Arielle Westcott

So, you’ve entered a reading slump.  You can’t seem to get into any book you pick up no matter how hard you try.  You have a ton of unread books sitting on your bookshelf, but you just don’t have the desire to read them.  As an avid reader myself, entering a slump is terrible.  To get through them, I’d force myself to finish books I found unsatisfying, which made reading feel more like a chore than a fun hobby.  Rather than making yourself read something you can’t finish, put the book down, and consider some of these tips for getting out of your reading slump.

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1) Try a Different Genre

If you’re anything like me and you tend to stick to the same couple of genres, maybe it’s time to branch out.  As someone that often reads fantasy and sci-fi, switching to true crime, contemporary fiction, or even some poetry helps me get out of my slump.  By trying out a genre you don’t read as much, you give yourself a necessary change of scenery and might even discover books that you wouldn’t have considered before.

2) Switch up Your Reading Length

Have you been reading a long novel that just seems to drag on?  You’re not even halfway through, but you’ve read it long enough to know that nothing about the characters or plot is holding your attention.  Instead of waiting for something interesting to occur, try switching to a shorter book or reading a collection of short stories. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire is a great novella that I read in a few hours, and here is a list of short story collections.  Though the slow burn of a long novel is sometimes just what I need, a quicker paced, shorter read keeps my attention from wandering as I fly through the pages.

3) Instead of Reading, Listen

Audiobooks are still books!  If you can’t seem to focus when reading, listening to an audiobook just might hit the spot.  To get back on your reading flow, try putting one on during a car ride or while at the gym instead of listening to music.  Sometimes words are better heard than read, and sites like Audible offer a wide collection of books to listen to.

4) Watch the Book-to-Movie Adaptation

The book is often better than the movie, but that doesn’t necessarily mean movie adaptations are terrible.  Watching the movie version of a book you haven’t read might inspire you to read that book.  Some adaptations I enjoy are Pride and Prejudice, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Hidden Figures.  Seeing that these great films are also books always leaves me itching to read them.

5) Check out Booktube and/or Bookstagram

Instead of zoning out while watching life hacks and clothing hauls on YouTube and Instagram, when I’m in a slump, I check out videos on Booktube (channels on YouTube that discuss books) and scroll through Bookstagram (accounts that post pictures of books on Instagram) to search for novels that might catch my eye.  There are so many channels and accounts dedicated to reading books of various genres that there is bound to be one that matches up with your interests.  Just type ‘booktube’ into the Youtube search bar or ‘bookstagram’ into the Instagram search page and you’ll find a ton of interesting channels and accounts to follow!  Watching other people get excited about books they’re about to read and review books that they loved is a great way to get motivated to read again.

 

I’d force myself to finish books I found unsatisfying, which made reading feel more like a chore than a fun hobby.

 

6) Read Some Old Favorites

When nothing else seems to get me back into reading, I find that returning to an old favorite always helps.  From Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, rereading books I enjoyed feels nostalgic and comfortable since I already know that I love them.  Even re-watching the film adaptations of your favorite novels helps.  Returning to the worlds that shaped you as a reader not only reminds you why you became an avid reader in the first place, but can also inspire you to seek out even more books you haven’t read in the hopes that some of them will become all-time favorites too.

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, but no matter how much I love it, a slump is inevitable.  While reading slumps can be the worst, it’s important to remember that there’s nothing wrong with taking a break from reading for a little while, especially when life gets hectic with work and school.  Just because your nose is not currently in a book doesn’t mean that you’re not a reader.  However, if you can’t seem to find your way back into a book, hopefully these tips can help get you back on track!

 

Arielle Westcott is a rising junior at the University at Albany studying English Literature.  You can find her wandering around bookstores and libraries or reading in a warm patch of sunlight.  She hopes to pursue a career in book publishing and novel writing.

 

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