We've all been there. Somehow, despite being surrounded by a TBR pile that grows bigger with each passing day, you have lost the motivation to read. Whether it's because you haven't been inspired by anything new, or you've simply been too busy or preoccupied to pick up a book, the spark is gone.
Friend, do not despair.
Here are our top five quick and easy ways to cure a reading slump and reignite the reading spark in your book-loving heart.
1. Only read one book at a time.
We know the thought of reading more than one book at a time will offend some of you, but for many of you reading multiple books at any given moment is just a fact of life. It's also one of the easiest ways to get overwhelmed and feel like you're not making any progress with any of them. Take the pressure off yourself and just focus on one for now.
2. Get off the internet.
Not forever; we'd never ask that of you. But do get offline long enough to get a book recommendation from something, or more importantly someone, other than an algorithm. Come on, Goodreads. Just because we read one historical romance doesn't mean that's all we want to read now. Go out into the world and visit your favourite bookstore, or hang out with one of your bookish friends. There are people everywhere who will be more than willing to tell you about a book they love, and we promise their enthusiasm and excitement will be far more inspiring than a five-star rating on Goodreads.
3. Check out an unfamiliar section of the bookstore.
If you normally head straight towards the same section every time you enter a bookstore, mix it up and check out what's new in a different part of the shop. Don't venture too far (maybe if you usually read romance, true crime isn't for you), but far enough to be in strange territory with authors/titles you don't immediately recognise. We give you full permission to judge a book by its cover--pick up whatever looks interesting or appealing to you. Trust your instincts.
4. See the movie, then read the book.
Too often we suggest (read: mandate) that a book should be read before the film or TV series is watched, but if your slump is truly serious then we'll cut you some slack. Think back to the last few movies you watched and loved. Chances are at least one of them is partially or directly inspired by a book. We all know that film adaptations leave out many important details, so reading the book after watching the film could be an entirely different experience.
5. Revisit a favourite book or author.
Sometimes you just need to go back to where the magic started. Think of the last book that made you laugh or cry or feel anything at all, and pick it up again. Read a few chapters and remind yourself what power a good book can have. Failing that, see if an author you enjoy has any other books that you might have missed.
And here are some tips that didn't quite make the cut.
Read a short book.
Fewer words and fewer pages means it will take you less time to read the book, and then you're more likely to feel like you've accomplished something. Success!
Organise a reading party.
This could be a party for one involving some pyjamas, a blanket, a beverage, and some uninterrupted reading time. This could be a party for many involving some comfy chairs, some snacks, some laughter, and probably lots of interrupted reading time. Whatever you decide, block out some time and dedicate it to the act of reading.
Just wait it out.
This may make you feel like a terrible reader (and maybe very slightly a terrible person, but we're not here to judge), but sometimes the best thing to do is just wait out the slump in the same manner you'd wait in traffic or for your stomach to settle before that fifth/sixth/seventh slice of pizza: begrudgingly, but knowing that this too shall pass.
Hang in there. Fortunately slumps, like bad hair cut decisions, don't last forever and you'll be back to your regular book-loving self in no time!
How do you recover from reading slumps? Let us know in the comments.