Being Discouraged and Finding Inspiration Again | How to get out of a Reading Slump

TW: twilight reference (I’m sorry)

*slowly emerges from the pitiful hole*

Hi everyone!

Long time, no post… So where have I been?

I know I endeavour to keep this space mainly for my love of books and concepts pertaining to books but in reality this space intersects with many facets of life. It’s so important to highlight, uplift, and challenge ideas, values, and practices today and fight complicity and ignorances. However, with everything going on in life it can get overwhelming at times. I’m sure I’m not the only person when I say the past few years was challenging. I’ll be honest, dealing with trauma and death both on a personal and professional level was a struggle for me over the years. I haven’t been active on this blog as much as I liked but I needed to take some time off to reorganise myself, work schedule, and priorities. I love reading however, it was hard when dealing with discouragement and burn out. I found myself in a reading slump (hence my disappearance here). 


But wait! What is a reading slump?

According to Urban dictionary, a reading slump is:

Reading slump: a readers worst nightmare.

not being able to pick up a book and read because you just can’t, you just can’t read.


A reader in a reader slump? 

How to get out of a Reading Slump

I know there are many sources that address reading slumps, I mainly write this for myself as I constantly find myself in a reading slump.

Take a break and ride the wave out

For me, reading is a hobby. And I don’t know about you, but hobbies are supposed to be fun. Sometimes it is best to not force yourself to do something you don’t feel like doing–there’s no fun in it, no love, no passion. Pressuring yourself to achieve something may result in the worsening the reading slump. Sometimes, you may need a break from reading altogether and that’s okay (I say this to myself as I avoid eye contact with my ARC pile).

Revisit a favourite

Sometimes reading a known favourite book helps you get back into the groove of things. Reading an old favourite may remind you “ah, this is why I love reading! I need more!” 

Try a different genre

Listen, before joining social media would you believe I used to exclusively read non-fiction books? Only when I tried a different genre (YA fantasy for example), I got sucked into this rabbit hole. I hadn’t realised there’s such a thing with genre burn out. Hey, if you’re looking for a quick read to reintroduce you to reading, graphic novels (including manga, comics, etc.) are a highly recommended source! 

Switch reading formats

I used to limit myself to reading print books only. Yeah, the smell of books is nice, but sometimes when the night is late and the eyelids are heavy the current book you’re holding feels like the perfect lullaby. The next thing you know, it’s suddenly the morning after! Learn from my mistake and don’t limit yourself to one reading format. Mix it up and try an audiobook if you usually read print books. Audiobooks are perfect when you’re on a walk, doing chores, driving, or even if you have the book in front of you, follow word for word. If you’re on the go, digital books are perfect! You can sneak a chapter here and there in small pockets of time. Sometimes the change of atmosphere drastically helps.

Join a book club

Look, I know most readers are introverts but sometimes forcing family members to listen to your latest rant about a book or character isn’t  enough. Especially when you know they’re not really listening but pretending to just to appease you. Imagine having a full blown rant session with someone who understands your frustration or your excitement? Or better yet, challenges your thoughts? Sharing experiences can be extremely satisfying and reading with others can help encourage you to push on whether you like or dislike your current read. Because oooh we all have some thoughts we want to share!

One strike, you’re out!

I used to force read myself to finish every book I’ve started. Looking back, that was a terrible habit. With the constant bombardment in life I’m finding I don’t have the luxury (or let’s face it, masochist will power in me) to finish books I don’t enjoy. Life is too short to waste it on a book that brings you no joy! I’ve heard of people reading only a certain amount of the book (for example, reading 10% or reading x chapters) before DNF’ing it and I think that’s an excellent approach. Or, if you’re anything like me, too afraid to commit to DNF’ing, I like to put books in the “perhaps one day I’ll read this later pile”. 

Set up reading goals that are attainable

Looking back at my reading goals I have to laugh at my own audacity. I once had a reading goal that included having a daily reading schedule. To think I would set up  a reading schedule? In this economy? Peh! Instead, I place my metaphorical reading bars low that even the underworld would shake their head at my pitiful goals. But hey! No one will get hurt with disappointment because, the bar is on the floor. How can I NOT meet my reading goal? Setting up realistic goals means there’s a chance of actually meeting such goals. And who doesn’t like crossing things off your ‘to do list’? We need that dopamine hit once we scratch that off our list! M favourite line is this: almost anything can be accomplished if broken down into small attainable steps. And that includes my reading goals. 

Anyway, here are some of my steps I take when facing a reading slump. Hope this helps!

How do you get out of a reading slump?

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