Reading Slumps & How To Overcome Them

Everyone has reading slumps once in a while. I’m stuck in a particularly bad one lately. For over a week now I have a very hard time picking up a book and reading it. Every book I try to read doesn’t seem to hold my interest for very long and I have a very hard time concentrating on the things I’m reading. I find myself reading a sentence over and over again but I can’t seem to understand what the words even mean and every book I try to read puts me to sleep after about half a page. I try to force myself to read just to “get through” the book and that is something you should never do when you’re stuck in a reading slump. Never force yourself to take a book and read, because doing something when you actually don’t want to do it right now only makes the task seem even more daunting. Reading slumps are dark and depressing times for an avid reader like me and so in this post I will try to give you some advice on how to get out of it and rediscover the joy in books.

What I like to do is consciously make time to read. I make myself comfortable, maybe in my bed or my comfy reading chair, with a nice cup of tea or coffee and some chocolate. I make sure that there are no background noises since I already have a hard time concentrating on what I’m reading right now so any distractions just make it worse. On the other hand if background noise is what you need to help you focus then choose your favourite music and put that on in the background.

Another thing that can help you get through your reading slump is that you try re-reading a book you really love. Now this won’t help you in making your TBR pile smaller but reading something you really like might help you getting into the reading flow again. Or maybe you have a book on your shelf that you’ve been dying to read and you know you will enjoy that book very much so try picking it up.

Read the synopsis of the book you are currently reading again or read some positive reviews. This might motivate you to continue on with the story. And perhaps in a few pages a very exciting and suspenseful moment is coming up and you wouldn’t want to miss out on that, right?

For those of you who are book bloggers try writing some reviews on books you’ve read recently. I’ve tried doing that myself when I was in my last major reading slump and it worked at getting my interest in reading back. Or maybe just try writing about something book related that has been on your mind recently. Maybe write about your favourite characters or your favourite plot twists or make a post about electronic reading.

One tip I have seen floating around on the Internet is stepping out of your comfort zone and try reading a book of a genre you don’t normally read. You never know, maybe you discover something you really enjoy. Furthermore if you’re one of those people who are great at multitasking you could try listening to an audiobook while you do other things.

A good tip for overcoming a reading slump is reading books that people have said are fast-paced. The kind of books you just can’t put out of your hands no matter how tired or hungry you are or how desperately you need to go to the bathroom. Stories like “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins or “Shadow and Bone” by Leigh Bardugo are great fast-paced stories. Dystopian novels in general are an exciting and fast read.

Read a shorter book. If a book doesn’t have a lot of pages it might motivate you more to read it. So when you’re stuck in a reading slump don’t pick up books like Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” with its 1074 pages. Choose a book from your shelf that is rather thin and less daunting. When you finish it you will feel a sense of accomplishment that might motivate you to keep reading and pick up a new book.

Sometimes the easiest and most helpful solution however is to simply ride it out. Do some other things, go out with friends, go shopping, and get some fresh air. It’s ok to not read for a while and sometimes you just need a break from so many words and eventually a book will call out to you again and you will be back to reading and enjoying it in no time.

Hopefully one or more of those tip will help you – and me – to overcome this nightmarish thing we avid readers call a book slump and help us to get back to enjoying our reading again!

— Alina xx

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