Bookish List · Uncategorized

5 Signs You Should Take a Reading Break

Hi, it’s Sabrina and as you may know, I have been experiencing a reading slump for the last few months.  I go through slumps every now and then, which I think is pretty normal, so I thought I could share with you today some of the signs that it’s time to stop forcing yourself to read and just have a break. I see a lot about trying to get back into reading after a lull, but not too much about simply embracing the slump – that’s what I’m encouraging you to do today, if you find yourself exhibiting any of the following symptoms!

1.  You just don’t care and you can’t pinpoint why.

If you’re reading a book that you just know you should – or could – be enjoying, but you’re not emotionally connecting or you’re bored, there’s a good chance it’s not the book’s fault.  If the book has tropes you love, interesting characters, pacing that you usually gel with and a writing style that has worked for you in the past but you’re still not feeling any emotions toward the book, it’s probably time for you to take a break and try doing something else for a day or two.  Or longer!  I have had this happen to me before, typically after reading a book that deeply affected me or experiencing something intense in my life.  In this case, I would say the cause of the not-caring is burnout.  If you’re looking for a quick-ish fix for this specifically, sometimes rereading a favourite book helps me reset and get back to reading like normal.

2.  You’re starting to stress about all the books you’ve got to read.

For most of us, reading is a hobby – so it should be fun!  If you’re starting to stress about the books you’ve got to read – whether that’s because they’re ARCs or have a library due date or for some other reason – it’s probably time to go against what your head is telling you and take a breather.  Life is stressful enough without adding this to it!  It’ll be better in the long run to go back to your books feeling refreshed, and it’s not the end of the world if you have to return a book before you’ve read it.

Can you tell this is mostly me speaking to myself?

3.  You have to continually reread whole pages because your mind was wandering.

Do you ever find this happening to you?  You’ve been sitting down, peacefully reading a book for who knows how long, when suddenly you realise you didn’t take in any meaning from the words your eyes passed over and you have to go over it all again?  Yes, sometimes this is a sign of something else – it could be simply that you’re tired and need some sleep (in which case, you do still need a break), but sometimes it’s a sign that you have other things you’d rather be doing.  And why not do those things instead?

4.  You’re distracted by everything.

Sometimes I find any reason not to read, even while I’m tricking myself into thinking that’s what I’m doing.  I’ll sit down, open my book, then immediately decide I need a glass of water.  Or I need to let my dog outside for a bit.  Or quickly* check Twitter.  Or…anything else.  Sometimes this is a sign that the book I’m reading is slow paced, but often it is my mind trying to tell me that I need to have a break and do something else for a while.  Doing a little bit of exercise, such as simply going for a walk, can usually cure me from being constantly distracted, but when this doesn’t work, there’s no point forcing myself to “read” because in reality, I’m getting nothing done.

*Let’s be honest, it’s never “quickly”

5.  You have picked up several books and only read a few pages before putting them down again.

I know I hate when I experience this sign of a slump – where I pick up book after book only to put them down after a few pages and immediately try something else instead.  A lot of the time, this sort of poisons the books for me, because I mistakenly feel that they were boring or otherwise not good when it was just that I was struggling to read anything at the time – it’s usually pretty hard to tell from only a few pages whether a book is going to be boring or not.  Sometimes it takes me an embarrassingly long time to realise “oh, it’s not you, it’s me,” and take a break.

What do you think?

Do you have reading slumps often?  Have you noticed any of these signs before?  Do you prefer to embrace the slump or power through?  Let me know!


15 thoughts on “5 Signs You Should Take a Reading Break

  1. Wow, I needed this post. I’m in a really deep slump right now, which happens to me every single winter without fail. I don’t know why it’s seasonal 😅.

    Currently I’ve found a book that I’m enjoying, but it’s slow going – I’m getting through a chapter every few days. I would normally be more concerned about forcing myself to push through, but I smashed my reading goal early this year so I don’t feel like I need to worry too much.

    I’m trying to embrace the slump at the moment, just doing other things and trusting it to pass. This is a really great post, and a reminder I think all of us could do with at some point!


  2. Yep. These are all signs of my own slumps too. I’ve had a few of those and the best is definitely to take a break because otherwise everything just ends up being frustrating. I go through slumps maybe 2-3 times a year, this year more so because of so much chaos in the real world. I need to schedule some time off in December so I can come back refreshed in January.


  3. this is such an amazing, important post!! Now that I’ve started blogging, it’s almost like reading can start feeling like a chore SO EASILY??? This post is very comforting ❤ ❤


  4. Reading breaks are super important! Us bookworms can very much get into reading compulsively. I definitely relate to being stressed over how many books I have to read. A few weeks ago I finally returned a bunch of books to the library that I knew I just didn’t have time to read and it felt really good. Awesome post, Sabrina!


  5. I can definitely relate to this! I had a record reading month last month, but since the start of November I’ve only read two books, so I can feel a slump coming on! The books I’ve read have been good too, but I’ve just struggled to get through them.
    Hopefully both our slumps are over soon, but in the meantime I think you’re right, and we should just embrace it, and take a break!


  6. Great post! I definitely love the idea of not forcing yourself when you’re in a lump, I always find it makes my reading slump worse. I am actually slowly emerging from a reading slump and still think your points work. I always know a slump has hit when I’m reading a book I should love but just can’t get into and I hate it but I also do take it as a sign. You shouldn’t force yourself to read. Love that you tell folks not to stress, I don’t tend to have that as much but it’s good to remember we shouldn’t pressure ourselves. During my last blogging break it was a relief not to be checking publish dates for ARCs and worrying when books were due back at the library so it’s probably right if you’re stressing give yourself some time off. The last one is totally me, though. I am a total mood reader, and so if I’m stuck on what I want to read and can’t settle on anything it’s a sign the slump is here. usually I take a but of time off from reading or reread an old favourite. I never get as distracted rereading something and I find it way less stressful than stopping reading completely.


  7. This is a great and important post, Sabrina! As a reader we all feel the pressure to constantly read while in reality, reading breaks are important too! For me, 2 and 4 are the biggest signs for me and I’ve learned to notice is better that I am able to take breaks before it evolves into a huge slump…


  8. Great posts!

    I tend to get reading slumps towards the end of year, where I don’t stop reading but start to read very….very….slowly. Around this time of year I get SUPER busy and I just accept that a few pages (or no pages!) a day will just have to do.


  9. Wow! I have never felt more personally attacked by a post in my life! I’ve been in a reading slump since September, and every single signs have been happening to me. Thank you so much for saying this because I think there’s so much pressure to always be reading that a lot of us (myself included) try to force reading on us when we just need to rest.


  10. I think a lot of people feel they have to read in order to keep up that they “like books” but honestly sometimes it’s just HARD to continuously read. Especially when we’re all crazy busy or have some health issues to deal with. I think this is a good reminder it’s okay to take a break!


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