How to Break a Reading Slump

Every reader runs into slumps–times when they just can’t find the motivation to pick up their next book. It’s a natural cycle. Here are three things that help me get through those slumps and get back into the swing of reading.

Give It Time

Most of the time, if I hit a slump it’s because I’ve been doing a lot of back-to-back reading. Trying to force myself to keep going only makes it worse. Besides, the worst thing you can do to yourself is to make reading feel like a chore. I read because I love it, so why would I turn it into something stressful?

If you find yourself having a hard time getting into reading, take a few days off–take a week off, or longer if you need to. Go about your daily life and the urge to read will come back. I’ve even had entire years where I didn’t much feel like reading because I had a lot of other things going on in my life. That’s okay. I’m back into the reading life now, and that’s what matters. I just needed a break to get other things settled.

We all have far too much to stress over in our lives, so let’s not make reading another thing we have to worry about.

Go to Your Comfort Zone

When you feel sick, you eat chicken soup or other comfort foods. If you’re in a reading slump, why not go to the type of reading that makes you the happiest? Or the genre that you have the easiest time reading? I tend to go back to mystery/thrillers when I need something to spark my interest because I know I’ll be able to get through it easily and even if I don’t like the book, I’ll feel entertained. I’m still working my way through Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone books, so she’s my old faithful, but I also tend to check out newer mystery authors that have been popular.

I’ve also used plays and independent reader or YA books to help me bust a slump–and all have worked like a charm.

Change Your Reading Format

Two years ago, I had been reading ebooks in bed at night when my husband went to bed when I hit a slump and could not get out of it. After a few weeks, I walked up to my bookshelves and skimmed through them, then picked out a physical book and sat down with it. I tore through it.

I talked about this in my reading habits post, but that was the moment I discovered ebooks were falling into a sort of screen fatigue for me. I stare at computer or phone screens all day, so I didn’t much feel like continuing to stare at one to read. If I had continued trying to read ebooks, I might never have gotten out of my slump–because two years later, I’m still struggling to fit ebooks back in my life thanks to screen fatigue.

Audiobooks can be great for this–I’m in a reading slump right now but I still managed to finish an audiobook I had gotten from the library. Sometimes jumping formats feels very refreshing.

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