Ah, yes, the new year is officially well on its way. Work has begun again, school is back in session, and resolutions are being implemented. But what happens when the resolutions start to slide, as they so often do? More specifically, what happens when reading goals start to falter? What happens when the (often inevitable) reading slump takes over? At some point, I think every reader encounters a reading slump. In my case, it lasted for the entirety of my college years and was not fun…at all. However, I was able to claw my way out using these few tips. Hopefully, they’ll help you should you ever find yourself in a slump.
1. Set Aside Time for Reading
This seems simple enough. Obviously if you have time to read, you can read. But it can get tricky. What about that new recipe you wanted to try? What about that new TV series you want to binge watch on Netflix? What about that other thing that you thought you should do but didn’t yet and now suddenly need to do right now? Thoughts like these often kept me from reading during my book slump. The key is simple: prioritize reading. Maybe it’s 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Maybe it’s 10 minutes before darting off for work or school in the morning. Whatever the time or reason, set aside a time to read and hold yourself to it. Don’t make excuses. Making reading a part of your daily schedule; integrate it back into your life. Before you know it, you won’t even remember a time when you weren’t reading.
2. Fall Back on an Old Favorite
Once you have a time to read, then you have to wonder: what should I read? Sometimes, the easiest book to get back into reading is one you’ve already read. There’s nothing wrong with re-reading a book you loved, especially if it makes you want to read again. I would offer recommendations here, but really, it’s about what you love. Take a trip to your bookshelf and look through your books. Which one stands out to you? Try reading that one again.
3. Read the Book that’s Been Haunting You Forever… Or Let It Go
Let’s say you look at your bookshelf and nothing stands out to you. What now? You’re left with having to choose something else…something you haven’t read yet. Take a look at your To Be Read List. Is there a book on that list that has been there forever? Could that book be the reason you’re in a slump? Sometimes, books are just difficult to get started. They sit on your shelf for years before you can read them (*coughs* On the Road by Jack Kerouac, in my case). In your case, it might be time to just swallow your doubts and start reading that book. Conversely, it might be time to say goodbye to that book (AHEM…On the Road by Jack Kerouac). Maybe you’ll get around to reading it someday, but if it’s holding you back from reading, it’s not worth holding onto. Letting it go can open up a whole new door, full of new possibilities…and books, lots and lots of books.
4. Do Some Research
This might initially sound boring, but this might have been the best piece of advice that I followed to drag myself out of my reading slump. When you’re not reading, it’s easy to fall behind. What books have just been released? What books are people recommending? What books might be good for me to read? When I decided that I wanted to get back into reading, I had no idea where to start. I read some old favorites, but then what? Research. Scouring the internet for ages, pouring myself deep into book reviews and blogs, losing myself in Tumblr tags: all of these helped guide me toward what to read next. That research is also the reason why I wanted to start blogging, so, it was really a win-win all around.
5. Find a Comfortable Setting and Start Reading!
I can’t read if I’m uncomfortable. I need to be curled up, wrapped in blankets, surrounded by pillows, and preferably holding a cup of hot chocolate to do my best reading. Maybe you need to be at a desk or outside. Maybe you need some music in the background. Whatever it is, find the best reading environment for you. Once you’re comfortable, read like the wind!
I hope these few tips can help you as much as they helped me when I was in my reading slump! And, if you’ve never been in a reading slump, PLEASE SHARE SOME OF YOUR MAGIC WITH ME!
What Are Your Thoughts?
Have you ever been in a reading slump? What helped you find your way out of it? What other pieces of advice do you have?