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  • Writer's pictureKara C White

4 Ways to Get Out of a Reading Slump

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

It can happen to even the most avid reader.

One month you're flying through one page turner after another, and then something happens. Suddenly you're not making much progress on the latest book, or it feels like a chore to pick up any book at all. Maybe you're overwhelmed by your massive TBR list or can't find a title that interests you. Any number of things can affect your reading life: a change in your schedule or routines, a change in the seasons, family strains, work stressors, etc. Sometimes you can't quite put your finger on the reason, but you can feel the result. You're in a reading slump.

First, grant yourself a little grace. Most readers find themselves feeling this way from time to time. A dry spell won't keep you from achieving your overall reading goals. Read on to learn 4 ways to get out of a reading slump and back into the pages of a great book.

1. Read something short. Even if it's not in your TBR stack, try reaching for a shorter book, a novella, or even a collection of short stories. When you're struggling to read as much as you'd like, just finishing a book can feel satisfying and get you back on track. Small successes add up to bigger wins!

2. Reread a favorite title. I'm the first to admit that I'm not very good at rereading books, even beloved stories. However, when your reading life is out of whack, returning to something familiar and treasured can comfort you and gently ease you back into your reading habits. I'd even suggest picking up a cherished book from your childhood. Revisiting those characters and stories from your youth can remind you why you fell in love with reading in the first place.



3. Shake up your reading routine. If you normally read at night, try the morning. If you like to read on your couch, take your book to another room or even outside. If you usually read physical copies, opt for an audiobook or eBook for once. The idea is to make your reading time fresh and different. The change may be enough get you out of your slump and into some new habits. If it turns out you don't like the changes, you can always revert back to your old ways of doing things. Returning to your normal routine may feel like such a relief that you're happy to be reading again.

4. Add something small that makes reading time easier. While you can't just wave your hand and relieve all of the stressors in your life, you can introduce tiny changes that make reading time better and easier. Get a pretty bookmark to save your page instead of grabbing whatever scrap of paper is handy. Consider using a book weight to hold a thick book open. Sit down to read with a steaming cup of your favorite hot beverage or a tall glass of ice water. Adjust a lamp in your home to provide better light for reading. The idea isn't to spend money, but to pair your reading with subtle, pleasant additions that improve your experience.

Above all, don't let a reading slump get you down. It's likely one brief chapter in an otherwise long and fulfilling reading life. Be patient with yourself, and know that you'll be back into your books in no time!

What other ideas do you have for getting out of a reading slump? I'd love to know your strategies! Tell me in the comments, and best wishes for further reading!


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