How To Get Out Of A Reading Slump (25 Tested Tips!)
As an avid reader, one of the things we struggle the most with is a reading slump.
Are you questioning yourself – why you don’t feel like reading or why you cannot absorb anything you read? You’re probably going through a reading slump.
Reading slumps are annoying because they really hinder your reading progress.
I tested these 25 tips myself, plus I share my learnings from the Atomic Habits by James Clear which really helped me get out of this book slump.
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What Is A Reading Slump/Book Slump?
A reading slump or a book slump is a phase where a reader does not feel like reading or is unable to absorb whatever they read. It is a period where they’re unmotivated to pick up a book and read.
What Causes A Reading Slump?
Here are a few reasons you’re having a reading slump:
- Book hangover (can’t get over your last read?)
- Burnout from work/school
- Your last read was horrible
- You did not DNF your last read that was horrible
- You are distracted by electronic devices
- You do not prioritise/block time for reading.
Is It Normal To Have A Reading Slump?
Yes it is perfectly normal. Almost every avid reader will go through a reading slump at some point of their lives.
How Long Do Reading Slumps Lasts?
Reading slumps varies for every reader. It may last days, weeks or even months. Some say even years if life gets in the way of their reading schedule.
25 Tips On How To Get Out Of A Reading Slump
1. Take A Break From Reading
Don’t force yourself to read when you don’t feel like reading. The first thing you should do when facing a reading slump is to take a break from books!
Do something else, something refreshing and just maybe – your reading mood will be restored.
2. Try Reading An E-book
If you find yourself zoning out when reading a physical book, an e-book might help. I remember reading on my kindle when I was in a reading slump.
Not only did I get out of my slump, I read way faster than I usually would read a physical book. This is because:
- Ebooks are way more portable
- You can adjust font, size and line space to make reading more convenient
- Just like using a phone or an ipad, swiping/scrolling is something we do on auto, reading becomes automated!
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Listening to an audiobook is a no brainer. If physical books and ebooks don’t work for you, listening to a book might.
Best part of listening to an audiobook – you can multitask.
Therefore, you can get a lot more reading done while you do your daily chores, commute or even hit the gym.
4. Read A Short Book
One of the most effective ways for me was to read a short book – it tricks your brain into thinking it’s not much of a chore.
It is just a book you can breeze through because it’s between 100-200 pages.
Short books to get out of a reading slump:
- The Cat Who Saved Books
- Before The Coffee Gets Cold
- Before The Coffee Gets Cold (Tales From The Cafe)
- The Blood Prince of Langkasuka
Besides short stories, poetry books are also pretty short and easy to read, a few recommendations:
5. Set Small Achievable Goals
The pressure to finish reading “X” amount of books in “Y” amount of time can possibly lead you into a reading slump.
Try setting small achievable goals. Instead of saying “I need to read 30 books in 6 months”, try “I’ll read an hour a day before bed time.”
Break down your big reading goals into smaller chunks!
Give yourself permission to DNF (do not finish) that book.
Most of the time, readers fall into a reading slump because they force themselves to finish a book that they’re no longer interested in.
Reading is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby, not a chore. If it starts feeling like a chore, you might put yourself in a reading slump.
Don’t feel guilty about DNF-ing a book! If you’re wondering if you should DNF the book or not, this guide will definitely help you.
One of the ways to get out of a reading slump is to track your reading.
Seeing your reading progress can be motivating! It helps you want to read more as you’re closer to your reading goal.
Some popular reading trackers are:
There are many types of reading trackers – apps, spreadsheets, journals and more. Find out which one of these 10 reading trackers are the best fit for you.
8. Try Reading A Different Genre
This is a tip I tried and it worked miraculously.
I was getting a bit tired of reading asian literature so I tried reading fantasy. I am not an experienced fantasy reader, in fact I don’t read fantasy at all!
I started reading The Folk of Air series. The Cruel Prince being my first ever fantasy read. I found it refreshing!
I not only got out of a reading slump, but also learned how to read fantasy books as a beginner fantasy reader.
9. Re-read Your Favourite Book
This tip is pretty straight forward, if you’re having a hard time reading any book – always go back to your favourite book.
It’ll put you in a good mood and you’ll remember why you love reading in the first place!
If you’re in a reading slump – one of the ways to get out of it is to buddy read.
Buddy reading means you read the same book with 2-3 friends. This will help you stay on track when reading as it keeps you accountable!
Buddy reading also helps you make new bookish friends/connects you with the bookish community.
Here is a complete guide on how to start buddy reading.
11. Join A Book Club
If you’re wanting to take it up a notch, joining a book club would keep you more accountable when compared to a buddy read.
