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