The dreaded reading slump: it happens to even the most obsessed of readers. Sometimes it’s triggered by something, such as a really dull book or school stress. Sometimes there’s no reason. No matter what, it sucks. All you want to do is read. But. You. Just. Can’t. While there’s no easy way to pull yourself out of reading slumps, here’s how I work my way through them.
I tend to read a lot of similar stories (YA, probably with some kind of supernatural element). What can I say? I have a type. Even though I love these kinds of books, after I read enough of them, they can start to blur, and I get less excited about them.
For some readers, this could mean picking up a nonfiction book, a historical fiction novel, a crime thriller, or a really cheesy romance. For others, try a format you’re not familiar with. If you’re anything like me, you read mostly novels, so pick up a book of poetry or a graphic novel. Not only can these be quicker readers, but they’ll also get your mind working in totally different ways.
A few recommendations:
- Nonfiction: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
- Historical Fiction: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- Crime Thriller: Last Words by Michael Koryta
- Romance: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Poetry: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
- Graphic Novel: V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
Find a book you love, that you always seem to turn to. I don’t even necessarily read old favorites cover to cover. If there’s a favorite passage or scene, just flip to that. It’s good to remember why you love stories and revel in the familiarity and comfort of those words.
My favorites that never fail:
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Harry Potter by JK Rowling
- The Scorpio Race by Maggie Stiefvater
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I’m not entirely sure what the rationale is here, but I have found that engaging with books without actually picking up a book has been really helpful. Maybe it’s the familiarity of the story without the act of reading, or the comfort of seeing the characters instead of imagining them. Whatever it is, it seems to work.
Books to movies I love:
- Pride and Prejudice (I’m partial to the 2005 movie, but any version is acceptable)
- Harry Potter
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- The Martian
- Anne of Green Gables
- The Great Gatsby
The last ditch effort, but sometimes it has to be done. Just step away from reading. And not just books, but also bookstagram or booklr if you’re a part of those communities. It’s easy to get stressed out seeing others reading all the time. You’re not there right now, but you will be. It’s good to press pause. Focus on other things, whether that’s friends, family, school, or being outside as much as you can before winter. You’ll come back to books when you’re ready.