Have you found yourself in a reading slump you can’t get out of? I know exactly how defeating that can feel!
Don’t fret – you can regain your love of reading and it can happen quickly. This post will give you actionable tips on how to get out of a reading slump so you can get back to nurturing your love of the written word.
Whether you love your Amazon Kindle or enjoy the feeling of holding a physical book in your hands, reading slumps happen to even the most voracious readers.
At some point or another, every reader must seek out inspiration again.
Reading slumps are normal and to be expected, especially when other life circumstances compete for your attention.
It can feel like a reader’s worst nightmare, especially if reading is your favorite hobby or if the slump continues for a long time.
If you’re staring at a huge stack of books and are feeling unmotivated, let’s try to get you out of that slump so you can get back to enjoying your favorite hobby!
How exactly do you know you’re in a reading slump?
If you’re finding it difficult to choose interesting books or keep positive feelings about reading, you’re likely in a reading slump.
Take a look at your current reading habits.
Have you lost interest in the books you’ve been reading and can’t seem to finish them? Are you stopping midway or even stopping after just a few pages or chapters?
Are the books you’ve chosen losing your interest?
Do you keep getting distracted by your phone while you’re reading or by your never-ending to-do list?
Do you look forward to your personal reading time and feel excited about picking up right where you left off?
Think about your answers. If they’re not great, then you’re in a reading slump! This is completely normal and happens to everyone from time to time, even voracious readers.
To get over your slump or to expand your reading taste it’s important to keep an open mind and hold a willingness to try different things or do things in a way you haven’t before.
Let’s get started!
Common Causes of Reading Slumps
Yes – there are certain things that can quickly cause reading slumps. They happen to readers with varying tastes.
Let’s go through each one to see if you fall under any of them! Once you know the cause, it’ll be easier to find a quick solution to your slump.
- You’re Reading Books That Are Too Long
This is a very common cause of reading slumps. Reading books that are too long can cause the reader to feel overwhelmed and anxious.
It seems that no matter how many pages you read, you’ll never be able to reach the end of the book.
Instead, you slowly start to lose interest in the book and let several days and then weeks go by before you pick back up where you left off, if ever.
Not finishing a book can feel defeating. You can easily start to feel that reading just doesn’t suit you anymore.
Luckily, the solution is a simple one.
Take a break from that 500+ page book and choose a much shorter one that you know you can finish.
Shorter books aren’t any less intriguing. By finishing a shorter novel or nonfiction piece, you’ll feel accomplished and more enthusiastic about books in general.
Once you finish your short novel choice, choose another short book! It’ll help to get you back on track.
- You’re Reading A Genre That Doesn’t Interest You
Yes – genres matter. Books are personal, after all, and we all have different reading tastes.
Personally, I love historical fiction, literary fiction, and classic literature. I’m not very interested in reading horror or YA novels.
But you might be different!
If you find yourself not liking your current book choices, you’re likely choosing books in a book genre that just doesn’t appeal to you.
Try grabbing a book in an entirely different genre.
For instance, if you’re reading YA romance novels and can’t seem to stop rolling your eyes at them, perhaps you’d prefer something by Stephen King.
Perhaps commercial fiction doesn’t suit you. Just because everyone is reading Colleen Hoover books right now, doesn’t mean you’re going to love them!
If so, you might consider classic literature. Try giving Jane Austen novels a try – you might find out you love a good classic novel!
Or perhaps the books you’ve been reading move too slowly for your liking. In that case, choosing fast-paced books might be much better for you.
Switching up genres can really help spark a renewed interest in reading and make you an even more voracious reader.
It can even help you discover your favorite topics and
subjects to read about.
Take chances and be open-minded! And also, choose shorter books over long books, so you stay motivated to finish.
- You Don’t Find Your Current Book Choices Interesting
The easiest and fastest way to get into a reading slump is to try to finish a book that simply doesn’t interest you.
You find it boring, the characters don’t speak to you at all and it just doesn’t hold your attention.
STOP reading this book and move on!
You don’t have to finish every book you start. If it’s turned out to be a disappointment, then put it back down and choose something else.
There’s no shame in that.
Head to the library, bookstore, or app store to sort through books and read the book descriptions.
Try to find a book description that you find intriguing and move on from any boring books that don’t keep you captivated.
