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!