Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Louisa
If you’re feeling like you just can’t pick up a book lately, then it’s a good sign you’re in a reading slump.
Sometimes it can be because of our mood, or life gets too busy, or the book you’re reading just isn’t fun and exciting enough.
Reading slumps happen to all of us, even me who will read a book while sleeping (don’t ask me how). But don’t let this get you down in the dumps, we’re here to help.
Instead of endlessly flipping through pages and not really taking it all in, grab a cup of tea and check out these tips for how to get out of a reading slump.
21 Ways to Get Out of a Reading Slump
Have you got your tea ready? Good! Then let’s get stuck into the best ways to get you out of a reading slump and back into a world of literature.
1. Join a book club
Joining a book club may seem like a lot of effort, and it used to be! But thanks to good ol’ technology and the age of social media, you don’t have to leave the house to join a book club.
There are many online book clubs where book lovers can share their favorite books, talk about what they’re reading, offer suggestions and recommendations, or even have a chat about a new book.
There are many benefits to book clubs, such as you can make many friends across the world by joining an online book club.
For any avid reader who feels like they are forever looking for tips and reading recommendations, the enthusiasm of online readers is the inspiration you need to get out of a reading slump quickly.
2. Pick up your favorite book
One of the main reasons why we end up in a reading slump is because we’ve picked up a book that we just don’t enjoy. I know you’ve spent hard-earned cash on this book, but if it’s going to hinder your love of reading, it’s ok to put it down and say it’s not for me.
If you’ve been reading a book that hasn’t been getting your gears turning, then a good way to get out of a reading slump is to read your favorite book and reread it.
3. Ask for recommendations from friends
Forget scrolling on social media on your phone or reading a book blog (except this blog, because ours is great), one of the best ways to make sure you read a new book you’ll like is to talk to a friend and get some inspiration from other readers.
Your friends know you, they know what you like and chances are you have similar tastes. Ask your buddy for a recommendation, or you can even do a book swap if they’re in a slump too.
4. Listen to an audiobook
If you’re thinking that listening to audiobooks is cheating, think again! When listening to an audiobook, you still need to give a book your full attention, otherwise, you lose the plot and it stops making sense.
The great thing about audiobooks is you can put them on while you’re doing other things such as housework or driving.
Whether you’re into fiction or non-fiction, audiobooks are a great way to get back into reading after a slump.
Related post: Things to do while listening to audiobooks
5. Organize your bookshelves
It might sound strange, but one of the best ways to change a habit is some good old spring cleaning.
Going through your old books and organizing your inventory can be liberating, especially if you’re in a reading slump.
By organizing your bookshelf, you can a) stumble on some of your favorite books from before and b) free up room for new books.
6. Do a reading challenge
A reading challenge is a way to make sure you always have reading time allocated in your life. And is there really a better feeling than the feeling of accomplishment?
If you’re looking to get back into reading after a break, then you could find a reading challenge to be worth a try!
If you need inspiration on reading challenges, here are some free reading challenge ideas to get you started.
7. Try a new genre
Maybe part of the reason you’re in a reading slump is you feel you’ve over-saturated your favorite genre. Or maybe you’ve come to the end of a series you really enjoyed and nothing else pales in comparison.
I get that. After I finished the Mortal Instruments series, I felt like no other fantasy book could compare and it sent me into a slump.
One of the best ways to make sure you still make time to read is to try a new genre. There’s something so refreshing about reading something new.
8. Pick up a graphic novel
If you’ve been trying to read too many words and it’s hurting your brain, then you might like to change it up a bit and opt for a graphic novel instead. Graphic novels are full of illustrations and simple stories packed with adventure and action – but with fewer words.
You can find yourself demolishing a graphic novel pretty quickly, which is perfect for those looking to get out of a reading slump.
9. Start a journal
Maybe part of the reason you’re in a book slump is that you’ve just read too many books. It’s ok to take a break, so why not write instead?
A great way to look after your emotional and mental self is to take up journaling. You can write down your thoughts and feelings, or reminisce about a book you love in a reading journal.
Writing is also a great way to focus the brain on activity and get you back into that mindset you need to read a book.
Who knows, maybe you might feel inspired and create your own book.
10. Switch from paperback to digital (or vice versa)
Maybe you’re in a reading slump because the format you’re reading in is wearing you down. If you’ve been sticking to your Kindle for a while, try picking up a paperback again.
If your paperbacks are starting to look too overwhelming, pick up a digital book.
Sometimes it can be as easy as switching the way you read, rather than what you read.
