How to Get Out of a Reading Slump

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It’s no surprise that I often find myself in reading slumps: I’m the kind of reader who doesn’t particularly enjoy reading in seasons of stress or busyness. I wish I were an escapist reader, but I’m really not. It’s also not a shocker to say that the best way to get out of a reading slump is, sadly, to ride it out.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but sometimes we need breaks from reading. I’m usually quick to tell other readers this in the midst of their reading slumpiness, but I’m not as gracious with my own reading habits. So really, I’m writing this blog post for future Mollie to revisit when I find myself in the inevitable reading slump: RELAX. Cut yourself some slack. Watch Netflix or consume whatever you want to consume that isn’t books. Your bookshelves won’t mind waiting for you.

That said, I do think there are a few small, intentional things you can do to foster a mind-set or environment to encourage reading—to fall back in love with books.

1. Stay inspired with bookish content.

Maybe you don’t feel like reading, but a book podcast sounds good to you. Staying in the book world and hearing recommendations or new releases just might inspire you! Or maybe a BookTuber’s reading vlog will send some motivation your way, or your favorite book blogger has some advice waiting for you, or you can watch a book-to-movie adaptation. Don’t close yourself off to the book world, even if you feel guilty for not picking up a book in a month (that guilt is so, so silly!).

2. Take a book with you to a new “spot.”

Sometimes we have to force ourselves to eliminate distractions. While it’s totally valid to “ride out” a reading slump, sometimes we just need a little push: read ten pages here and there; put your phone in another room; or grab an enticing book and head to the coffee shop for a new cozy reading spot. Whatever you can do to make reading exciting and fun again, do it!

3. Start fresh with a new book.

There are many reasons I find myself in a reading slump, but often it’s because I’m trying to finish a book and it’s taking me f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I used to say I didn’t mind DNF-ing books, but the truth is I have a hard time putting a book down. I could be enjoying it and for whatever reason, I’m still not flying through it. Giving myself permission to put it down and pick up a new book that’s slightly more fluffy/short/more like eating candy could mean I’ll be out of my reading slump sooner rather than later.

4. Try a different format.

If physically reading is difficult for you, try a compelling audiobook. If the physical books on your shelves aren’t calling to you, maybe the “percentage read” on your Kindle is the motivation you need. Switch it up, and see if it helps. Sometimes my reading slumps are so bad that even trying a different format doesn’t work, but it’s always worth trying.

What do you do when you’re in a reading slump? Honestly, knowing other people get slumpy always makes me feel better. You’re not alone! #ReaderProbs