This is because there’s more book club rules and members to respect and you’ll have to follow through the reading progress.
This can either be helpful to get out of a reading slump, or it may backfire and make you burnout.
Book clubs and buddy readings are not for everyone. Be kind to yourself and take what resonates!
12. Use Time Blocking Method
Looking for an easy way to get out of a reading slump? Time blocking is not only easy but also effective!
The easiest way to time block is by using Google Calendar. It is a free tool and is accessible worldwide.
All you have to do is block one hour or 30 minutes from your schedule and reserve it for reading. It is up to you when you’d prefer to do it – early morning or late at night!
Your space is sacred.
Try to create a reading corner that brings you comfort and joy, so that you get in the mood to start reading!
And if you don’t have a spare room or a corner in your house to curate a reading space, you can just make your bedroom or living room more reading friendly.
Some ways to make your space more reading friendly:
- Light bookish candles.
- Get some essential oils.
- Sit on a reading chair (please make sure it is ergonomic so you can read for long periods of time without damaging your back)
- Make some tea or coffee in your favourite bookish mug!
One way to get out of a book slump – read more than one book at a time.
If you find yourself stuck on one book and do not want to DNF it, then pick up another book.
Read these two books alternatively so you don’t lose your motivation to read.
Two years ago I wanted to read more and starting a bookstagram really helped me.
This is because I made friends in the bookish community which motivated me to read more.
I also started receiving books from publishers and book distributors.
The process of creating content – writing book reviews, taking photos, editing photos and more made me feel in control of my reading habits and therefore helped me get out of a reading slump.
More bookstagram Tips:
- 8 Must-Know Bookstagram Tips For Beginners (Read Before Starting A Bookstagram)
- 70 Bookstagram Name Ideas That Make You Stand Out
- 101 Engaging Questions To Ask On Bookstagram (QOTD)
Start a book blog! Similar to starting a bookstagram, this keeps you accountable.
You have an audience and therefore you need to create bookish content.
To create bookish content, you need to be reading more books. All in all, it helps you get out of a reading slump!
If you’re afraid to start a book blog because you’re scared you’ll run out of content ideas, here are 70 book blog post ideas for you to kickstart your book blog.
- Read At A Cafe
I’m so excited to share this one because it is one of my favourite tips!
Whenever I feel like I’m heading into a reading slump or if I generally have no mood to read – I’ll headout to a cosy cafe!
This works every time. I love having a hot latte to pair with my current read.
18. Visit A Bookstore
Visiting a bookstore helps you get out of a reading slump because it gets you in the mood.
Obviously, being surrounded by books will make you want to read! Just be sure you don’t end up buying books instead of reading them.
19. Keep Away Your Electronic Devices
Are you sure you’re in a reading slump? Sometimes, we’re not really in a book slump – we’re just distracted by our phones, TV and laptops.
Try separating yourself from these electronic devices so you have no distraction and therefore have nothing to do but to read.
This is a similar tip to “try reading a different genre”.
Instead, try reading a webcomic instead of a book – this different format of reading might help you get out of a reading slump.
Binge reading webtoons are always better than waiting for a new chapter to roll out every week. Here is a list of completed webtoons for you to start with.
If you’re a romance reader, checkout these best romance webtoons!
Here are some of my favourite webtoon recommendations:
21. Reward Yourself
One of the ways is to reward yourself. This is one of the habit forming laws from Atomic habits (make it rewarding).
Try to find ways to reward yourself each time you read a chapter or so.
For example, you can have dessert if you read for one hour today.
22. Watch A Netflix Show Based On a Book
In a reading slump and not in the mood to pick up a book? Watch a netflix show instead that is based on a book!
One of my favourites would be Bridgerton! My favourite historical fiction romance series.
23. Visit A Library
Similar to visiting a bookstore, a library should help you get in the mood to read.
Everyone around you will be reading something or another – this proximity will trick your mind into wanting to read
24. Book A Reading Retreat/Staycation
I managed to book a staycation this year! I ditched all my work stress and responsibilities for a weekend to sit in a hotel room, eat lots of good food and read!
I managed to finish the book I was currently reading while having a relaxing staycation.
You deserve a break too! This is your sign to book that staycation.
25. Go On A Reading Date
This might not apply to everyone, but if you have a partner who reads it would be a good idea to stay in and have a reading date or go out for coffee and do the same.
Having some to read with you is always a much better way to get you out of a reading slump.
Here you go, 25 true and tested tips on how to get out of a reading slump. I hope you’ll find something from this list that helps you get into the reading mood!