Much like writers suffering through writers block, readers can go through reading slumps. Many things can trigger a reading slump. for example you just finished reading an amazing book and feel unable to launch into anything new right away, the stress of everyday life is making it impossible to focus on escapism, or any number of other circumstances. If you’re a passionate reader, neglecting reading can make you feel guilty. This is completely normal and something everyone goes through so don’t feel bad about it. The more you try to force yourself to get back in the groove of reading four books a week, the more you’re going to stress yourself out!
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With book hangovers and stress, it’s hard to find the time and energy to dedicate half an hour to your precious book, especially at this time of the year, as the holidays roll in and the last of the books in a series are being released. You can feel pressured to rush through your TBR to get to the new ones before the new year begins. Fret not! Those books will still be there when you buy the new ones. So calm yourself down and take a deep breath, you’ll be okay.
1. Recommendations from a friend
Sometimes your friends know you a lot better than you do, specifically a best friend or a sibling. My sister and I are bound together and we always recommend shows and books we know the other will love. If you got through a streak of two-star books, asking a friend or a family member who reads as much as you do is bound to yield something you will instantly love.
2. Rereading a favorite
If no new books are catching your attention, try reading one of your old favorites and fall back into the story you fell in love with in the first place. Rereading your favorite book or even the book that caused the hangover might just be the thing you need to shake it off. One of the reasons you suffer through book hangovers is that your so in love with the story and characters, your sad that the book is over. So rereading that same book and reliving the world will help you cope. I find myself rereading Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Mist and Fury many times when I am in a slump. It’s one of my all time favorite fantasy books and I love the world it transports me to.
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3. Reading a short book
First off, stop trying to read 700-page books! Pick up something easier in a genre you love. Poetry is a great start. If poetry isn’t your thing, there are lots of books in the genres you love that offer quick paced and short reads. Instead of reading a massive epic fantasy maybe pick up a 300-page YA fantasy instead. If you’re a horror enthusiast, there are many books with short scary stories that are less than ten pages each.
4. Watching a movie adaptation
This might sound a bit odd to some, but sometimes when I watch an adaption to my favorite reads it makes me want to pick the book up to remember how accurate or off the movie was from the book. By then I’ll find myself reading the whole series. City of Bones by Cassandra Clara has been made into a movie. Back in 2013, I had just started going to college and didn’t have the time to read and when I did I could’t get past more than twenty pages. When my sister took me to watch the adaptation to City of Bones I immediately picked up the book when I got home and finished it the same night (I do not recommend you read through the night. Classes the next day were horrible!)
5. Reading books similar to your favorites
There are times that you’re not in the mood to read anything othewe than the book that made you happy. Picking up a book similar enough to it helps. If you type “Books similar to…” a list of books will come up, possibly your next favorite series.
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6. Read something you normally wouldn’t
When your go-to genres let you down, try a book you normally wouldn’t go for. The change of pace and genre will shake you out of the slump. If you’re someone who only reads crime or psychological thrillers, maybe reading something completely different will open up your reading world. If your adamant about not going for anything else than your go-to, try reading a book from a completely different author. I used to read ONLY crime fiction and psychological thrillers in my high school years just because I loved the feeling of being scared (weird? Yeah, a little,) but a childhood friend lent me a copy of Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and I instantly fell in love with the world of fantasy. If you’re a Stephen King fan read something from Jo Nesbo.
7. Read a thriller or horror
Following up on the last tip, sometimes you just need a heart-pounding horror or an edge-of-your-seat thriller to jolt you out of a reading slump. Broadening your taste in genres has helped many people in the book community and certainly has helped me.
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