7 Tips For Getting Over That Reading Slump

There are times, when simply nothing on the shelf is good enough, everything is meh, and no book is appealing. Each time you cast your eyes on your reading pile or your kindle home screen, you just want to curl up and pretend they don’t exist. The future is bleak, and you just sit there staring into the void, contemplating the hollowness of life without books.

We’ve all been there. While the reading slump might be scary (OMG, am I not a bookworm anymore? If I’m no longer a reader, who am I?) and annoying (WTF? I just spent a shit ton of money on new books and they are all crap!), it is not terminal.

Here are just a few tips to get over the disease plaguing bookworms around the world from time to time.

#1 Stop reading

Sounds counterproductive, but sometimes the only cure is full abstinence. Don’t set a deadline (I need to be back to enjoying books again in a week, or else… ) , and don’t feel bad. Those books aren’t going anywhere. Reading should be a fun way to escape reality, entertainment, not a form of torture.


#2 Try a new genre

Your favourite genre doesn’t fascinate you anymore, and you just simply can’t bear the thought of slugging through yet another murder mystery, or thriller, or whatever it is you loved reading so much, you name it.

It’s time to try something new!

You always wanted to read horror, but were too scared? Fantasy sounds good, but found them intimidating because they are thicker than your waist? Ask around, check out Goodreads: there are many horror books that are not particularly gory or terror inducing, and you will find that not all fantasy books are brick sized. You could even borrow the books from your local library, so you won’t even have to feel bad for spending money on them in case they are really not up your alley.

Sometimes picking up stuff you are not familiar with can help you see other stories from your well know genre in a different light.


#3 Get out… just leave

It’s nice to cosy up at home with hot drinks, blankies, candles, mood lights, and good book, but it’s possible that it got to the point where it’s rather overwhelming. Being buried under a pile of books just lost its charm, and it’s fine, chill.

Get outside, take a walk, go on a hike or just pop in to the local coffee shop with your bestie. Even if you are an introvert and don’t like being surrounded by people, you can still enjoy a coffee in a quiet café by yourself and do some people watching.

I used to take my colouring books to my favourite place and just did some artsy stuff for a few hours. You need to choose your spot carefully and strategically though, or else you risk being noticed by curious passers-by who feel compelled to make comments like “Oh, that’s beautiful! I heard colouring is very relaxing… Is it really?” Well, lady, it was… until now.


#4 Watch a movie adaptation of a book

There’s nothing that makes me scurry back faster to the bookshelves than a shitty adaptation of a beloved book. Go, pick up that book, read the shit out of it, and let that smug expression spread on your face, because we all know: the book was better.


#5 Binge watch TV series

Many of my reading rampages were inspired by Netflix series. Black mirror made me crave dystopia, Riverdale piqued my interest for small town mysteries and The Killing (Forbrydelsen) induced a serious case of nordic noir frenzy. Right now I’m watching Godless, and of course feel a desire to pick up some gritty western to read. Damn straight!

If you end up spending weeks watching series and not reading at all, well… So be it! Have fun!


#6 Take up a new hobby

You always wanted to cook that moussaka, coq a vin, potjiekos and other unpronounceable stuff, or make gnocchi from scratch at home, but didn’t want to sacrifice four hours of precious reading time? Your time to shine is now!

Even if you don’t feel like setting foot into culinary territories, there are plenty of things to try. How about knitting or crocheting? Soap making or pottery? Maybe you need to let your creative juices flow. Paint, colour, draw, write, or sing for your cat. If you don’t have a cat, borrow one from your neighbour. There’s nothing like trying to pick cat hair from your bed sheets to make you wish you were reading instead (or, you know… burn your sheets on a bonfire, but that’s another story), even if previously that was the last thing you wanted to do…

How about a new sport activity? Zumba, weight lifting, yoga, cycling, rock climbing are just a few ways to get your body physically tired, and you never know…

After slithering onto your bed, muscles feeling like jelly, you might find yourself reaching for a book to take your mind off the pain.


#7 Read old favourites again

You know it’s good. You know you love it. You know you will have fun with it. Rereading an old favourite could be a great way to get that reading spark going again. You might not realise how much you actually forgot about the story, and it’s great to rediscover something nice.

