I’m sure we’ve all been there. You pick up a book that sounds good, read a handful of pages but nothing’s catching your attention. So, certain it’s just a bad book or the wrong type for right now, you try another one, to much the same effect. Or, maybe you can’t even bring yourself to crack open any of your books.

The reading slump: the bane of book bloggers everywhere. (And most readers, too.) It can cause you to fall behind on your reviews, make you buy too many books in search of the one that’s ‘just right,’ and just generally wreak havoc on your well ordered life.

Symptoms

Frustration and an over abundance of books ‘started’ but not finished. General bouts of lethargy. Long minutes spent simply staring at your bookcase or mindlessly skimming through your kindle.

Causes

The direct cause of the reading slump is unknown. Contributing factors can include, but is not limited to, reading a lot and causing burnout, reading several bad books in a row, real-life stress intruding on your book reading. Also could be caused by frustration at the books – even if they aren’t ‘bad.’

Treatment Options

1. Change What You’re Reading

This can be as simple as switching genres – in which case it’s probably genre burnout. (I have totally been there.) If it’s more than just genre burnout, you might need to try reading some comics/graphic novels/manga – or even some fan fiction. (Fair warning, if you’re anything like me, you’ll vanish into fan fiction and quite possibly never return.)

2. Reread Some Old Favorites

Sometimes rereading a book that you love can be enough to jolt you out of a slump with a reminder to why you enjoy reading so much in the first place. Related:

3. Read A Favorite Author

If you’ve a favorite author that has books you’ve not read, you could try reading one of them. Beware, this does run the risk of you actually not liking a book because, no matter how much you love their other work, no author is infallible.

4. Quit Reading

Yes, I know, you’ve got all those shiny new books sitting on your shelf – giving you evil glares – and you want to read something. But, unfortunately, sometimes you just can’t force it. Take a break from reading completely. Maybe catch up on a show or rewatch a favorite. Play a video game. Listen to music or do some crafting. (If you’re feeling really energetic, you could always exercise or do chores, though, blech, who wants to do that?) The point is, do something, anything, besides reading and try to quit feeling guilty that you aren’t reading.

Hope this will be helpful because I’m pretty sure I’ve tried all of these during my last slump. (And I think it was the third one that got me out of it.)

Do you have any tips for those suffering from a reading slump?

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2 thoughts on “The Dreaded Reading Slump (Or: What to Do When You Want to Read but Just Can’t)

  1. I love the WebMD format of this. 😀 I find it also helps to kind of slowly savour the book you’re currently reading, without trying to rush through it to get to the next one on your TBR. And yes, mixing up genres is also a great method! I’ve been reading fantasy non-stop this month, so I’m going to switch to something a little different for the next book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading slumps are the bane of my very existence, I swear. It’s like I barely get out of one before I go into another. I should probably try #4 but my heart hurts at the thought of abandoning reading altogether, albeit for a short time. Sincerely hope you never get into another slump ever, though that does seem quite impossible, lol. Loved this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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