Reading slump – the two cursed words that make all book nerds run for the hills. They happen to all of us, yes – even the most dedicated reader experiences the dreaded slump at some point. For the past two months I’ve been stuck in one of the worst slumps in the history of reading slumps so I figured I would share some ways to break free and get back to your over-piled TBRs.
So what is a reading slump?
A reading slump is basically your very worst nightmare come to life. Bogie monsters and ghouls? Nope. You first edition Harry Potter books falling into the fiery pits of hell? Not even. Being completely unable to read? Bingo, Eureka, Ding Ding Ding – correct answer! Yes my friends, a reading slump is when the dedicated reader finds him or herself unable to read. You can’t be swept away by the book, you can’t stop thinking, and you can’t enjoy it. Like I said – basically your very worst nightmare.
So how does one escape this dreaded slump???
There are a few things you can do to try to break out of that rut:
- Rearrange your book shelves
Yes, breaking free of that slump can really be as easy as just playing around with your shelf design. You have so many amazing titles on your shelves and sometimes all it takes to spark that passion again is to play around with their layout. Nothing gets me more in the mood to read than arranging my beautiful books. There are just so many ways! By colour (my personal favourite), by genre, alphabetically or just randomly. It’s completely up to you so make it your own.
Side note: why not add some personalization? I love to include decorative trinkets and inspiration quotes and what not on mine. What about twinkling lights? Pop Vinyls? Shells? Candles? Flowers? Play around with your shelf. It’s not just a book shelf – it’s wall art too so make it gorgeous!
- Go to the Library or browse your favourite bookshop
Nothing calls to me more than a bookshop or library. These are a book nerd’s sacred ground – they are hallowed halls filled with new worlds, new friends and incredible journeys. So why don’t you explore the new titles? Or hunt for that hard to find book you’ve been searching for? Maybe just window shopping will inspire you. Either way immersing yourself in books may give your slump the push it needs to move onto the next unsuspecting soul.
- Browse Goodreads and check out some recommendations
Ahhh, goodreads… If the library is our church than goodreads is our facebook. Wait… that’s exactly what it is – social networking for us book nerds! Connect with friends and find others you never knew you had. Maybe they too are experiencing their own slump? Sometimes just connecting and talking books with others can help shake off that slump. Or, if that doesn’t help browse what your friends are reading and check your recommendations. Goodreads always has a whole new world of books and adventure just waiting for you to explore.
- Re-read your favourite series
Your favourite series was dubbed your favourite series for a reason – because it awoke a love for a world you never knew existed before. Maybe it inspired you to try new things, maybe it helped you to deal with your own world or maybe you just loved the characters and their banter. Whatever your reason, if your still caught in that slump maybe it’s time to venture on that journey once more. Sometimes just spending time with our favourite heroine or number one book boyfriend/girlfriend is enough to start that reading fire. I mean seriously? What better reason to drool over Dmitri Belikov or Edward Cullen again? Need I say more?
- Read some new works by your favourite author
So, you loved ‘Twilight’ but did you ever check out ‘The Host’? Did you get around to the ‘Bloodlines’ Series? Or what about J.K. Rowling? Did you know that ‘Harry Potter’ aren’t her only books? If you answered no to these than you better get your butt down to your local library! Just like your favourite books or series, your favourite author is your favourite author for a reason and most likely they have other books under their wing too. Sometimes they tackle similar issues and themes or create spin offs and companions to their more famous works. Regardless, it’s still the writing and voice you fell in love with. Who knows – you might find yet another favourite to add to the list!
- Change up your genre
Maybe the cause of that slump was the fact that you’ve been reading to many High Fantasy books recently. Sure – you may have a favourite genre but the great thing about reading is that there are millions of amazing works out there and hundreds of genres. Maybe it’s time for a change? Swapping your genre could be like a breath of fresh air – just like our diets or look sometimes we need to change things up a little.
- Switch the book you’re currently reading
Like with genres sometimes it can actually be the book your reading. But wait! Before you bring out the pitch forks and clubs let me explain. This doesn’t mean the book your reading is terrible and so not the book for you. Not at all. It just means that perhaps it’s not the right book for you right now. Maybe your stressed or have a lot going on. Maybe your just tired and in need of a break. Whatever your currently state of mind, maybe the book your attempting to read is too heavy or to light. If I’m in a slump straight away I know to stay clear of the High Fantasy and Sci Fi books. Not because I don’t like them – on the contrary – but because I have to think. Sometimes the best thing for that slump is a light fluffy read or a romantic contemporary.
- Get involved in a book club
The internet is truly an amazing thing – it allows us to connect to fellow book nerds and lovers of all walks of life across many countries. Just as there are many stars in the sky there are also a great number of book clubs. Sometimes getting support from friends and fellow bloggers can encourage you to get back to that TBR. It’s also a great way to discover new books that maybe you’ve never thought to try before.
- If all else fails – take a break
If you’ve made it to the very end of this list and still find yourself in that slump maybe it’s time to take a break. No, have not given up or admitted defeat (never!) but sometimes it takes a clear mind and a small book vacay to finally shake free that slump. Maybe you’re a little overwhelmed lately. Maybe that TBR is piled so high it’s discouraged you. Either way sometimes we need to step away from that shelf for a bit and clear out the stress and clutter. Don’t worry – it’s not forever! Like me, after a week or two without reading inspiration might finally hit and you’ll be diving for that series you suddenly can’t help but explore.
So I hope that this might help you break free of that slump. Just remember – they don’t last forever so don’t be discouraged. I’ve been through about 3 this year alone (I know right – so not my year!) but the sun does eventually come out and that slump does eventually release it’s dark hold. What do you do to break that slump? Have you got any ideas that might help a fellow book nerd? If so I’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below and as always – happy reading!
Love, Lex xoxo