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Four tips to get out of a reading slump

Beatrice Barnes
With the help of the tips and tricks outlined in the following article, escape the depths of your reading slump and tackle the pile of books that have been waiting patiently for your attention.

Immersing yourself in a good book can be transformative; as you vigorously flip through the delicate pages, time becomes irrelevant and the worries of the real world temporarily fade into oblivion. However, falling into a reading slump can quickly turn this activity from enjoyable to burdensome. Weeks turn into months as you gaze longingly at your “to be read (TBR)” pile and it may seem as if the will to pick up a book will never return. While this is a completely normal and somewhat inevitable process, it can also be extremely frustrating, so consider the following tactics to rekindle your long-lost love of literature. 

Get inspired

Sometimes all you need to reignite a passion for reading is a little inspiration which, luckily, can come in many forms. Perusing the shelves of a local bookstore or downloading reading apps, such as Goodreads, are both great ways to find a book that piques your interest. On Goodreads specifically, you can join annual reading challenges, track your progress and have access to a plethora of book recommendations and reviews. Setting attainable reading goals and exposing yourself to new books on Goodreads could very well be the gateway to your next five-star read.  

Find the right book

Finding the right book is certainly easier said than done. It can be especially tricky during a reading slump, so don’t be afraid to reread an old favorite, get lost in a graphic novel or indulge in a short, feel-good romance. On the other hand, don’t confine yourself to a certain book if you aren’t enjoying it. Let go of the negative connotations associated with a “did not finish (DNF)” and allow yourself to explore new material instead. Similarly, if you feel suffocated by a growing TBR list, scrap it and use this time to discover what other genres may be more appealing to you right now. 

Read short-form fiction 

During a reading slump, the thought of finishing a full-length novel can be daunting, but short-form fiction can come in handy in these trying times. Novellas (shorter novels), novelettes (short, typically lighthearted and romantic novels) and short stories all fall under the umbrella of short-form fiction, and finishing one of these quick reads may be the perfect remedy for your reading slump. Short-form fiction is not only an excellent way to ease yourself back into reading, but is also an excellent way to expose yourself to new authors and genres that inspire you. You can find short-form fiction at your average bookstore or library, but you can also find it in magazines, newspapers and online. One site, known as, regularly publishes original short stories from both new and acclaimed authors.

Listen to audiobooks

Listening to an audiobook may not be reading in its traditional form, but audiobooks are an incredible resource nonetheless. Their flexible nature allows you to enjoy the pleasures of a good book anytime and anywhere, and they are especially useful if you find yourself lacking the free time or attention span to read a physical book. Try listening to an audiobook while engaging in otherwise mundane activities like folding laundry or driving to school; you’ll pass the time faster and sneak in some extra “reading” time while you’re at it! Audiobooks are highly accessible, and many libraries, including the Ventura County Library system, have free apps with an extensive arsenal of free audiobooks at your disposal.

When attempting to escape a reading slump, remember to be gentle with yourself. The habit of consistent reading won’t form overnight, so try to be patient and explore a variety of strategies to find a routine that sticks. Giving yourself the time and space to make mistakes will allow you to make important discoveries about yourself as a reader and learn skills that will help you to establish other healthy habits in your life.

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About the Contributor
Beatrice Barnes
Beatrice Barnes, Writer
Your average vegetarian who loves the outdoors and runs for fun.

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