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Tips to Get Out of a Reading Slump


We've all been there, even book worms like myself. Sometimes, you find yourself in a reading slump and every book you pick up just can't keep your attention. I actually went through a reading slump earlier this year, and it wasn't until about two months ago that I was able to get back into my typical reading habits. It wasn't easy though, and I had to come up with a few tricks in order to finally finish a book. Here are my top tips on how to get out a reading slump.

 

1. Pick an easy read

This might be the best tip I could give. Whether you're in a slump or just trying to develop a reading habit, I believe nothing is more important than choosing a book that is easy and maybe even light and fun. I have people tell me all the time that they want to read more but can't seem to finish that hefty nonfiction book or classic. If a book isn't holding your attention, put it down, no matter how much you think it will teach you or be good for you brain. All books are good for the brain if you're able to finish them. I will never judge a person for reading and finishing books of all genres. Ask yourself what kind of story you would love to get lost in right now ---- maybe that's fantasy, sci-fi, a romance novel, chef memoirs, celebrity memoirs, books about the history of your favorite TV show (lovers of The Office, I give you The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s by Andy Greene). Personally, I often opt for chick-lit when I'm in a reading slump, something fun and easy that I can usually finish in a day (a favorite author of mine who never disappoints in this category is Katherine Center). Just the motivation from finishing one book is usually enough to push me to keep going. I also will lean towards personal development books, especially ones about habits, if I've been slacking on my reading. There's no shame in any reading game ---- and that includes forms as well, whether audiobook, ebook, or real book.


Some of the books that have gotten me out of reading slumps are Harry Potter, Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah, Atomic Habits by James Clear, Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune, and Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.

 

2. Browse your local bookstore or library

One of my favorite pastimes is going into a library or bookstore and browsing all the shelves to my heart's desire. While the pile of unread books in my room may get mad at me when I bring home yet another book, if that pile doesn't contain a book I'm excited to pick up in the moment, it's doubtful I'll get through it during a reading slump. In-person book browsing is essential to motivate me to read ---- being able to go through shelves of books, picking them up, reading the blurb, admiring the cover, seeing how thick is it, all get me pumped to bring one home and crack it open. I'll admit that while browsing bookstores feels more fun and luxurious, there's something about being able to go through the shelves at the library, pick as many up as I want that look interesting, and walk out without having paid a penny (can you tell I'm ridiculously frugal). Whatever way you choose to book browse, don't underestimate its power to push you to read.

 

3. Reread a favorite

I think people would be surprised if they knew how often I reread my favorite books. I'm pretty sure those who know me know I've reread Harry Potter about five times, but I've also gone back to many of my other adolescent favorites over the years. Sometimes, the comfort and familiarity of a favorite can be the cure for a reading slump. I know that once I finish one book, the feeling of accomplishment and excitement for what's next is enough of a push for me to pick up another one. And it totally counts even if you've already read it, even Goodreads counts a reread towards your yearly reading goal. One of my favorite rereads is The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen ---- it's like sliding into a warm bath of sweet, sweet summer nostalgia for me. I've probably read that book at least six or seven times, but it's honestly so good every time.

 

4. Schedule in a set reading time

Life since the pandemic has been weird, especially living in a place like DC. Before 2020, I didn't have a car in the city and used to take the Metro to and from work everyday, travel on planes at least once a month, and rode trains more than the average American. That meant a lot of time for reading, which is something I actually really miss. Nowadays, working from home and having my car as my main source of transportation limits the time I used to have to do nothing but read, and without distraction. It's taken me time to figure out how to fit in my reading, but I've finally been able to get back into my habit by setting times throughout the day to pick up a book. I always read a few chapters of a personal development book in the morning with my coffee, but I had that habit pre-pandemic. Now, when I close my laptop at the end of the day, I almost immediately cuddle up on my couch with a book for an hour or so, if I'm not working out right after work. I have even started to go to bed earlier in order to have about an hour of reading time at night. Switching out TV time and phone scrolling for reading has also really helped. It's much more relaxing, helps me wind down after work or before bed, and gives me ample time to really get into a good story. For many people, if you schedule something in your day, you're more likely to do it.

 

I think a lot of people struggle to pick up any book because they don't know where to start. They may have read a book they loved a few months ago but haven't been able to find one since that pulled them in quite as much. That's where I come in. If you're looking to jump start your reading or get out of a slump, submit a recommendation request. Tell me some of your favorite genres, your goals, the last book you read that you loved, and I will give you personalized book recommendations. If you've already submitted one and gone through those books, I would love to know what you loved or didn't love so I can recommend even more. Please utilize my book worm brain, I love getting the requests and figuring out what I think someone will enjoy.

 

Stay safe and happy reading!

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