The Lowdown On… Reading Slumps

I would love to say I’ve never had to deal with a reading slump, or an utter lack of reading, but that would be a huge lie. Whether it’s been thanks to a busy schedule, binge watching on Netflix, or just an absence in motivation we all eventually fall prey to a slump. Oddly enough, I would say 2020 is contributing a couple of slumps I’ve struggled with even with me being home almost 24/7.

What is a Reading Slump ? / What causes it?

Honestly, a reading slump is just that, a period of time where you are unable or not wanting to read. It starts with a few days or a week of not touching a book and then it just compiles time wise until it’s bad, real bad. I usually read around 50-60 books a year, but with all that’s happened and just wanting to chill I’ve only reached around 30 at this point in the year. So what caused this or causes it? Besides an easy answer of just being busy, I’ve also encountered the following; bad books killing your mood, Book hangovers, distractions like other entertainment, pure exhaustion, and a crazy schedule. Some you can combat, others it’s literally out of your control.

So, how do I stop it?

For the situations that are controllable I’ve done the following:

  • Bad Books
    • I think everyone has encountered a really bad read that just kills you inside. In those instances I’m a firm believer in DNF (Did Not Finish). A bad book isn’t worth killing your mood, and suffering in order to finish. Instead, I’ve just stopped reading a book and moved on to the next. It honestly has saved me from some ranting reviews as well. In the case that it ended badly, I would go for a book that you either already know or are really excited about already. Definitely don’t grab a challenging book, or questionable book right after those have consistently made things worse for me at least.
  • Book Hangovers
    • These are a little harder since sometimes it’s caused by an incredible, but also hard to take cliffhanger. In some cases I’ve just given it a little bit, other times I reread another favorite book/series or pick up a TBR book I’ve been anticipating. Another great solution if you’re craving an ending is to go for a standalone, they are truly perfect after a bad cliffhanger.
  • Other Entertainment / Distractions
    • In the case that you’ve been hooked on TV/videogames, etc and it’s making reading feel hard I would look first at what’s on your TBR. Sometimes I shuffle up TBR plans if they don’t excite me as much. I view tbrs as a guide to what I’ve been wanting to read, more so than written in stone. Another solution would be setting up a time for your reading, with being stuck in our homes schedules can really help break up all that time.

I think the big thing with reading slumps is admitting they happen. Artists hit design blocks, writers have writing blocks, and readers just have reading slumps. As long as I’ve been honest with myself and worked to get back on my reading challenge it’s all worked out. What kind of reading slumps have you experienced? What are your solutions? Let me know in the comments below!

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