You might gasp in horror, because let’s face it: every time we reread something, a new book doesn’t get to be read. Meanwhile, your list of books to be read just somehow keeps mysteriously increasing. Strange… So what? Do you have a deadline? I mean… do you really?


What are your tips on getting over a reading slump? Are you in one right now? Want to talk about it?

Disclaimer: I’m not in a reading slump right now, haven’t really been in one for over six months, but these things used to help me get over them in the past. They might not work for you, but there’s no harm in trying, is there?

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88 comments

  1. Great tips Norrie and I love the GIFs!

    Binge-watching a series or change of genre has helped me get out of reading slumps. The longest slump I have ever had lasted about 10 days. I ended up watching 8 seasons of Dexter which led me to reading You by Caroline Kepnes. Taking a break certainly works 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I need to read “You” as well… 😀 sounds good!
      I think i went for a few months once a few years ago. Although, i don’t know if i can call it a slump? I was just super into video games and spent most of my time on them.

      Like

  2. Great tips Norrie.
    I’ve experienced many periods when I did not feel like reading at all. I am not in one of them right now, but experienced a bit of that last month.
    My favourite strategies are similar to yours. I like changing my reading genres ( I discovered some great non fiction last year because of that), going outside, moving, connecting with people face to face and just staring at nothing and day dreaming. The last one is probably my favourite activity regardless how much I read. 😉
    I watched the first episode of Godless recently and loved it. So, so dark and gritty. I am planning on finishing watching the rest of the series as well. Glad you enjoy it as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t had a slump yet, but a book hangover? Ooooh yeah. Seriously, if the whole world doesn’t know by now what Obsidio do to me, they’ve been hiding under a rock. :’) I simply couldn’t focus on any novel, kept thinking about Obsidio up until the point that I started loathing the darn thing. [I can happily say the loathing is disappeared and I’m back to full-on loving it.]

    I simply did what I felt like doing, which was.. nothing book-related. I baked a lot – almond cookies, banana cupcakes, oreo truffles. I think my colleagues are starting to think they’re eating my “coping mechanism” when things aren’t the way I want them to be. xD

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My blocks have been known to last years…so next time I feel one coming on, I will try some of your tips.

    I do have a deadline, actually – my own actual deadline, i.e. my death. I intend to read as many books as I can fit in before that happens.

    Here’s a thought. How awful would it be (and probably very likely) to die before reading the last page of a really good book. An eternal cliffhanger. Now that WOULD be hell.

    (Dunno why I have gone all morbid…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, hehe… 😀
      I dunno? I guess once i’m dead i’ll be dead therefore nothing will matter cuz i will stop existing…? It’s all very confusing…
      Or if the spirit realm exists, we might gain ultimate knowledge, and we’ll know the ending of all books… 😀 that’s an option too!

      Like

  5. Awesome post and funny too! 😀 Mmmm I love moussaka, if you need a good recipe just let me know 😉 I’ve been having slumps since I got my kindle in 2016, and when I go a month or two without reading a physical copy it just gets worse. So basically I know my cure, but currently I have 6.5 arcs to read and all are e-arcs since no one sends physical ones to the hellhole that is Serbia. I’m thinking to finish two more and then read my paper babies, hope to god that will help since I have to review something on my blog haha 😀 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m always up for a good recipe!!! The one i tried was good, but yea, it did take me half a day. Ugh.

      Ah, poor neglected paper babies!
      I’m really partial to my kindle books… i did read a few paper books this year, but i noticed that i keep putting off my reviews, simply because i don’t have the patience to flip through all my markings and figure out what i wanted to do with them 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Susie | Novel Visits

    Great ideas. When I’m in a slump binge watching helps, if I can find a series to really get into. The distraction can be such relief. I really should learn to take more of a break instead of just plowing through and rejecting book after book when I’m in a slump.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh I love this post – and how dramatic was that introduction hahaha, chilling 😛 I really love all of your tips here – I find that, more often than not, it’s staying away from books that works best, trying to do something else, binge watch tv shows or yes, a favorite adaptation, that works quite well to and makes me want to re-read the book afterwards haha 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Slumps are quite dramatic, so had to give credit where it’s due! 😀

      Movie adaptations usually just upset me, but TV shows are great! Like, i’m watching altered carbon, and reading the book as well, and i must say i kinda prefer the series… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great gifs! I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine!
    I really like suggestion #4! I never thought of that before but I think it could work! By biggest thing to prevent reading slumps is not planning out what books to read. If I feel overwhelmed by my reading list, or if I don’t really want to read a book but feel like I should than it will most likely trigger a slump, so I try to avoid planning things!

