Practical Ways to Get Out of a Reading Slump

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It’s happened. I have hit a wall in my reading journey and so I am taking a little, tiny break. This means I’m still listening to my audiobooks and reading my ARC copies, but otherwise have taken a step back from my TBR.

Reading slumps are inevitable and having one right after the holidays comes as no surprise. And while I am 100% okay with just letting my slump run its course, sometimes I don’t want to be in a slump and I want to get right back on track.

So if you’re in the latter position where you want/need this slump to get outta town ASAP, here are some tips to kick your reading slump to the curb!

1. Re-read your favorites

I mean, they’re your favorites for a reason, right? So do some re-reading! This also doesn’t have to mean jumping back into a whole book or series.

Even just re-reading your favorite chapters can help nudge you back towards that tingly, joyful, excited feeling of wanting to read.

And I mean anything you have loved reading in the past.

That Lemony Snicket that you haven’t picked up since 7th grade? Go read it!

2. Try something different

This could be listening to an audiobook, or borrowing a book from the library in a different genre.

If you read mostly romance novels, try a cozy mystery or an epic fantasy. If you read a lot of non-fiction, try some fiction short stories or dive into a fiction classic.

Sometimes stepping outside of our comfort genres can open us up to not only new genres but also new favorites.

Ask a friend for a book recommendation and go in blind, deciding to read it only because you trust their recommendation.

Maybe you’ve been debating buying a Kindle, or an accessory for your Kindle, now is the time!

3. Buy Bookish Accessories

Alright this one is a little out there, but hear me out. Lately, those little Bluetooth page turner clicker buttons, and nightstand holders for Kindles and iPads have been all over the internet.

(This is what I am referring to – A Remote Control Page Turner!)

Maybe you have been wanting it but you just can’t make up your mind about whether that accessory or device you’ve had your eye on is worth it, go buy it!

(Assuming you are making the responsible, financial decision. I’m not trying to encourage overspending.)

Right now, for me, a Kindle is not in the budget after Christmas spending. But tax season is almost upon us here in the US and then it’s my birthday!

This makes more sense because by my birthday in May, the reading slump will be a thing of the past and the Kindle will be an even more exciting purchase.

That aside, think of it as a little refresh. If you buy new items for other areas of your home to decorate for holidays, or just to spruce up. Why would it be any different when it comes to prioritizing reading?

But like I said, if it’s not in your budget like me, skip this one and go to #4.

4. Journal it out

You don’t want to buy anything new to put towards a hobby that feels super lackluster right now, that’s totally fair!

Write down your feelings instead. This can be in an old notebook, a dedicated journal, or simply filling in a page on Google Docs.

This can be helpful if you don’t know why you are in a reading slump. And if you do know why, it can be helpful to journal out any anxiety that stems from falling off track with your reading goals.

(I personally use this journal when I want to physically write and love it!)

5. Revisit your goals

Speaking of goals, New Year’s is always the time we set ourselves up for the upcoming year. We set goals and figure out what to prioritize. Sometimes we take on a bit more than we can handle without even realizing it.

At the beginning of the year, I was toying with the idea of not even having a reading goal. In 2023 I finally made my way back to my love of reading after only reading in college while working on my Bachelor.

It felt so nice to let loose and read all of the fantasy and romance and thrillers I wanted. But with that also came a little bit of burnout.

And that’s okay! I changed my reading goal for the year to 24 books. I did that for two reasons,

  • It is a goal I know I can reach (in 2023 I read 53 books)
  • It allows me to still feel accomplished should I decide to read less in 2024

And if you’re completely happy with your reading goal, let’s move on to #6.

6. Connect with other readers

If you’re already in a book club or reading group, reach out! Make a post or send a message. Commiserating with others experiencing the same thing as you can be super helpful.

If you’re like me and are a certified internet hermit, sometimes reading forums or even just texting close friends who can also commiserate (maybe not in the direct moment) can help just a little.

Reading slumps are normal! And you should never feel bad about not reading. Reading should be fun and unless it is for an assignment or work or another responsibility in your life, reading should never make you feel stressed or add to your anxiety.

7. Let it be

The last piece of advice you probably want to hear. But take a few days off. Don’t listen to an audiobook, don’t re-read anything, don’t buy new accessories or buy a new book.

Go explore other hobbies. Go on a walk if the weather is nice. Watch a few episodes of a show you haven’t seen in a long time. Watch YouTube, play video games, meet a friend for coffee, take a nap, and play with your pets.

The list is endless, to be honest. Go do anything, literally anything, that is not reading or reading-related.

And yes, listening to that bookish podcast counts, put it away!

All in all, a reading slump doesn’t have to feel like the end of the world.

Does it anyway? Sometimes.

But with some rest and time spent uncovering the reason why you are in a slump, the faster you can get back to all those books sitting on your TBR list. And that’s not a job, because the TBR list is just as ridiculous.

So remember, don’t let your reading slump get you down. It’s not forever, I know you have the capability to get right back on track!

Happy reading! 📖

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