Reading slumps are a thing. Trying to actually figure out how to get over the reading slump is just as hard as recognizing and accepting that reading slump. So, let’s try and get some ideas about dealing with and maybe solving the reading slump.
- Recognize you are, in fact, in a reading slump. Maybe you’ve absolutely loved reading in the past little bit and suddenly you don’t have that interest anymore. Or maybe you’re still interested in doing some reading when the books are closed but the moment you try to get into it you can’t make it more than one page (even if you actually like the book you are reading). Either way, you used to want to read but now you don’t want to read. You’re first step really is accepting that that is how you are feeling. Acceptance is always really the first step.
- Next you have to figure out what type of reading slump you’re in. There are different types and your next steps are going to depend on the types of slump you’re actually in. So, rather than continue this awkward list I’m doing to slap some slump types as some headings and talk about some possible response to those particular slumps under those headings. Am I getting too technical for a blog post about reading slumps? Yes, yes I am.
I’M NOT OVER [BOOK NAME HERE]
Keep calm, there’s no need to yell. So, you’ve finished up a book or maybe a book series and you are in major feels mode for that particular book. Book hangovers – they’re a thing. Like I said, stay calm and let the feels feel. I’m serious there’s no real way to power through your own feeling so you’re best bet is to feel what you’re feeling. How many more times am I going to say feelings? Don’t judge me! Talk to yourself: why are you feeling so attached to the book you just read? Did it speak to some experience or emotion you haven’t really sat with and understood about yourself? Did the book help you through some hard times? Recognize that the book meant something to you and thus you’ll have some difficulty moving on. Try watching some movies or playing a video game or something else creative that will get you moving on without feeling like you’re “betraying [Book Name Here]” by reading another book. Eventually your feelings will come down and you can read again past that point.
THIS BOOK IS TERRIBLE BUT I NEED TO FINISH IT EVENTUALLY
No, you don’t. I mean you literally don’t unless its for class. Seriously, stop trying to force yourself to do something you are not enjoying. “But the book was a gift”. Well you thank the person for it anyways but if they’re truly understanding then they’ll recognize you have different tastes and accept that. Just don’t get super rude about it around them and let the book go. You don’t need to finish everything book you start, you’re allowed to be a little picky!
I CAN’T CHOOSE SO I WON’T
Well, if I’m honest I think that speaks to something of a deeper issue with decision making and thus doesn’t have an easy answer. Or at least not an easy answer when you unpack it. The simple surface answer is to choose anyway. Hey, if you can juggle two or three at the same time that can help to. But the hard thing is just picking a book up and going for it anyway having recognized that you can’t read all the books at once but that’s no-good reason not to read at all. Have someone else look through your “To Read” stack and pick one for you. If you can’t make that decision let someone else throw their two-sense in. But also let yourself choose and recognize that choice isn’t the worst thing in the world.
I’m Just Not Into Reading Right Now
That’s cool. Do other things in your spare time. Go out for long walks, visit coffee shops with friends, pick up a video game you’ve never tried before. It’s okay to need to take breaks from something you enjoy – it doesn’t mean you enjoy it less, you just want to enjoy other things right now. Nerdy Complexity would be super hypocritical if I said that you had to want to do one nerdy thing constantly. Switch it up and maybe later you’ll feel like reading again.
I’ve Read Five Books This Week, Why’d I Stop?
Probably because you’ve read enough. Book overload is another real thing. Try slowing down before this point or taking a break if it’s already too late for early intervention. Sometimes too much of something is not a good thing!
WHY CAN’T I FOCUS?!?!?!
Okay deep breath. Several deep breaths. Your job now is to figure out what your brain is trying to focus on: homework, chores, friends, family, stress? You’re going to have to focus on that thing and try and address it because reading just isn’t going to help until that thing is either addressed or set aside. This is okay and your brain is telling you that thing is more important right now. If the distraction is anxiety and is trying to make you anxious for no good reason try taking a long walk and some fresh air. Or go shopping. Talk with a friend. Something that is going to get you out of your head because reading doesn’t tend to do that.
So, there are six types of book slumps and some possible ways to help deal with those slumps. For the most part it is riding out the wave and enjoying something else in the meantime. Also taking nice walks. That will always be a suggested activity that I will tell everyone! Reading slumps are perfectly okay and generally very natural – do not convince yourself you aren’t a book nerd just because you don’t spend every conscious moment reading. You’re more complex than that.