Bookish Discussion

Tips on How to Get Out of a Reading Slump

How to defeat your reading slumps

Hello friends, it’s Vera here today. During the first half of 2021, I found myself struggling with multiple reading slumps. Most were easy to control as they only lasted for a week or so, but there was one or two that affected my reading for up to a month. Thankfully, I successfully came out of these slumps, so today I’m here to share a couple of tips and tricks about how you can defeat a reading slump. Keep in mind that these are things that have worked for me, so I can’t promise they’ll work for everyone. Nonetheless, because I’ve been reading for a long time and have encountered multiple reading slumps during that time, I think there might be a tip for everyone on this list. Hope I’m right. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Reorganize your book shelves.

This is a cool tip, in my opinion, because it allows you to stay connected to books by organizing them but it doesn’t force you to read anything at all. Reorganizing your shelves can also be helpful because it pushes you into handling books you haven’t yet read. Hopefully, you own some books you are really looking forward to starting; these can gently push you to become excited about reading again. The other thing you can try is to find your favorite novels that you own, browse through them and find your favorite parts.

Look up some book blogs.

Whenever I read book blogs, I always find myself discovering titles I haven’t yet heard about, as well as learning more about titles I’ve already had on my to-read list. In both of these cases, blog hopping results in me becoming excited to start reading the books I’ve just read about, which is obviously helpful when I’m in a reading slump.

Read fanfiction.

If you are already shaking your head, ready to scroll onto the next topic because you don’t read fanfiction or are unsure how it could help, I ask you to listen to my story with fanfiction. Up until May 2020, I had never read fanfiction. I wouldn’t say I looked down on fanfiction, but I always felt like I couldn’t enjoy it, because if it’s not canon, it doesn’t matter. Then, after I finished The Magnus Archives, I needed more of these characters, so I tentatively opened Archive of Our Own to look for Magnus Archives fanfiction. I was immediately blown away by all the creativity and talent I’ve seen there, and since then fanfiction has been a huge source of comfort for me.

Sometimes, the reason why I go into a reading slump is that I have trouble concentrating on books. These times, I feel like I don’t have the mind space to take in new characters and new worlds. Fanfiction is a wonderful solution for that, as it typically involves less concentration because I am already familiar with the characters and other details. For me, reading fanfiction has been so helpful throughout the pandemic – it always cheers me up and is able to take my mind off the negative things in my life.

Listen to audiobooks.

I started actively listening to audiobooks in the past two years, and since then I’ve realized how helpful they can be when I’m in a reading slump. Personally, I think my brain processes audiobooks and physical / e-books in the same way (at least it feels like that), so given that, it might sound strange that audiobooks have been helpful when I didn’t feel like reading physical or e-books. Here’s my reasoning: sometimes I get into a reading slump because I don’t have the patience to sit down and read a book – during these times, audiobooks are perfect, as I can listen to them while walking, doing chores, or baking. Another thing is that a good audiobook narrator can truly enhance a story, which is helpful when I have trouble focusing on books.

Reread your favorites.

I feel like this is a pretty popular method to handle a reading slump between those of us who enjoy rereading books. Rereading can be helpful when I’m in a slump because it involves less concentration and effort than reading a book for the first time. One thing I struggle with when I’m trying to get out of a reading slump is that I’m hesitant to start a new book as I’m scared it will be disappointing. When I reread an old favorite that fear doesn’t exist, because I know I will love it.

Find a friend you can buddy read something with.

I find that buddy-reads can really increase my willingness to read books and can speed up my reading. I believe the reason for that is that it’s always more fun to read a book when you can discuss it with someone.

Take a break from reading and concentrate on your other hobbies.

I’m going to end this post with the most obvious tip there is – if you absolutely can’t imagine yourself reading right now and using any of my tips, perhaps it’s time to take a full break from reading and books. Try letting go of your worries of not reading and focus on other interests you have. For instance, when I struggled with reading I focused on listening to fictional podcasts.

Let’s chat!

Do you ever get into a reading slump? If so, how do you handle them?

18 thoughts on “Tips on How to Get Out of a Reading Slump

  1. My favourite ways to get out of reading slumps are listening to audibooks and watching/reading booktube/book blogs. The second option is like what you mentioned about reorganising shelves, it’s staying connected to books and the community, which usually makes me excited about books again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I donโ€™t think you can ever have too many ways to try and get out of a reading slump. I feel like I went through about a million slumps the past year and my usual go to choices are reading fanfiction, rereading favourites, or fully embracing the slump and waiting for the urge to pick up a book to return. I usually avoid reading blogs when Iโ€™m slumping because I start to feel bad Iโ€™m not reading anything but it probably would speed up my urge to get back to reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely second that opinion on fan fiction! I hadn’t read much until earlier this year to be honest and now I even write some myself, which is also a great way to get over a reading slump – just distract yourself with writing (if that’s something you enjoy). My account is under a different name and no one knows it’s me, which helps not build any pressure concerning writing, but it has helped me a lot.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post!! โค I don’t struggle much with big reading slumps, but sometimes when I get stressed I don’t feel inclined to pick up a book! Reading fanfiction and looking at what others are reading usually helps me as well! Also putting aside my TBR and finding that book I’m really in the mood for can also be helpful and get me excited again ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d say that 2021 has been the year of reading slumps, but that would be a lie, since I have reading slumps every year! I just forget about them once I start reading again!

    I really love all the tips you gave in this post! I think the first one is one I hadn’t heard recommended before, but it makes so much sense! You still get to be around books you love, but there’s no actual reading involved!

    For me, I tend to pick up graphic novels when I start feeling slumpy. The fact that those books are mostly comprised of pictures, and tend to be 250 pages or less really helps me. Plus, most of the graphic novels I read are cute and fun, which is exactly what I need when slumping!

    The other thing I do is what I call skim re-reads. I’ll either start a favorite book from the beginning and skim until I get to the parts I love, or I straight up just flip from favorite scene to favorite scene. Sometimes even re-reads feel too daunting, but these little snippets still calm the part of my brain that’s upset over my lack of reading, without taking too much energy!

    Fantastic post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Graphic novels sound like a really good idea! I didn’t think of them because I don’t really read graphic novels, but it makes sense they would be a good way to read when you are in a slump.

      I’ve definitely done some skim-rereads before and they are always a lot of fun as they slowly get me back to reading but also feel different from reading because I’m not reading the books word to word.

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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