11. Make time for reading
Maybe your reading slump is happening because you simply don’t have the time to read. We can all get a little busy in our lives sometimes, and it makes it hard to find the time to sit down and really allow a story to captivate us.
Try to allocate a reading time in your day for at least 15 minutes. Try to pick up a book early in the day, so you’re more able to focus.
Reading at night is a great way to send you off to sleep, but not ideal for getting out of a reading slump.
12. Visit your local library
Part of the reason why many of us end up in a reading slump is that we’ve just spent money on a book and we feel guilty about not finishing it. It’s not uncommon, we’ve all been there!
One of the best ways to discover new books is to head to your local library and read books there. The great thing about this is that if a book doesn’t grab you, you haven’t wasted any money on it.
If you’ve found a book that really grabs you, hey, you can just borrow it for free! Visiting libraries has become a thing of the past, but we think it’s time they make a comeback.
If you don’t have a library near you or you don’t feel like going out of the house, then a Kindle Unlimited subscription is basically like a virtual library, as you can borrow 20 books at a time and browse through a collection of over 2 million books.
If you enjoy a book you can rate it and then Kindle knows what related novels to recommend you read next.
If you’re worried that you spend too much on books only to not enjoy them, this is the best way to eliminate that worry.
Related post: Are libraries still important?
13. Read novels inspired by your favorite author
Reading slumps often happen when you’ve finished a series that you love and you’re lost for inspiration, or when you’ve been flicking through pages of a book that doesn’t interest you.
Well, who knows what you’ll enjoy better than your favorite author? If you have an author who you love, then it’s a no-brainer that you might also like to read the novels that inspired them.
14. Start reading short stories or novellas
Many of the series we love reading have short stories and novellas to add a little more context to the story.
If you’re too busy for reading then you might find a short story to be a fun way to keep up your reading habits but also take the break you need to focus on life.
Related Reading: The Best Short Story Collections of All Time!
15. Change your reading environment
It might seem basic, but part of the reason why you’re not feeling like reading is that you’re not in the right mindset or environment.
It could be as simple as reading a book in the bath, or turning off the TV while you’re reading, or taking a book outside, or reading in a chair instead of in bed.
Think about your reading space and what it needs to be more comfortable. Some avid readers create a reading nook in their homes where they can go just for reading.
16. Turn off distractions
It might be that you’ve got too much going on around you to concentrate on a book right now. Turn off your phone, or put it on silent and leave it in another room.
Turn off the TV, radio, or any background noise. Find a quiet place that feels calm and serene, and you’ll be surprised how easy it becomes to fall into a new story.
17. Don’t be too hard on yourself
When you’re frustrated, you become your own worst enemy. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t feel like reading. Hey, it happens.
If you become frustrated and upset, you’ll find it hard to concentrate on a book. Don’t enter a vicious cycle, just take some time off. It’s ok to take a break.
18. Don’t choose from your wish list
You might have a list of books you want to read. Whether you keep them on an Amazon wish list or somewhere like Goodreads.
But when you decide to add books to your reading list, chances are you’ve chosen those books because they are similar to what you enjoy most. It’s also true that having a long reading list creates unwanted pressure to read – which is more off-putting than it is inspiring.
It might seem like these books will be the best books to read to get you out of a reading slump but we find that reading something completely different from what we’re used to works much better.
19. Read a children’s book
Roald Dahl is not just for children. There, we said it. Sometimes a short children’s book is just what you need to take you back to where your love of reading began.
Plus, these books are short and sweet, and when you read them as adults, you might pick up on some jokes you didn’t get as a kid.
20. Read a book with fewer pages
This might seem obvious, but reading a book with fewer pages is going to feel much less daunting and difficult to complete.
One of the first signs of being in a reading slump is not being able to digest what you’re reading, or re-reading paragraphs over and over again because you can’t focus.
If your book has only 100 pages, well then it doesn’t seem like such a big task to read it. If being unable to concentrate or focus is why you’ve entered a reading slump, then this is the best way out of it.
21. Watch a movie adaptation
When I’m feeling unmotivated to read, I sometimes want to watch a movie instead.
When I watch a movie adaptation, such as Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, it reminds me of how much I loved the book and then instills into me a desire to pick up a book again.
While I usually always prefer the book to the movie, the movie can help instill a love of storytelling which is something best described in a book.
Final Word on How to Get Out of a Reading Slump
So there you have it, 21 ways to get out of a reading slump and get back into a love of reading. Next time you’re in a reading slump, you know what to do!
Did you find a particular tip helpful from this post? If so, let us know in the comments.
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