Hello again honeybees! I’m coming to you with some tips and tricks to get out of a reading slump (and trust me, I have a lot of experience in this area.) 2017-2018 saw a nine month reading slump, and the beginning of 2019 led me through a three month slump. I’ve had small ones lasting a few weeks and big ones lasting nearly a year, so I know a thing or two about getting out of these awful reading droughts.
** PSA: There is no quick fix. If you haven’t finished a book in a year, these tips won’t make you finish your whole TBR in the next few minutes. These things take time so please be patient with yourself. **
Read Short/Easy Books
So you can’t finish Anna Karinina? Read The Little Prince. Having trouble getting through a 900 page SJM book? Read a novella or fanfiction from the series. It might not be the difficulty level but the text itself. If you’re falling asleep reading a classic or finding it hard to understand a particularly complex piece of writing, read something simpler. Try middle grade and children books, or something light and fluffy that won’t make your brain feel like it’s being squeezed with every sentence.
Recommendations: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab (Middle Grade), Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Middle Grade), Sheets by Brenna Thummler (MG graphic novel), What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (YA Contemporary), Geekerella by Ashley Poston (YA Contemporary)
Try A Different Format
Earlier this year, I only read audiobooks. Seriously, I think my audiobook to paper book ratio was roughly 3:1. Then I got into an audiobook slump, meaning I got into a reading slump. But maybe you only read paper books and can’t bring yourself to even look at your current read. So putting on an audiobook while you clean or have some time to let your mind wander may be the right option for you. You could be like me, not able to bare looking at a physical book but also in an audiobook slump. Downloading an ebook to your phone or reading device could make that little difference that gets you out of your slump. Whatever your case may be, I recommend going out of your comfort zone to try and fight this slump.
Audiobook recommendations: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (YA sci-fi + full cast), An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (NA Fantasy), The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō (self help), Coraline by Neil Gaiman (MG fantasy), The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (Adult murder mystery)
I know I have a lot of recs. I’ll be doing a full post full of my audiobook recommendations soon.
Participate In Readathons
This is for the reader who really wants to start reading again and likes a time crunch. If you’ve never heard of a Readathon, I’ll try to define it to the best of my ability. It’s a previously determined amount of time (ie 24 hour readathon, month long readathon) dedicated solely to reading.
There are plenty of different readathons, both intense and low stakes, to participate in. My recommendations are of the few I’ve participated in. And remember that you can always do your own mini readathon by yourself, not sponsored by a influencer or company. These are just a few I loved participating in with others.
Buddy Read With A Friend
Okay so this is similar to the last tip but reading with a friend is very helpful when you’re feeling unmotivated and need that little push. Buddy reading allows you to set certain goals for you and your friend(s). Personally, I get so distracted when reading that having the idea of my friends waiting to talk to me about these chapters makes me go faster. I’ve failed every buddy read I have done so far, but it was a good way to get myself reading when I didn’t want to.
Buddy Read Recommendations: old favorites (rereads), predicted 5 star reads, anticipated releases, or books you’re unsure of (maybe you feel like you won’t like it)
Read A Predicted 5 Star Book
Is there a book on your shelf that you know you’ll love but just haven’t read yet? Maybe there’s a certain troupe (or five) that’s in a single book and you are so incredibly excited to read it. So go read it! After being in a slump and not connecting with any of the stories you’ve read, diving into one that you know will entice you might just do the trick.
No recommendations because this is really suited to your own taste. But a few of my predicted 5 star reads are: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, and We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Reread Books You Love
This piggybacks on the last tip but if you already know you love it, dive back in! I know there are some non-rereaders out there but if all these recent reads aren’t clicking with you, I’d suggest going back to a beloved book or series and reliving the magic. Even if you only read a few chapters, get all in your feels, and feel compelling to pick up another book on your TBR, it might still help jumpstart your love for reading.
Recommendations: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (these are general since most people love different things. However, the nostalgia is real with these two.)
Watch The Movie First
WHAT? Did I just—? Oh yeah, I just did that. Sometimes the movie is better than the book. It’s rare, but if there’s a book or books you’re struggling with and they have movie adaptations, watch them first! Snip the slump at the bud, because if you can prevent something then why wouldn’t you?
This mostly pertains to those who struggle with classics. Personally, many a classic novel have tripped me up and put me in a slump so now I just throw down the book and turn on the movie. Sorry not sorry.
Great Book to Movie Adaptations: Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 Kiera Knightly version), The Great Gatsby (2013 Leonardo DiCaprio version), Romeo and Juliet (I love both the Leo DiCaprio version and the 2013 one)
Don’t Force Yourself To Read
The biggest tip I can give you is to stop making reading stressful. This is a hobby, hun, something fun for you to do. Whether you’re a book blogger with a huge backlist of review copies to read, or a sometimes reader that can’t seem to get into a book, you need to give yourself time. I’m not saying to pack up your books and never think about them again. You can still read but stop getting frustrated with yourself for being in a slump. Things will all come together in the end.
I hope you take these tips and use them to help you out of your slump, but try to be kind to yourself. That love of reading will come back, but you can’t force love.