Some readers find that going back to their old favorites is enough to spark their joy of reading again.
If that doesn’t interest you, then read more books by those same authors. I do this often.
Chances are if you like a book an author wrote, you’ll like their other books, too. I’ve found this is be the case for myself.
I loved Kathleen Kent’s The Heretic’s Daughter so much (it takes place during the Salem Witch Trials) that I decided to read all of her other published books; she’s now one of my favorite authors.
(If you’re intrigued by that time period and subject, I wrote a post about it, The Best Books on the Salem Witch Trials, where I recommend the top books in both the fiction and nonfiction categories).
Perhaps you’re tired of reading novels or nonfiction. A book of poetry might inspire you!
Most poems are very short and you can fit them in manageable chunks throughout your week. I recommend the greats: someone like William Wordsworth or Walt Whitman.
Give poetry a try if you’re having a hard time choosing your next read.
It might just lead you to the right book the next time you’re ready to browse through the aisles of a bookstore.
4. You’re Reading Too Many Books at Once
I know juggling different books at one time can feel exciting.
There’s only so much time in a day and you might be feeling that you have to get through your book list ASAP!
But going from one book one day and then switching to another book the next day, and so on and so on, can make your head spin.
Instead of finishing one book quickly, you’ll be stuck on that same book because your reading time will shift to the other books on your reading plate.
You might even get plot lines and characters confused – not good!
Instead, try devoting your attention to one book at a time.
This will help you stay focused and motivated to keep going.
Best Tips for Staying Motivated While Reading
Aside from the reading slump solutions above, the tips below are what personally help me to stay focused and determined to read more books.
They’re what always help to me to get out of a reading slump or book rut.
- Design a Reading Knook or Reading Space
Your physical environment can play a big role in your reading habits.
Sometimes readers find it motivating to create a spot that’s solely dedicated to reading books.
If you have space in your home, try creating a reading nook for yourself – a spot in your home where you feel cozy and inspired by the beautiful books aroudn you.
For a little inspiration on creating your book nook, head to my post on Best Tips to Create a Reading Nook.
2. Stayed Focused on Your Book, Not Your Phone
Smartphones are the biggest distraction when it comes to reading. It’s so easy to pick up your phone and check your social media apps or your news app.
If you’re finding it hard to resist your phone, try making a commitment to look at it minimally – if at all – during your designated reading time.
This is why an actual physical book can be invaluable. Or, a simple e-reader like the Kindle, might be best, since it doesn’t have the option to browse the internet.
3. Encourage Yourself with Bookish Things and Bookish Culture
This is the case with any interest. If you surround yourself with things that promote your interest, you’ll be more likely to stay excited and encouraged to keep going.
Follow a few book-related social media accounts, join a book club, listen to a book podcast and author interview, visit the local bookstore and browse their books, or surround yourself with other book lovers.
Remember that reading isn’t just a habit or a hobby, it’s a culture, a community, a lifestyle!
4. Take a Look at the Bestsellers List
If you’re in a reading slump because you keep choosing the wrong books- maybe take a look at the New York Times Bestsellers List or Amazing Bestsellers Lists.
It’s a great way to see what’s popular in new books and what has inspired thousands of other readers.
Try Goodreads, too, where avid readers give detailed reviews about what they did and did not like about a book.
5. Ask for Recommendations
Now would be a good time to head to your local library and ask the librarian for book recommendations.
You can tell the librarian what books you’ve loved in the past and they might be able to point you to similar books.
It’s worth a try!
You can also ask friends and family what books they’ve been loving lately.
If you’re currently in a reading slump, try to remember that it’s completely normal and that it won’t last forever.
There are a myriad of ways you can overcome your current reading slump and power through to find your next favorite books.
I hope this list encourages you to keep going; there are so many lessons to be learned inside the pages of a well-written novel or nonfiction piece!
LOOKING FOR MORE READING ADVICE? HEAD TO THE POSTS BELOW FOR PRACTICAL TIPS ON IMPROVING YOUR READING LIFE!
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25 Best Books to Read Around the Holidays
Jane Austen Books in Order: Full Guide
The Best Books on the Salem Witch Trials
Cozy Reading Nook Ideas for Book Lovers
Colleen Hoover Books In Order: The Ultimate Guide