Somehow, quite inexplicably, it is now April, and I still haven’t read a book since January. Behold, the Great Reading Slump of 2018. (That is definitely worthy of italics).
Sadly, reading slumps are not uncommon for me, and when they hit, they hit me hard. Indeed, in 2016 I wrote a post entitled On Reading Slumps, when I failed to read a book in a calendar month and felt compelled to justify my position.
Accompanying this particular diatribe was my personal set of top tips for overcoming a reading slump, most of which still ring true two years later, and as such I have included them for reference:
- Accept and embrace it
Instead of moping about being stuck in a slump, do something different, or something you’ve been wanting to do for ages: marathon the latest Netflix show, catch up with friends and family, or try knitting, golf, baking (or any other activity). At some point that activity you want to do is read!
- Read a genre you wouldn’t normally read
I often find the best way for me to get out of a reading slump is to read some non-fiction; either an autobiography or a comedy memoir. If you usually read YA, try an adult crime novel, or if you lean towards historical fiction, pick up a fantasy. A little bit of variety is a great way to uncover unexpected gems.
- Read short books
Avoid the George R.R. Martin’s of the world and pick up a few novellas, graphic novels or short stories – you’ll be out of your slump in no time!
- Visit a bookstore, book signing or dedicated event
I tend to find that by physically surrounding myself with people who love talking about books, it pulls me out of my stupor – indeed this past weekend I’ve been at YALC, amongst hundreds of fellow booklovers and authors, and it (I think) is having the desired effect in motivating me once more.
- Listen to an audiobook
Sometimes reading a book in a different format is a perfect deviant from your typical routine: for me, this means listening to an audiobook or two. My favourite are autobiographies read by the author themselves, but I also listen to the odd classic to increase variety in my reading.
- Re-read an old favourite or read a new book by a favourite author
Harry Potter, in one form or another, is my go to series. I might read the odd chapter here and there, or listen to Stephen Fry’s incredible narration.
At the beginning of March, as highlighted by my blog post On Not Reading, I have in many ways embraced my current reading slump (see point #1), or, at the very least, accepted it. That being said, with the beginning of my Dissertation fast approaching, I really need to crack on and (at least) start reading relevant literature for my English MA. Fortunately, I am currently relaxing in the South of France, full of drive and determination (et beaucoup de vino) to do just that. Cheers to that.
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