Reading slumps are the bane of my existence. Every time I’m on a roll with reading and feel motivated, I’m hit with a bus and left withering on the floor.
And of course, fail at whatever goal I was trying to succeed at.
I’ve gone through so many slumps just this year – so here are some tips and tricks on how I get out of them!
You have to know WHY you’re in a slump.
Is there something going on in your life? Have you checked on your mental or physical health recently?
If there are external factors like work/family/etc being really stressful, that could be a cause. Or a global pandemic! If that’s the case, then I suggest taking a break from reading to focus on the stressors. Even if it’s a day or two to relax and work out what might be causing your slump, it’s really helped me in the past! And sometimes that stressful situation passes on its own and I can jump back into my book where I left off.
But if your life is feeling pretty good and you don’t suspect anything mental or physical going on, then you move on to number two.
If you’ve been reading a lot, especially of the same genre, you might be bored!
Taking a break is always a good idea to help refresh the passion for reading. If I can’t take a break and I don’t want to end up in a slump, I usually switch genres. As a huge fantasy nerd, when I feel like I’m getting tired of them, I pick up another genre. Usually the change of tone and changing my expectations helps me get re-engaged.
Or, I pick up an old favorite of mine!
Take it slow.
Sometimes when I try to read a book quickly, I feel rushed and start to slow myself down. Which inevitably means that I completely stop reading. If that happens, I mark down a specific number of pages or chapters I read in a day. I can push myself to read 50 pages a day and not feel too overwhelmed.
Then, if you find the motivation to keep reading, great! But then you’re not staring at the book because you have 400 pages to read and your brain has totally shut down. Or is that just me?
This kind of goes hand in hand with three, but buddy reading is a great way to motivate yourself to read and you have someone to talk to about what’s going on! I buddy read a lot with my friend Grace – it’s how I ended up reading five books at once, three of them buddy reads with her. We set a certain amount of pages a day, if we have to miss a day we take it on to the next day, and then we could vent to each other about what was happening.
This really helped with Priory of the Orange Tree because that book is a monster. It’s technically shorter than Kingdom of Ash by like 200 pages, but it looks huge. We set a limit of 75 pages a day, would talk about what we read that night, and for the last 300 pages we both just binged it it was that good!
Put it down.
This has happened to me way too many times – I start a book that I think I’ll really like and I’m just not into it. It’s not catching my attention and then
If I find I’m not into a book (depending on the size) by about 50-100 pages, I’m out. I put it down, assign it to another month, and leave it. Grab another book and start again.
This has prevented a lot of slumps for me and it could be why you’re experiencing one too! While this one is less of a “get out of a slump” and more of a “prevent a slump” – this is true with any of the other steps! If you’re taking it slow, but aren’t interested, there’s no point. Unless you HAVE to read the book, then that’s another story.
I hope these tricks help you the next time you’re facing a slump! Feel free to drop some tips you have in the comments too, I’d love to know how you get yourself out of a slump!
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