For most of us, slumps are ruthless. You can have the most time on your hands, the newest book in the market or the next title in your favourite series but still feel like reading is a chore. It lasts for weeks, months, maybe even years. We’ve all been there. It isn’t fun.
Before July, I’ve been stuck in an on-and-off reading slump for a little over a year. Occasionally I was able to read, but going from 42 books in a year to barely hitting 16 was quite a leap for me. It made me reconsider this blog of mine: What will I post? What about my stack of review copies? Do I still like reading? All these thoughts only made it worse.
When it comes to reading, I try not to force it. There will be days where it is more difficult to read than others, and I find that forcing myself to read will not make me enjoy the book.
So here are 5 ways I recommend to try getting out of a reading slump!
1. A new location
Introducing changes to a routine keeps things fresh and exciting.
You can go as big as visiting a new coffee shop that you’ve been meaning to try, or maybe something more doable during the pandemic such as reading in the living room instead of your bedroom. Minor changes like this can help you boost your mood, and make reading more fun.
2. Fast-paced reads
There’s nothing like the sweet victory of finishing a book in one day, especially when you’re in a slump. Though, there’s absolutely no rush, you can take as long as you like.
I find that short books that gets you hooked right from the beginning are my favourite. An interesting storyline, characters that doesn’t annoy me too much, a light book that I can take with me anywhere… that sounds perfect. Here are some of my favourites that are below 250 pages* that doesn’t unnecessarily drag on and on.
*below 250 pages because these are smaller, thin books
Whenever I finish a heavy book that leaves me too drained to read, I always pick up what I call a ‘taste-cleanser’. These are light, exciting, gripping book that doesn’t require too much thought or brainpower, just something for me to enjoy and admire (especially if it’s a graphic novel).
For taste-cleansers, I recommend reading mysteries, graphic novels, poetry, middle-grade novel, or maybe a cute YA romance. Usually, by the time I finish, I’ll always be back in the mood to read more.
Alright, you’re probably looking at me strangely right now, but hear me out: some fanfics are really good. I’m talking descriptive, well-developed plot, dynamic characters, realistic (or maybe unrealistic in a fantasy-type of way) storyline, and of course, finished and not left deserted halfway surrounded by the screams of avid fans.
I’ve heard of stories on Wattpad being turned into full-fledged, published books. Although I’m not sure if they are fanfiction, I’ve even heard of fanfics being turned into books (50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, I’m looking at you). Fanfics are a great way to get back into reading, especially if it is from a series you’re interested in.
And hey, if you think about it, retellings are somewhat almost a fanfic too.
5. Take your time
There’s absolutely no need to force yourself to read if you don’t want to. Pushing yourself will only make you dread reading, and even worse, completely lose your interest in it.
Reading should be hobby, something that you can enjoy and of course, learn from (both hard skills and soft skills). If taking a break is what you need, that’s a 100% okay and normal.
You know yourself best.