    Liked by 1 person

    • for me planning a tbr is like deliberately setting myself up to fail basically 😂
      I’m about to finish my current book, but have no clue what i will pick up tomorrow…

      Like

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  10. That’s such a great highly needed post! ❤
    I get reading slumps so often and lately whenever I'm not in a reading slump, I'm in a blogging slump. Your tips and tricks are really great and I found some that I do myself as well. I related so much with you talking about tv shows and how you need to read certain books after watching a tv show. I read three historical fiction books on Richard III (even though historical fiction is a genre I never reach for) after watching The White Queen because I felt like I needed more, ugh.
    I love this post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe they work for blogging slumps too!
      I have the tendency to overdo stuff i like to the point when i don’t enjoy it anymore, so i have to consciously force myself to do something else from time to time. As a preventative measure, i guess 😀

      Like

  11. Hello Norrie!
    I agree fully with taking a break from reading when we are in a slump. Sometimes even too much of a good thing is still too much, you know? My go-to way of getting out of a slump is to try something different, such as a different genre or a different format (eBook vs audiobook vs print) of a book. Thanks for sharing these tips! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • When it comes to audiobooks, the narrator matters so much! I’ve listened to a few audiobooks before that I think I would have enjoyed the print edition more. However there are many great audiobooks out there! Definitely give audiobooks another chance 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Had to look up what a potjiekos and a moussaka were hahah These are definitely awesome tricks to overcoming those reading slump though! I don’t think I’ve been in one yet, but that might be due to my slower reading speed and the abundance of different activities I have to alternate between (hitting the gym, playing ball, shows/movies, outings with friends, etc.)! Thanks for sharing these though, definitely useful for those who are in the middle of one right now. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love thoses tips, bookmarked !

    Also, I haven’t tried yet, but some short stories collection or even poetry sounds good ! something small so you can pause it without feeling “guilty of DNFing” and/or finish it in one setting so you get that Hype to continue reading again instead of “omg why cant I just finish a darn book ??!” Alternatively; just take a break and play videogames ! ahah

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love posts like this! Reading slumps are so pervasive nowadays we can always use a reminder as to how to get ourselves out of those blues… I personally love to change genres. I get into a lot less slumps because I do that… but if that fails then I hit a k-drama! It’s fluffy and fun (normally) and I can fangirl over the eye candy! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀
      I think i’m very ripe for a genre change… been reading so many psychological thrillers lately that i actually started feeling stressed when i pick up my book 😀

      Like

  15. I read a very light book, feel good story, romance or chick-lit (but with the main character in her thirties and above) and I find that I can go back yo intense books. I liked your other tips to do something else. Or to just get out. I do that too

    Like

    • Oh booo, somehow your comment ended up in my spam 😦
      My BF told me the same thing! “You should read some light and not stressful books”. I took the advice and reading now Since You’ve Been Gone and it’s so cute and fluffy! I kinda feel like i want to read some more of this kind 😀

      Like

  16. So spot on! All the points you´ve mentioned work out beautifully when you´re suffering from a reading slump. I go through reading slumps every few months and feel absolutely fine with them. The odd slumpish feeling sticks around for a day and then I decide that it´s time to leave the house and talk to people / call friends. I´m not an introvert ( weird for a book hugger, I know. But I do have introvert moments when I send everyone and everything to Hell just for a few hours of peace and quiet) so I take a step away from books completely and do stuff I usually do when not reading.

    You made a good point in reading out of your genre comfort zone. I do that alot. As much as I love reading romance, I can´t do it all the time. It gets boring after a while. Horror is something I enjoy just as much as romance but the excitement while reading horror dies down after the 7th book. It´s all about balance, amirite?
    Great post. Going to bookmark this ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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