If there’s one thing that I’ve been hearing a lot (and feeling myself), is that over the last couple of months focusing on reading hasn’t always been easy. Although many people have had more time on their hands it hasn’t necessarily equated to getting through more books. It’s been hard to concentrate or there have been a million other things on people’s minds. And actually, reading slumps happen in “normal” life too! So here are my five tips to get over a reading slump and back to enjoying your books.
Read things you enjoy
Let’s start with the obvious. It sounds stupid, but I think it’s so easy to get drawn into reading what you think you have to read. Especially if you’re part of the Bookstagram / book blogging community! Think about it as if you were a child. Would you have read something in your own time if you were hating every minute of it? No, no you would not. So reach for those books you love regardless of what everyone else is reading – whether that’s a sweeping romance, fact-filled non-fiction or something that scares you silly, it’s what you like that matters most. Remind yourself that reading is for pleasure, not a chore.
Try a new format
Perhaps sitting down to read at the moment isn’t what you’re in the mood for. If you’re getting out on a daily walk, why not give audiobooks a whirl? It’ll let you carry on with what you’re doing whilst listening along to a book at the same time. Audible offers a 30-day free trial so you don’t have to commit to anything either if you’re unsure. For some people, there are certain genres, like classics or non-fiction, where they find the audio versions easier to absorb compared to the physical counterpart. I also think it’s fun when a favourite celebrity is a narrator too.
Re-read a favourite
Sometimes I feel like I just can’t physically take in any new information. My brain has had enough! If you feel like that, then re-reading a favourite is a good idea. It’s the equivalent of putting on your comfy, well-worn pyjamas – you know exactly how they’re going to fit. It could be a new or an old favourite, but re-reading a book lets you sink back into a world you’re familiar with and enjoy it all over again. Chances are you’ll notice new things to love about it this time around too!
Read in bite-size chunks
You know when you don’t want a proper meal, so you just have a picky tea? Something you graze on and doesn’t matter if you don’t eat it all in one go? You can do the same thing with your reading. Instead of a 300-page book, why not pick up some short stories, an essay collection or poetry book. These formats are handy for when you want to dip in and out of reading and want to mix things up. Maybe you read one short story a day or a couple of poems before you go to bed. Perhaps a bit of both. It’s just a little something to keep the reading muscle flexed and puts less pressure on you, compared to slogging your way through War and Peace.
Join a book club
If there’s ever been a time where we want to feel more connected to people, it’s now. Book clubs are an amazing opportunity for you to meet people with obvious shared interest, plus they provide you with a tangible goal. Most meet monthly so you can let that one book to be your aim. Then you get to chat about it with other book lovers – win! There are loads around and lots springing up online now too. I recently joined the Let’s Get Classical book club which focuses on classics (as the name would suggest) and the meeting is held on Facebook. It’s fun and you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
I hope these five tips to get over a reading slump are helpful to anyone who is feeling this way. And here’s a sneaky bonus tip: it’s ok to not read for a few days. I know, this is a book blog and that’s probably sacrilege but honestly, nothing bad will happen. And it’ll feel all the better when you do pick up something, and you love it so much that you can’t put it down.