HOW TO | OVERCOME A READING SLUMP

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When it comes to reading slumps, I’m like a magnet. I’m always in a slump; and when I’m not, it’s a bloody miracle. Last year, I was in a reading slump for the entire schooling year. It was the worst thing ever. But I have learned some things to help conquer the slump.

If you’re not sure what a reading slump is (I only recently discovered it was even a thing), here’s a few symptoms:

  • You’re always getting distracted. Personally, I found myself willingly doing chores and homework. Or I’d get around to watching that TV show I didn’t actually want to watch in the first place.
  • You can’t focus on what you’re reading. Everything you read just going over your head. I find that I’m having to go back and reread because I’m just not taking anything in. This one time I just started at the page for a good ten minutes.
  • Disinterested. Maybe your OTP does a thing, and you just don’t care. You’ve lost all interest and you’re not taking it in.
  • And, your reading pace becomes non existent. Or somewhat shameful. Or both.

Now, one thing I 100% recommend for overcoming a reading slump is to go outside or just do something, anything. I know it probably doesn’t seem like much, but it sure as hell helps. I find that if I have a block of any kind (be it reading, writing, or blogging, homework or studying, anything), taking a break and taking my mind off it helps more than anything. Walk your dog (or your ducks, I won’t judge) while listening to music – your favourites or something new. Paint your nails. Learn to sew. Or cook, I hear that’s a good skill to have when you leave home.

Along the lines of going outside, I suggest hanging out with friends. Go out for lunch or something. Go to the movies. Or just hang around and eat pizza. Talk and debate. Whatever it is that kids do these days.

And this one I know works really well (it’s also half the reason I get into reading slumps): watch a TV show. Take your mind off the fictional world of the book you’re currently attempting to read and just watch some TV. I love my scifi shows, so when I watch TV to get out of a reading slump, I go for soap operas (really boring, but entertaining enough that I’ll go crawling back to my book and be blown away at how fantastic it was compared to the TV show).

Or, read a different book. Try a different genre. Anything that’s entirely different from the one you were reading. Open up and try something new. Go for it. When you’ve finished, you can come back to the original book and try again.

Sometimes you don’t actually like the book, and assume it’s a reading slump. Maybe it’s the book, not you.

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  • My slumps are usually triggered by finishing a really good book or getting super hung up over a chapter sampler from an upcoming release I REALLY want. (It’s happened a few times…) I find something that solves it is either reading a sequel to a book I read a while ago, reading a cool middle grade book, or a combination of both. I think it’s because with those two kinds of books the reading experience is a bit shorter and fast paced.