a minimum anytime I’m in the middle of a reading slump. Oddly enough, watching booktube has never helped me with – rather, it only serves to remind me just how huge my TBR is and consequently makes me less motivated to read. Blog hopping tends to do the same.

And if none of these work? You might just have to wait it out and give yourself the break your brain is demanding. Take some time away from reading and do literally anything else. This also works beautifully as a prevention method and I actually do this for a few days a couple of times a year to pace myself, particularly if I’ve just finished a heavy or long read.

What are some methods you use to beat a reading slump? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

10 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: What are the best ways to get over reading slumps?

  1. Hasini @ Bibliosini July 16, 2021 / 12:42 am

    Strangely, BookTube works for me! All I have to do is watch a reading vlog and I get so excited to go start reading on my own. But not the videos featuring recommendations or anything though, because, like you pointed out, it just reminds me of my TBR! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) July 18, 2021 / 7:51 pm

      That’s interesting, watching a reading vlog is something I haven’t tried, though I tend to get distracted by other YouTube recommendations long before I get that far 😂 Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Alicia Thompson July 16, 2021 / 2:07 am

    Hi, I relate to this post so much!!! I love reading but sometimes I really cannot bring myself to do it. These are some great tips for how to pick up the book again, thanks for sharing, Alicia

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Twinsight | Lifestyle Blog July 19, 2021 / 11:14 am

    I completely agree with what you said about finding the right reading environment. If it’s too noisy or there are too many electronic devices around, it’s hard to actually focus on the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. readandreviewit1 July 19, 2021 / 1:31 pm

    Great tips! Reading slumps really are the worst haha. I definitely find that switching genre or rereading a favourite can help, but I’ve never tried reading fanfiction as break, although I feel like that would really work for me! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jaya Avendel July 19, 2021 / 4:53 pm

    I love reading a good fanfiction story; I know all the characters and enjoy creative twists within world and character building. It is also an easeless genre to read. Rereading classics is also a go-to for me when I need something to mix up my love of words a little, with graphic novels making a close second.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) July 24, 2021 / 10:12 pm

      Agreed, there’s something about fanfiction that makes it so effortless to read, which is why I find it helpful for reading slumps. Rereading classics is one I haven’t tried, but I can imagine that it would work very well too. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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