Recently, I was in the worst reading slump I've had in a while. It was a combination of a few different things that resulted in me doing the opposite of catching up on my Goodreads challenge or picking up anything I was actually planning on reading. I finally got out of the slump after about a month, and I think I'm back on track with reading now. You would think winter is the best time to read (and it is), but so many of us just feel completely unmotivated to do anything other than binge watch Netflix, or get lost in the YouTube "related videos" spiral. Today, I wanted to talk about some common reasons that may be keeping you from reading (I've experienced all of those firsthand), and what helps me deal with them.
If Nothing Sounds Exciting
When this happens to me, the only thing that actually gets me reading is picking up something entirely different: a book from a genre I don't normally read, a book that has a pretty cover, a book what isn't on my to-read list that I've just heard about somewhere... You get the point. Be adventurous! Or pick up a format you haven't tried before: an illustrated book, or a memoir audiobook narrated by the author, or one of the many comic books out there. Just try something new. Speaking of comic books, I recently posted about my current favorites here, and also reviewed the Locke & Key comic book series in this video.
If You Don't Feel like You Have the Time
I have one word for you: Audible. Personally, I can't stand nursing a book 10-15 pages at a time—I like to sit down and actually dedicate some time to reading. I find that the story just flows better that way. When it comes to audiobooks though, you can multitask: whether you're stuck in traffic, cleaning, cooking, working out, painting your walls—whatever the chore is, you can listen to a book.
If You Think You Should Be Reading One Thing, but You Want to Read Something Else
I don't know about you, but sometimes I try to tell myself I really should read something more "advanced", and/or something everyone ELSE is talking about that I don't have that much interest in. Everyone says I should read it, so maybe I should, right? This often results in me not reading anything because I still don't want to read the thing I "should" be reading, but I'm also not picking up what I want (because I keep thinking I will pick up the other thing). If you're like me, stop it. There is no right or wrong with reading. Read what you want—it's supposed to be enjoyable.
If You Are Overwhelmed by Your Choices
Sometimes you just want to read everything, and picking what to read first is a struggle. Make it fun! Pick with your eyes closed, or try a TBR jar: write down all of the unread book titles you own on small pieces of paper, throw them into a jar, and pick a random one. You will be pleasantly surprised by your pick, or realize what book you've been hoping to pull out of the jar—either way, you'll know what you're reading next. You can even make your TBR jar into a fun DIY project: personalize it, and make it a part of your bookshelf decor or work space!
If You Just Don't Feel like Reading
It's OK to take a break, don't force yourself—it's the worst thing you can do in this situation. Forcing yourself to read when and/or what you don't want to is one of the fastest ways to fall out of love with reading in general. You don't want to do that, do you? Give yourself a break, you will start craving a new story sooner than you think. Of course, sometimes we have to read something for work or school, but even then it's important to take a mental break, and give yourself a chance to be ready to take in more information.
Have you experienced a reading slump recently? How did you deal with it?