I met up with a friend at a nearby store the other day, and she said, “I knew it was you because I saw you reading your book.” Guilty as charged.
Right now, I’m on a pretty good reading streak. I’m picking up one book after another, DNF-ing the ones I don’t want to read, and selecting titles that I already own instead of buying new ones. But there have been plenty of times that I’ve gotten in a bit of a slump. A slump is a bit like burnout for avid readers. We want to read but just can’t for any number of reasons – daily distractions, errands to run, or things like your day job. And then, when we sit down to read, we can’t relax and enjoy it. Instead, we lose our reading mojo and wonder if we will ever get it back.
Here are some things I do to spark my interest in reading again.
- Try a new genre – Sometimes, I need to change things up a bit by reading a completely different type of book. I switch from fiction to nonfiction. Or I sink my teeth into a juicy celebrity tell-all. (Brat-Pack movie star Andrew McCarthy just came out with a new one, and I can’t wait to buy it!) I will even try out a YA (young adult) novel. A brand new generation of YA writers has made a good impression on me, like Rainbow Rowell and Angie Thomas.
- Go to the library or bookstore – Shopping online is perfect when I know what book (or, in my case, books 🙂 ) I want, but sometimes I need to put myself in the right atmosphere to select my next read. Next time you are in a slump, stroll through the aisles and look at the titles to see what jumps out at you. Ask the librarian or bookstore owner to make some recommendations too!
- Download a book on your phone – For a while, I was a HUGE book snob and considered listening to a book in my car, not really reading. But I was 100% wrong. I’ve discovered that it takes just as much concentration to listen to a story in my car as it does to sit down and read an actual book. And when a book is well-narrated, it can spark your imagination and entertain you in a whole new way.
- Read a short story – The last thing I want to do when I’m in a slump is pick up the latest 500-page novel and force myself to read it. I’d much rather prefer choosing some wonderful short story collections or essays. A few that come to mind are written by David Sedaris or Lisa Scottoline, but there are so many good ones out there. Take your pick!
- Don’t sweat the slump – Finally, maybe you just aren’t in the mood to read, and that’s completely fine too. Take some time off. Clean out a closet, binge-watch a show on Netflix or start a jigsaw puzzle. When you are ready to pick up a book again, you will do it with newfound enthusiasm.
What do you do when you are in a reading slump?