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Today I shall be discussing the dreaded, despised, abominable reading slumps. Most of us, if not all of us, have gone through them. We find we're reading the words but we're not taking them in, reading one page feels like a chore and we begin numerous books before chucking them to the side because we might as well be reading another language. When this happens, I know I've hit a reading slump.
I don't know what causes reading slumps for you guys, how you know you're in a reading slump or what helps haul you out of it, but this is what personally happens to me. I'm actually currently in a pretty bad reading slump, so I thought writing about it now would be fitting and hopefully I'll follow my own advice :')
1. If you've read too much
I actually think I'm currently in a reading slump because I just finished Bout of Books and generally after I've read a lot at a time I fall into a reading slump. Sometimes your brain is just telling you to take a break, even if you don't want to, sometimes you have to!
2. A lot of other things consuming your time
I recently started Cambridge home-schooling and I have a lot of work to do. When I have more work than usual I also fall into a reading slump because I've already done so much work in one day, my mind can't concentrate on reading, even though it's something I really want to do. If you're really tired as well after a long day, you won't be able to read as you'll most likely fall asleep within reading a couple of pages!
3. Sometimes you just don't feel like it
There are some days where I just don't feel like reading, I'd rather play piano or go to a friend or draw. Remember, it's okay if you don't feel like reading, it's for fun and it's a hobby, so if you don't feel like reading, take a break instead of forcing yourself to read if you're not in the mood to. I often feel guilty if I don't feel like reading because I, in a way, feel as if I'm betraying my bookish self? It's ridiculous, but I do often feel bad if I don't feel like reading. I often have to remind myself that, although reading is probably one of my most favourite things to do, I also have other hobbies and it's great to participate in those as well.
Of course, there are no set cures for reading slumps, but this is what has helped for me and for other readers.
1. Re-read a favourite
This is what most people find helps them out of their slump. I was once in a pretty bad reading slump and then I read Divergent and I mostly beat the slump. When re-reading a favourite book, you remember how much you loved the characters, the storyline, the writing and it'll hopefully get you back into your reading groove!
2. Visit a bookstore or a library
This is probably what works best for me! When I'm in a slump and I visit a library or a bookstore and get some books, I get so excited to read the new books that it snaps me out of my slump! I was once in an extremely bad reading slump, I visited the local bookstore, bought me two books and it really helped me! It didn't help for my already huge TBR pile though...
3. Watch BookTube
Ahh BookTube! BookTube is a fantastic way to help get a person out of a reading slump. When you watch videos on new releases, or reviews or anything bookish, it always makes a person get excited for reading all over again! Some of my favourite booktubers are PolandBananasBooks, KatyTastic, Little Book Owl, Jesse the Reader, Kassidy Voinche, ABookUtopia and The Book Basement! Their videos are fantastic and are great to watch whether you're in a reading slump or not!
4. Talk to your bookish friends
Whenever I need to talk about reading slumps, books, reading or anything really, I go talk to some of my bloggy buddies! We talk about what we're reading, what we've just read etc, and that also encourages me and helps me break out of my reading slump
5. Take a break
Sometimes you just need to take a break. I took a break for two days and this morning I woke up and I was like, "I really feel like reading", and I got some of my book read!
6. Don't compare yourself to other readers
There are some readers out there who manage to read 20 books a month, I am not one of those readers! I take my time with reading, and I prefer reading a book over two days instead of finishing it in a couple of hours. If you're also a slower reader, don't compare yourself to people who manage to read a book a day, every day. If you try to read as much as other people, you're going to eventually start skimming the pages and having to read over them again and you'll turn it into a race and won't enjoying the reading experience. Reading is not a competition, it is a leisurely hobby and it should be treated as one :)
7. Do something else
This is similar to tip #5. If you have been reading for a while and your brain is growing foggy, go for a walk, grab something to eat, go on the Internet, sometimes our brain needs a change.
8. Read a different book
It's often that the books we are currently reading put us into a reading slump! If you are reading a book and you're struggling to get through it and it's taking you days to read it, honestly, try another book. I once got a book out of the library that I was really looking forward to reading, however, I really couldn't get into it at all. Reading a chapter took me an hour and I couldn't connect to the book whatsoever, eventually I decided to DNF it and pick up another book which I finished within a day. Don't be afraid to DNF a book if you're really not enjoying it, you might just not be in the mood to read that book and you can always go back to it!
9. Begin a book that you've really been looking forward to
When I was in a slump a couple of months ago, I started reading City of Lost Souls and as soon as I began reading, I could just feel the slump dissipating. If you read a book you've really been looking forward to, or a book from your favourite series, that will definitely help! Because I was familiar with the world and the characters, I could easily become immersed. I wouldn't recommend starting a really dense book or one that covers heavy stuff, as you might rather want to go for a shorter book that will make you feel more accomplished once you've finished it and encourage you pick up more books to see if your slump is over.
10. Don't stress
I know there have been times where I've gotten stressed when I'm in a reading slump. Some of the things that go through my mind are:
I stress about all the books I could've read in the time I've had my reading slump if I didn't have my reading slump, I stress about book review deadlines etc. BUT, if you have a tendency to stress, like I do, remember that we read and blog FOR FUN and if we're stressing too much and not enjoying ourselves, perhaps a little hiatus is needed!
I hope these tips help you guys and that you'll soon get out of your reading slump!