Today’s blog post is brought to you by my complete lack of motivation to read. I’ve been getting into more and more reading slumps over the past few years and it’s about time I took control over them! My TBR is through the roof and a recent post I read on Twitter reminded me that we only have one lifetime to get through all our books (it was scarier than all the horror novels I’ve ever read). Reading slumps are an issue that I feel every reader faces, and every reader equally dreads.
While this post is as much for myself as for you, hopefully these tips will be helpful if you find yourself falling into a dreaded reading slump! Here’s all the advice I have for restarting your reading habit:
Re-read an old favourite. This is a tried and tested method by, I think, every reader ever. When you’ve tried a hundred new books but can’t seem to get into any of them, try going back to one that you love. My go-to re-reads are We Were Liars by E Lockhart, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and Warcross by Marie Lu. Generally, reading one of these books always gets me back into reading, at least for a little while so, if you’ve got a favourite old read, it might be worth dusting off the cover and going back to it.
Set a daily reading goal. I can vouch for this one working and, if you’re not in a desperate hurry to finish any books, this is the perfect way to get back into reading. I personally hate missing targets or breaking streaks (as vouched for by my 400-day Duolingo streak…) so I set myself an attainable reading target that I have to meet every single day. Usually this is only about 20-30 pages, which is doable even when you’re struggling to get through a book- you can even go as low as 5 pages if you don’t think you can do that much! It forces you to pick up a book even when you don’t think you can, and you’ll soon find yourself saying, ‘well, maybe I’ll just read one more chapter…’
Watch Booktube. This may be questionable advice because I know that in the past when I’ve been in reading slumps, I’ve spent my days instead watching other people talking about books to try and make myself feel better. I know that you can fall down the Booktube rabbit hole and never pick up a book again, but it can also have the complete opposite effect. In the past during reading slumps, I’ve watched people talk about books and become so invested in some of the books that they’ve read that I have to start reading them straight away. Maybe it’s just new reading inspiration that you’re looking for.
Read book blogs. This is a very similar idea to the previous point. If you think bookish inspiration is what you need, there are thousands of people on the internet willing to give it to you. If you need inspiration right now, maybe my 5 best books of 2019 can help you out…
Take a break from social media. Obviously this contradicts the previous point but, if you’ve tried getting inspiration from others and it isn’t helping you, maybe it’s time to take a break! Instead of sitting on Twitter complaining about the fact that you’ve not read a book in a month (I’m definitely attacking myself here), use that time instead to pick up a book. Ditch the distractions and you’ll find that it’s much easier to fall back into a fictional world. I’ve found that forcing myself into this through ‘Downtime’ on iPhone works really well.
Buy new books. Approach this point with caution. The last thing you need when you’re unable to read is an even more intimidating TBR (trust me, I’ve been there). It’s definitely worth going to a library or visiting a bookstore, though, to see if there’s anything you feel you’d be able to read immediately and that you just have to buy. If something draws your attention that much, it might just be the book to get you out of your slump.
Tidy Up. This one is entirely personal preference, but I’ve found that it works both for studying and reading. When my house is a mess, I find it so difficult to focus! Spending a little time reorganising your bookshelves or cleaning up around the room not only tires you out enough to want to settle down with a good book, it also takes away a bunch of the distractions around you. It might be the little push you need and, however boring it may be to clean up, having a tidy reading-nook never hurts!
And those are all the tips I have for getting out of a reading slump! Let me know in the comments if any of these work for you and if you have any other tips for getting back into reading that I missed; you might just save my TBR…