We’ve all been there: the dreaded reading slump. That awkward period of time when you want to want to read but you don’t want to read. Every time you pick up a book, you end up rereading the same page several times before groaning and giving up for the day.
Eventually, days turn to weeks, which sometimes turn into months. At this point, we’re all inclined to look up tips on overcoming a reading slump. We desperately turn to Google to give us the secret to over this mysterious ailment. Why do we do this?
Do we view our inability to read as a failure? Is it because we view our Goodreads Challenge as a measure of our success as a reader? Are we trying to chip away at our TBR list? Do we need a break from the stresses of life?
If you, like myself, view a reading slump as an interference into your reading productivity, I challenge you to embrace the slump instead of trying to overcome it. Even if you seek reading as a haven, don’t allow a reading slump be a downer. It can be the push you need to try something new.
Let me share with you some activities to do during a reading slump!
1. Try a New Format.
Sometimes the problem is as simple as you’re tired of a routine. Switching it up with an audiobook, e-book, physical book, or comic book can go a long way. It allows your brain to stretch the same muscles but gives your eyes/ears a break. Not to mention if you tend to read a lot of physical books, your eyes can strain sometimes. (Same thing with e-books, in addition to the strain of the blue light.) Back in May, when I was in my latest reading slump caused by a busy schedule, I switched from physical books to audiobooks. Not only did it make my commute less boring, it also gave me a chance to rest my eyes.
2. Go to Events Around Town.
Depending on where you live, you may find festivals, concerts, meet ups, signings, farmer’s markets, and other events happening. Take the time to explore your town. I found that despite living in Orlando for over 15 years, I actually don’t know it very well. During my break, I took the time to visit my library more often to check out their programming and events because they also advertise events in the downtown area.
3. Engage In Other Hobbies.
Ironically, the more time I spend reading, the less time I spend updating my bookish social media. By using my August reading slump to catch up on my bookstagram book hauls, I was able to reconnect with my interest in photography and digital design. I wanted to create but didn’t have the energy for it; that’s how I ended up watching a K-drama (Full House) and binging Season 3 of 3%– which I totally recommend if you like dystopia.
4. Connect With Friends.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives that we forget to check in with the people we love that we don’t see every day. Use some of the time you would otherwise use to read, to have lunch or hang out with a friend. They’ll appreciate it and so will you.
5. Practice Self-Care.
Self-care can look like burning candles and drinking tea. It can also be cleaning the house and doing laundry. It involves doing what makes you happy and energizes you as much as it is about minimizing the stresses and anxieties in your life. If this means pampering yourself under a budget, do it. If it means adulting, do it.
Consider a reading slump an unexpected break. Use it to do the things you’ve wanted to do but keep putting off. To explore new locations. To have new experiences. To continue to learn.
If you can’t connect with one of your passions, connect with others. A reading slump doesn’t have to put a stop to your fun!
Let me know in the comments what you do during a reading slump.