5 Ways to Overcome a Reading Slump
We’ve all been there; you find yourself with a few hours of spare time and usually, at that point, you’d look for your most recent read or your favourite book. But something stops you, the words might as well be written in wingdings and the characters are bland and before you know it you’re knee deep in a Keeping Up With The Kardashians marathon (not me of course, I’m all about that Love Island vibe). In the lasting words of Chuck Larrabee…Not cool.
I’ve been there, it ain’t fun. BUT!!!! I have a few surefire ways (kind of. Maybe. We’ll see.) of getting out of that wordless, monochromatic reading slump. These are the 5 things that always work for me…
Try a different genre
I always find that changing up my reading helps me to rediscover my love of it. For example, in my most recent reading slump, I picked up a book called All-American Murder by James Patterson and Alex Abramovich. I switched from my usual fantasy adventure to read a non-fiction novel (albeit by a fiction author) and it really did the trick for me. Just the newness of the topic and different style of writing helped me to come back around. So why not put your romance novel down and try something different? Like a book about conspiracy theories written by a guy wearing a tinfoil hat. You never know, it just might help!
Find your happy place
I always find it easier to enjoy a book when I’m in a place that makes me happy. For me it happens to be my study which is conveniently packed full of books. But it doesn’t have to be anything book-related. It could be your favourite cafe, a bench at the local park, or in your car! Hell, it’s YOUR happy place. Not all of us have nice big windows with a bean bag underneath them where we can sit and stare out at the rainy day, cup of cocoa in hand. I have one of those things, after all, England is constantly rainy – but my happy place is mine. Where’s yours?
Read in short bursts
This comes in especially handy for me as I tend to do most of my reading in chunks. When I’m in a slump I need to break my habit of long reading sessions and just sit down for 10 minutes or so. By doing this I’m not placing too heavy an expectation on myself and then subsequently feeling bad for not meeting my ‘quota’. If I do this for a few weeks, I soon find that my short burst of 10 minutes has gone to 20 minutes, and then 30 minutes, and before I know it, I’ve found my groove again.
Sticking on some tunes may seem like a strange one because surely listening to music would distract you from the book right? Well, not always. I find that having music on in the background actually helps me to focus, maybe it’s because I feel happier listening to music I like, I don’t know, but it works. Now the type of music is entirely up to you, whether it be Enya or System of a Down, it doesn’t matter, as long as you like it and it works for you. Personally, I’ll always stick on a bit of Damien Rice, LP, or some slower country songs as they’re my chill out sounds.
Why not try a Novella or short story?
This IS a surefire way to get yourself back into the reading groove. When I am really struggling to actually sit down and read a good chunk of my TBR I usually head over to Wattpad and see if there are any short stories out that I like. I stumbled across The Forever Project by Charlotte L R Kane which lifted me up and out of slump. On another occasion I checked Amazon for free short stories and ended up reading one by Mark Lawrence that was totally off-beat for him; it was called ‘During the Dance’ and its easy flow and interesting subject matter allowed me to ease myself back into reading. I first discovered Gelineau and King during one of these droughts; I headed over to Netgalley to see if there were any fantasy short stories and lo and behold, I picked up A Reaper of Stone and never looked back. I look at it a bit like a marathon, that’s how I see my reading journey and sometimes I need to retrain myself for it. When you train for long-distance you never start by bounding 20 miles, you start with smaller distances, and just sometimes, that smaller distance may involve cool swords, badass characters, and a whole load of death. Yeah ok, my metaphor may be poor, but my advice isn’t, I promise!!
I’m really keen to hear how you get out of your reading slump so feel free to comment and give me some tips 🙂