5 Helpful Ways to Overcome Reader’s Block

Have you ever glanced at your TBR and just can’t find the drive to start a book? Reader’s block happens to all of us! Here are 5 ways you can overcome it.

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tips to overcome reader's block

It happens to all of us. You get on a hot reading streak– you’re truly on a roll. You’re reading a book every few days or even faster. Then one morning, you wake up and notice that you just can’t even pick up a book without getting uncomfortable at the thought. Nothing on your TBR list sounds exciting. Reader’s block is common amongst those who aren’t too fond of reading and even avid book lovers.

Maybe you can pick up the book, but you are bored after a few sentences. You find yourself rereading the same paragraph over and over. Maybe you got distracted and can’t remember what is happening. Don’t worry– that reading slump you’re in is totally normal and I’m here to give you five helpful ways to overcome it!

1. Switch up your usual genre

Overcome your reader's block by trying a historical fantasy novel
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Overcome your reader's block by trying a romance
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Overcome your reader's block by trying a horror novel
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This happens to me all the time. I will find a genre and just devour it and read every book I can get my hands on with the genre. To my surprise– every. single. time– I end up becoming bored and not reading for a while. Does this happen to you? One thing that helps me is switching out my usual material. If you are normally a contemporary romance lover, try a fantasy novel. If you usually read true crime, a fictional thriller may get you back on the edge of your seat.

2. Try a short story or poem

Overcome your reader's block by trying short stories or poetry
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Sometimes your reader’s block isn’t because of what you’re reading, but the length. Easing your way back in with a short story or poem could be just what you need. 300 page books may not sound like a problem, but sometimes it can be hard to pick up a lengthy novel after you’ve taken some time off. Reading shorter works such as novellas or short stories will satisfy your craving for new stories while keeping things short. Poetry will give you the creative juice you’re trying to find without spending a lot of time finding it.

3. Ditch the boring read… DNF isn’t anything to be ashamed of!

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”

Francis Bacon

Not finishing a book feels like defeat. I can say personally it is so hard to justify just not finishing a book even if I am not into it. I always say, “Well, you got this far– just keep going.” Sometimes it sounds like, “What if you stop now and then it gets good later on?” Which, by the way, never happens. You know you, and if you aren’t feeling your book, trust yourself! Put it down and grab something else. No one will know and it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Need a little more convincing? I’ve discovered Goodreads made an entire list of abandoned books.

4. Try an audiobook

Overcome your reader's block by trying out a new audiobook
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While I can’t listen to an audiobook for the life of me, maybe this will help you! I always get distracted and can never follow along. If you are struggling to pick up your next read or to stay focused while reading, try listening to the book instead. Audiobooks are so convenient. Driving in the car? Audiobook. Cooking dinner? Audiobook. Laying in bed and can’t sleep? AUDIOBOOK! Some of the very best audiobooks have amazing voice actors playing your favorite characters. Give them a try and see if you like it.

5. Reread one of your favorites

Overcome your reader's block by trying to reread an old favorite book of yours
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Sometimes we just need to be reminded WHY we love reading so much. What better way to remind ourselves than reading a book we could read a million times? For me, that book is Looking For Alaska by John Green. Even though I am definitely not in the YA genre anymore, that book is one of the first books that made me fall in love with reading. What book comes to mind when you read this tip? I’m sure it will help lift your dreaded reader’s block and get you back into the swing of things.

Whatever is causing your reader’s block (and sometimes, it is just the season), I hope these five suggestions get you out of it! There’s nothing worse than being a book lover who can’t find a book to love.

Looking for more bookish tips and tricks to add to your routine? Click here!