Hey, everyone! I’m back with a post about the most cruel thing in the bookish world – a reading slump. I will try to explain what a reading slump is, how you can spot it (AND DESTROY IT), maybe prevent it and some tips on how to break this awful curse.
According to Urban Dictionary, a reading slump is a reader’s worst nightmare. While it’s not the most detailed definition, I would say it’s pretty accurate.
A reading slump is basically the inability to read. You can’t read books and it’s not because the book is too slow-paced or you dislike the characters and are unable to finish it, it’s just because you’re not capable to read.
This time it’s not the book, it’s you. Sorry. It’s one of the most frustrating feeling in the world because if you’re a blogger or a very committed reader, then you most probably WANT/NEED to read, but you just can’t.
How to spot a reading slump
- It will start gradually. Usually, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a book that you enjoyed so far, maybe it was a bit slow or maybe it was perfect and you didn’t want it to end or maybe it was really bad, it doesn’t really matter. And then, BOOOM, you can’t read it anymore. You read the same line over and over for 30 minutes.
- You start to realize that you might never get past this line, so you put down the book and think “well, I’ll just read more tomorrow”
- Before you know it, tomorrow turned into two days, three days and then one week and you finally understand that it’s worse than you thought. YOU HAVE FALLEN PREY TO THE MONSTER.
- You tell yourself that maybe it will work if you read something else, so you stare at your shelf for hours and try to make yourself pick something to read. Maybe you take a book out from the shelf and try to read it, but nothing is working.
In the end, you just give up and embrace Netflix. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules.
- if you’re lucky, maybe you actually find a book that gets you out of the reading slump, but that only happens if the reading gods favor you.
What causes a reading slump???? Plus some ways to prevent it.
Sadly, there isn’t enough data to draw conclusions on this matter, but I can tell you something. Whenever I’m in a reading slump, it’s probably because of the following reasons :
- I have too many responsibilities and I’m too tired to read (usually it happens when I have exams, it can happen to you if you have a lot of work to do). Reading takes up time and you need to be in a certain mood to read and exhausted is probably not the right mood to be in. Maybe try not to beat yourself up too much when this happens because life is to blame, not you.
- I just read a great book, it was an instant favorite, but it has a huge downsize : it destroyed every other book for me. Well, obviously, I will still read and find other favorites in the future, but for a few days or weeks, my brain will be too focused on the said book to want to read anything else. How to trick it : I usually read positive reviews of books that are on my TBR, it’s almost impossible not to get excited after reading a few reviews. It works most of the time.
- I just read the worst book ever and now I’ve lost trust in humanity???? It happens, for sure. Here, I usually solve this by reading a book by a favourite author. I trust this author, so there are huge chances that the book will be a hit and won’t disappoint me. I think lots of people use re-reading a favorite book to combat reading slumps as well (but I’m not huge on re-reading, so there’s that).
- I’m binge-watching tv shows on Netflix and it’s taken over my existence. Yeah, I don’t have a solution here. I’ve been hangover after watching Vikings and I’ve spent so much more time reading fanfiction rather than reading books and I hate it, but I can’t really stop. How to prevent this from happening? Well, maybe don’t watch tv shows? Or be a casual fan? I can’t relate though.
I’m sure there are more things that can cause a reading slump, but these are the usual ones for me.
How to trick your brain into reading
- Re-read your favorite books if that works for you as I mentioned before. If you’re not a huge fan of re-reading, then try my method and read a book from a trusted author.
- Try something with a different format (letters, e-mails, anything among these lines) or poetry books. I love doing this because they are quick reads and since you move through the book so quickly, you start feeling capable to read again, therefore beating the reading slump.
My recommendations for this one would include : Sadie by Courtney Summers (which isn’t out until September, but I’d absolutely recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of true crime), The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (I haven’t read this one yet, but I’ve heard only great things about it), The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan (2013!me worshiped this book), Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
3. Don’t stress yourself over not being able to read. I feel like whenever you obsess a lot about not having read anything in three days, you get even less reading done. Maybe watch your favorite tv show, do something with your family or friends, go out, relax. And then try again.
4. Switch up things a little. If you’ve read only contemporary for a while now, try a fantasy book. Maybe don’t go for a genre you never read before because that can go wrong, stick to a genre you love, but haven’t read in a while. I have my periods when I read only fantasy or only contemporary and after some time, I have to read something different.
5. Talk to book reviewers about books and about your reading slump, they will all relate and they might cheer on you while you try to get past that or give you some tips if you need them. For example, Kat @ Life and Other Disasters once literary cheered on me to make me read and also send me some adorable Aneurin Barnard gifs to encourage me. It worked a great deal.
6. Maybe listen to audiobooks???? I have a hard time getting into audiobooks, I’m not sure why. Maybe I have a hard time focusing, maybe it’s because I’m a huge visual person and I always get bored whenever I have to listen to someone talk for a long period of time. IDK. It’s my personal preference to read a paperback or an ebook, but it would probably work to switch formats.
7. Most importantly, understand that it’s pretty normal for us, bookworms to get reading slumps from time to time. It’s like a burnout, it happens when you’ve ignored your life responsibilities for too long while reading and now you’re getting to the punishment (I’M KIDDING)
In conclusion, don’t despair, the dragon can be slayed.
What do you do when you’re in a reading slump?
I need all your tips because they are getting more and more frequent in my case.