A runner’s greatest hamartia is athlete’s foot; a writer’s is the dreaded writer’s block. A reader’s most painful downfall, however, is The Reading Slump. A reading slump defies all logic and can strike even midway through a book a reader is truly enjoying (*cough cough* Ready Player One); it can crop up when a reader has more time than ever to sit down and read a book. A reading slump can convince even the most ardent readers in the world that their reading days are long gone. I’ve been there. It gets easier. And I’m here to tell you how come out on top (of your to be read pile).
Buy new books
I hear you; this sounds like a cop out excuse I’m making to forgive myself for buying a fair few new books recently. But hear me out. When people join the gym for the first time, they buy new workout clothes to entice them to go. When you feel repulsed by all things bookish, go on a little book-buying spree and buy some shiny new ones to help you move along. I’ve got out of my reading slump by buying a new book that everyone is raving about (Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey). There are so many books that are loved by all and they must be so hyped up for a reason. So use these books to your advantage, devour them and get back on the reading train. Here are a few examples of books everyone’s talking about that could get you out of your reading slump:
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- One Of us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Read a book alongside a friend
I get by with a little help from my friends. Reading a book while your friend or sibling or parent does so too is an easy way to get back into reading. A two-person book club will ensure you’re pumped to get reading everyday so you can catch up with your friend and their progress later in the day. Get a bit competitive and make sure you’re the first to finish (and update your Goodreads account).
Read an old favourite
There’s nothing like reading your favourite book to remind you that you don’t despise reading and you can return from this reading hiatus. Classics like Harry Potter are a good form of reading slump medicine for most but it’ll naturally change from person to person. These are the books I would go for:
- Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Read other books by your favourite authors
I used to only read books by about three favourite authors. Now I have so many favourite authors that I never get around to reading every book by every author. There is, however, a reason they’re a favourite author and, often, reading a book by a favourite author I haven’t yet got around to yet, allows me to escape a reading slump. The familiarity of their voice is like being read a story as you fall asleep at night. Here are a few authors I intend on returning to.
- Becky Albertalli
- Markus Zusak
- Jojo Moyes
How do you escape the dreaded reading slump?