There’s no denying it, every reader has experienced it, it comes out of nowhere, and every reader has wondered if they will ever get out of it. That’s right, I’m talking about book slumps.
It’s never pleasant, not having the motivation to read. You pick up books only to put them back down again a few pages later because you’re not just feeling it. Well here I some tips that I use when I have a bookish slump – I hope they help!
Don’t force yourself to read
A couple of years ago I had a major book slump, and I forced myself to read through it. It didn’t work. This made me read a lot less than I would have normally and I was more distracted, finding other things to do instead, no matter how silly or unimportant. Doing this made me hate the book I was reading. In the end I put the book down for about a fortnight, doing other stuff that wasn’t reading. After that fortnight I picked up the book once more and ended up finishing, reading at a bit of a faster pace with a bit more enjoyment.
Set yourself achievable goals
I don’t know about you, but I hate not finishing books. In fact, it is unthinkable to me and can only think of one book that I have never finished. But when it comes to book slumps, some people like to power on through, so if you decide to do this, the best thing to do is to set yourself achievable goals. It may be that you’ll read 10 or 20 pages, or read one chapter per day, just make sure it isn’t on par with your normal reading habits. This way, you feel better about yourself as you feel a sense of achievement, and can build upon these goals as you get out of the slump.
Watch a TV show or a film
On my Netflix, I have a lot of shows/films saved that I haven’t gotten around to watching yet. Take the book slump as an opportunity to watch some of these, reduce your To Be Watched list. You may even discover a new favourite!
Read an old favourite
Read a book that is a favourite of yours, one that you know is never going to let you down. It’s familiar territory, you’re not going to have any nasty surprises. Also on every reread of a book, you always find something new, some little detail that you missed the first time, or had forgotten about.
Read a short book
It’s not rocket science to work out that you can get through shorter books in a quicker time. It makes you feel like you’re whizzing through the books, and a shorter book doesn’t feel like you’re trying and failing to climb Mount Everest. You can always build yourself back up to longer books.
Read a children’s book
Children’s books are utterly brilliant. Society is realising how high a quality children’s books are, and they’re becoming more featured in the review section of newspapers thanks to #CoverKidsBooks campaign on Twitter (if you’re interested in this, S.F.Said is a big advocate of this on Twitter, and he has written a great book called Phoenix). Also, the nature of children’s books is that they have to keep the readers’ attention. Children have a shorter attention span than adults, and children’s books have to be pacey to keep their attention, which could also help those who are in a bookish slump.
This is what I normally do. I love fanfiction, and do read quite a bit of it. Yes, you may have to sift through some of the topics you don’t want to read, but there is plenty of high quality stories online, some that make you wonder why the author hasn’t written their own original fiction yet. Like rereading an old favourite, you’re coming back to a world that you’re familiar with, and are not taking too much of a risk. Another plus point is that some fics are the same length, or sometimes longer than the average novel. Don’t forget to like/leave a comment/fav/kudos (or even some constructive criticism) because the author of that fic will just love you for it, and you’ll also be doing a good deed and spreading the love around.
Do something different
Doesn’t matter if it’s knitting or skydiving, use that time you set aside for reading to do something else. It could be taking up a new hobby or researching a topic that really interests you. Sometimes you just need a break to reset your brain, recharge your batteries. Everyone needs a break from doing the same thing, so take the book slump as an opportunity to do something different.
Don’t feel guilty
I thought I would save the most important one until last. This one is hard to do, especially if you have a towering tbr pile. But just don’t feel guilty. It may take a little while to come out of a book slump, but it will happen. Sometimes you have to stop feeling guilty and have a little bit of patience.
So, do you have any tips to add? Post them in the comments below.