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  • Writer's pictureWestwind

How to Handle the Dreaded Reading Slump

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

By Gianna Provenzano

A reading slump is the inability to read no matter how much you want to. As someone who has experienced the dreaded reading slump several times, I can personally attest to how frustrating they are. However, because of my experiences, I also have some good tips for getting out of them.

Letting Go

First things first, if you have any guilt or frustration from not reading recently, let it go. Sometimes school happens, sometimes life happens, sometimes work happens — whatever it is, it’s okay. If that means walking away from whatever book you’re trying to read and taking a break, or setting a book down for a little while longer, that’s okay. Take the time that you need.

Clear Out Your TBR and Start Fresh

Having a long ‘To Be Read’ pile can induce feelings of guilt and frustration. Stacks of books piled up everywhere may be an #aesthetic, but they can also feel like pressure. Getting rid of the feelings of ‘I have to read this first’ or ‘I should read this’ can help clear out any negative energy that you might associate with your TBR. Reading should be fun, not an obligation, and starting fresh can be one efficient way to break out of a reading slump, that will also give you peace of mind.

Get Something From a Genre That You Wouldn’t Normally Try

Tropes and genre conventions can be really fun, but sometimes they can be too much of a good thing, effectively embedding you in comfortability. Trying something from a genre you wouldn’t normally read could provide a much needed shakeup. Into high stakes thrillers? Maybe try a romance. Or if contemporary YA is usually more your speed, try a historical fiction novel. You could even try a different format all together, like a comic or graphic novel!

Reread an Old Favorite

Revisiting a book, perhaps an old favorite, can remind you why you loved reading in the first place by bring you back to the time you first read it. Taking a trip down memory lane and finding themes and little details I missed before, as well as seeing how much I’ve grown since last reading, are all reasons I’ve revisited old favorites. Sometimes you realize they weren’t the epic tales that you remember and that’s okay too!

Read a Book That Inspired a Movie You Love

There have been some really great (in my opinion) book-to-movie adaptations coming out recently. My personal favorites so far have been Love, Simon (also known as Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda), To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Crazy Rich Asians, and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Reading a story about characters you already know and love, and want to discover more about, could be one entry point to get back into reading.

Ask For Recommendations From Friends

One of the best parts of reading is discussing the book afterwards. By getting recommendations from friends, you already have someone who’s excited to talk about the book with you. Their excitement might even be the thing that breaks you out of your reading slump.

Reading slumps are normal, so be kind to yourself and go out and read once more!

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