May was spent participating in a bookstagram photo challenge and also buying books, sorting books, and reading about books in hopes to add some more interesting titles to my TBR – not that mine is short and in need of any new additions. As a result, I found myself in an epic reading slump, and thought of the ways to drag myself out of it. Here’s what I came up with – maybe it will help you as well?
(photo by Oxana)
Limit your choice
Choice is good, but when it’s wide, it’s hard to focus on something. If you have a lot of books, pick several for your TBR pile, and pretend that you’ve got nothing else.
Stop buying books
This tip will not work for everybody, as there are sensible people out there who are meticulous in only buying books they intend to read immediately – but I ain’t one of ’em. Thanks to my parents, my grandparents and the humble ole me, my library is huge. I know it won’t be getting any smaller, but I should certainly control how many books I buy. There is a strong correlation between me buying a lot of books and not reading anything. The more time (and money!) I spend in bookshops, the less time I spend actually reading. Perhaps you’re the same? Then stop buying, and get to reading!
Shop your shelves
Stand in front of your bookshelves and imagine yourself in a library or in a bookshop. Pick a book and recall why you got it in the first place. Then ‘take it home’ to read. 😀
Go for your favourites
Whenever I feel stuck in my reading, I pick up a book by my favourite author or in my favourite genre – or both! Agatha Christie, I’m looking at you.
Explore a new genre
But perhaps you like shaking things up a little instead? Explore a new genre then. If you’re a romance reader, pick up a mystery; if you like mysteries, take a look at fantasy, etc. If your reading is pretty much across all genres, look for a subgenre or for a category that you haven’t touched in a long time.
Join a readalong
I’ve never been in a readalong before, but I hear it’s fun and motivating. We’ll see how I fare in June, with a Wilkie Collins one. 😉
Join a readathon
Now these, I’ve done. Even if it won’t kick you out of your reading slump indefinitely, you’re bound to get some reading done! I’m not the most prolific readathoner in the universe. I think the best I’ve done was three rather short books. Nevertheless, it was enough for me to become caught up with my reading goal for that year – and it did kick me out of my reading slump.
Set a timer
Set a timer for 10, 20, 30 minutes, and get going. When the time is up, stop. But I guarantee you, you’ll want to continue.
Aim for 20 pages a day
20 pages a day is not a lot. An experienced reader could easily get through that amount, so even if you feel uninspired, you’ll be able to do it. When you’re done with 20 pages, stop. Chances are, though, just like with the timer point above, you’d want to get going after your 20 pages are done.
Change your setting
If your usual reading place is in your bedroom, move to another place in your house. If the weather permits, go outside. I love reading in the park on a good weather day. Another popular choice is a cafe or a coffee shop.
Make your setting
I find that I read (write, sleep…) better if I have a dedicated space in the house to do so. I don’t have one now, and I do believe that it affects my reading mood. If you feel like your reading joy has dropped, perhaps find a corner in your house to make deliberately bookish?
Do you make it a point to finish all books that you start? Life’s too short to waste it on bad print. If you feel inclined, skim the remaining pages to get a rough idea of how it pans out – then drop that mother, together with the habit of digging through pages and pages of bollocks.
Take a break
If all else fails, just take a break. No one can perform at 100% capacity all the time. Perhaps it’s time to take a break and digest what you’ve read before. Some books overwhelm you, give you a reading hang-over, or even put you in a reading coma. Give yourself a few days to think through what you’ve read, then slowly pick out your next read, and begin again.
How has your reading been going? Any advice on how to get out of a reading slump?