No matter how much you love reading, there always comes a time when you’re just out of will to read anything else. That, dear readers, is the infamous reading slump.
It can happen due to several reasons. It can be that your mind becomes so used to reading, there’s no more room. Or that you just finished a great story, and you want to revel in and admire it before jumping into a commitment with another book.
Or it can be just that every time you open those glorious paper-bound creations, you can’t imagine getting all the way to the end.
Reading slumps are common and nothing to be worried or ashamed about. It’s as natural as a stubbed toe and can resolve in a few days, weeks, or a couple of months. Never fear, your desire to read will come back stronger. You just need to give your mind and reading routine a little break to adjust and recharge.
Today we’re going to talk about how you can make peace with your reading slump and some tips to get out of it. Accepting your reading slump is the first step. As a reader, you might have a feeling that you’re failing in some way because your desire has vanished. For instance, a month ago I was on a reading spree where I read and finished one book every 24 to 48 hours. Continuously, without a break. I got so obsessed that I had to have my Kindle with me all the time.
This routine went on for around two weeks and I read almost 15-16 books (all of them romance) during that period. Then one day, after finishing a romantic short stories compilation, I just put it down and couldn’t pick it back up. Not even the most interesting book I had had the power to sway me into reading.
It was a shocker after my two-week speed run. But after a day or two, I understood that my mind was at its capacity and I needed to have this “forced” reading slump to get down from a high. The first step is accepting your position and understanding why it happens, whatever the reason.
So, how to get out of a reading slump?
While reading slumps are natural and go away on their own, there are certain things you can do to speed up the process. Let’s check out what those things can be and what might’ve triggered them.
1. Read Short Stories
Sometimes these slumps happen because we have gone through an exceptionally long book. These books usually require a lot of effort to complete and also occupy a sizable part of your conscious mind.
Thus, reading short instant-action stories or anthologies can help you break out of your reading slump without putting in the commitment to finish a full-length novel.
2. Reread Your Favorite
Sometimes, rereading your favorite story can be a good way to prevent your slump from going on for too long. Every new book that we pick up requires us to get in a certain frame of mind, prepare for it, anticipate whether we’ll like it or not, and get through the initial pages.
However, if we pick up something we have read already, and enjoyed, we can surpass all these steps and just get comfortable with the book again. It will be fulfilling and satisfying and even give you a chance to tap into nostalgia.
3. Try A Different Genre
As seen in my case above, I read all romance books during my two-week reading spree. And I understood that I was just so consumed by the genre that I needed a break (even though it was involuntary).
Hence, you can try branching out to a different genre, like in my case, sci-fi, to see if the slump is for books generally or a particular kind of book. (FYI, I’m back to devouring romance books again). Comics and children’s books can also provide a good distraction and help you ease back into consistent reading.
4. Blind Book Date
Many times, reading slumps aren’t caused by our reading habits. With a high number of books on our To Be Reading (TBR) list, we might get confused about which one to pick next. After all, they’re all on our list for a reason. It might feel like a good thing but can backfire when making a decision feels like far too much effort, and we abandon the TBR pile altogether.
A while ago, I read about a unique way around this dilemma. First, wrap all the books on your TBR with newspapers or brown paper. Now, whenever you need a new book to read, you just have to pick a covered one, open it and commit no matter what. Seems easy enough.
So, these are some easy-to-implement ways that can help you get out of your reading slump. However, it is necessary to actually have these slumps so you don’t overexert and get out of reading for good!