There’s a reason why I haven’t been so active on this blog lately, and that’s because I’ve been stuck in this massive sinkhole also known as a reading slump.
You know when you go to your shelf and pick up a book you really want to read?
Then the next thing you know, all you’ve done for the past four hours is watch 3 episodes of Outlander, re-arranged your entire bookshelf twice, ate lunch, spend another 6 hours watching youtube videos, and so forth. But you haven’t actually read anything. Which sucks, because you really wanted to read that book that you finally got your hands on, but you can’t seem to read it. As readers, we all face this challenge, but the question is, why?
It could be that when your exams are over, you’re just not in that reading mood. Or, you just can’t bring yourself to read that 800 page book that you really want to read because it’s just so intimidating. Maybe you’ve picked up the book and re-read the same page five million times, and still not getting anywhere. Either way, it’s a problems as readers that we face.
What’s more frustrating is when you’re supposed to be doing something else entirely unrelated to reading (for me, it’s studying), and you’re in the mood to read a particular book, but you can’t because you have to tidy the house or do the assignment that is due the next day but you haven’t started yet. There’s something so appealing about reading in those moments, and while you’re doing your chores, you cling to that thought. However, once you’re finally free to do whatever the hell you want, reading that book just seems so mundane compared to the other things you could be doing (like watching Netflix). So what is a week long dry spell of reading due to exams becomes a fortnight. Then before you know it, it’s been months since you physically touched a single book. The mountainous, leaning tower of TBR books stacked in the corner of your room isn’t helping by being intimidating either.
Either way, being in a reading slump when you actually want to read isn’t something that you’d necessarily want happen to you. Because reading slumps suck.
Since we all experience these kinds of day, I thought I’d share some strategies to use when you’re experiencing a reading slump:
- Is it the book that is making you bored of reading? Why are you forcing yourself to read it then? Reading is supposed to be a hobby, a pleasure and if you make it seem like a chore, reading just becomes another task. So do not force yourself to read. Watch an episode of Friends, do something else and then when you’re in a reading mood come back to book.
- If binge-watching Game of Thrones isn’t getting you anywhere, do some light reading. Pick up a book that you know you’ll be hooked onto, perhaps something with lots of action or humour, so when you’re still in that reading hype, you’ll be more inclined to pick up that other textbook-sized novel.
- Still not in a reading mood? Perhaps take the NaNoWriMo approach and split your reading into 10 minute chunks throughout the day. Have a spare moment on public transport? Why dont you whip that book out and read 5 pages instead of scrolling through your tumblr dash? Do this until you get into the swing of things, or when you finally get to that hook you’re waiting for. (Unless that book is boring. Then why are you still reading it?)
- Get yourself excited about reading a particular book! Scroll through your wordpress feed and read feature articles! Flick through those aesthetic pictures on instagram, perhaps. Or watch people get excited about books on youtube! The book community is so large today, the excitement to read is contagious. Do whatever will get you excited to read, and pick that damn book up.
- Remove any distractions once you are reading. It can be tempting to pick up your laptop or phone that’s next to you while you attempt to read. If you read in short chunks, you can reward yourself by watching a 10 minute youtube video. It’s actually a more productive method of reading that I find actually works.
And since I’ve been in a massive reading slump for the past 1.5 weeks (hence the inspiration behind this post), I haven’t really had any books to share my thoughts on. I have a few book tags I’ll be getting around within the next week, and of course, there’s top ten Tuesday every week, so stay tuned for that!
What are your thoughts on reading slumps? And what strategies do you use to overcome them?