How to get out of a reading slump?

Every month at Daastan, we create for you the content that will help you to elevate your literary experience. This month we are back with something most of the readers feel but rarely have a name for. Some of you might know it as a reading block. Therefore, without further ado let’s find out what a reading block is all about. Consider this your crash course on all things related to a reading slump.

What is a Reading Slump?

There are days and even months in the lives of most avid readers when they just can not get themselves to pick up a book let alone read it. Those time periods are just like branches of a fallen tree blocking a road.

“A reading block or slump is synonymous to that fallen tree in the middle of a road as it hinders one’s reading pace.”

In the dreamland of books, reading slumps are a reader’s worst fear personified. However, have you ever wondered what causes a reading slump to become a reality from a distant fear? And more importantly, what should you do when this monster starts to rob all the fun from your reading utopia.

Why do reading slumps occur?

One of the most important questions readers ask is,

“Why do reading slumps even occur in the first place?”

A reader knows that he is not likely to abandon the pursuit of reading in the face of a reading slump. Yet this question continues to gnaw at a reader’s mind. There could be a lot of reasons behind reading slumps. We have listed some of the most common ones.

  • Laziness – it’s one of the 7 deadly sins for a reason!
  • Not having enough time to read.
  • reading a book so bad that you lose all hope to find a good book ever again.
  • reading a book so good that now can not find something good enough.

How to get out of reading slump?

The only positive thing about a reading slump is that it comes to an end. The first book after a reading slump feels like rain after a long period of drought. We at Daastan, have outlined some of the most effective ways to get out of a reading slump that the readers swear by!

Before diving into the ways of bidding farewell to reading slumps, let’s just put it out there that as long as you are happy and doing what you love, it is okay to experience reading blocks. Funny enough, waiting out a reading slump is also a way to get rid of it.

Reread an old favourite

One of the very first advices you will get about a reading block is to re-read a favourite. Re-reading an old favourite not only brings a sense of familiarity but also reminds a person why they enjoy reading. However, if you are still stuck and can not even revisit your favourite, we have a solution for you.

Instead of re-reading the whole book, try spot reading.

“Spot reading is when you pick up a book and only read a certain paragraph, page or a chapter without feeling the pressure to read it whole.”

You can do spot reading with your TBR (to-be-read) books too. For instance, pick up a book you have been wanting to read for a long time, read its synopsis, look up its aesthetic or a highly anticipated chapter. This way you will find yourself curious enough to start reading again.

Join a book club

Another way of keeping a track of your reading habits is to join a book club. Book club is a great place to hold yourself accountable for your reading. It is because most book clubs assign a book to its members and expect them to complete within a certain time frame. Once the book is complete, book clubs host interactive sessions to discuss the book. Therefore, if nothing else maybe the pressure of a book discussion session can lure you back into reading. Nowadays, there are many online book clubs that hold online sessions, making the reading pool widespread more than ever.

Try an audiobook

Often times when people can not do reading, they shift to audiobooks. Audiobooks are also a fundamental part of the reading experience. Therefore, worry not and listen to an audiobook to tether yourself to the world of books until you get back into your reading mode. Furthermore, audiobooks are fun and different from the conventional reading experience. One thing most audiobook lovers can attest to is that listening to a book makes the whole experience much more vivid.

Reading slump

Switch up your reading environment

Much like other activities, reading too requires a change of environment. Sometimes, you can get stuck into reading slumps because of your surroundings. For instance, temperature, lighting, scenery and even certain scents contribute to the extent of one’s moods and productivity. Hence, directly contributing to one’s reading pace. In conclusion, try changing up your environment when you feel stuck creatively.

“Light a scented candle, turn on the fairy lights, sit by the open the window, put on some soothing music and your little perfectly curated reading nook is ready.”

This is just one of the many ways you can change up your environment, so tap into yourself and find what arrangement works best for you.

Reading slump
a cozy reading nook

Give a graphic novel a try

It is often said that ‘pictures, too tell a story’. Graphic novels are a genre of fiction that tells a story with the help of less text and more pictures. The presence of less text does not intimidate the readers. We have all heard about the famous ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Th Game of Thrones’ series. However, upon seeing their bulky volumes for the first time, most us felt intimidated. Therefore, to ease our difficulty, the authors often work with illustrators to come up with the graphic versions of their novels. If you do not feel like diving into a dense fiction book, try switching to a graphic novel.

Reading slump
The Percy Jackson graphic novel

We have narrowed down a few reasons to convince you to read a graphic novel:

  • They help with comprehension.
  • They are easy and quick to read.
  • The art in the graphic novels keeps them entertaining.
  • They seem approachable.

Put away your gadgets

Gadgets can be a distraction, not only for kids but for adults too. In the recent years, there has been a decline in reading habits. The reason for that appears to be the fast paced era of technology. In times like these, reading can offer a relief from reality. But the question here arises, ‘how do we get people to read?’ The answer is simple, some self-control and a few hours away from their gadgets. By removing this distraction, you can work your way out of a reading slump.

Look for books outside of your TBR pile

Sometimes you are not in a reading slump but you feel like it. Now that’s a pretty vague expression.

”If you can not get yourself to read, it means you are in  a slump, right? But sometimes, you want to read and you can, it is just that your current reading list sucks.”

To help you fight this problem, we are suggesting you something, abandon that TBR (to-be-read) pile. It does not matter if it contained a bestseller, a classic, or a hyped book. If it does not intrigue you, it should not be on your reading list. Therefore, do yourself a favour and start reading the books you enjoy. For reading should feel effortless rather than it being a chore you dread doing.

Reading slump
via pinterest

Take sometime to write

Take your reading slump as an opportunity to write. So what if you can not get yourself to read others’ stories, you can always write your own. Reading slumps have very few up sides to them, having the time to write is one of them. Use this time to brainstorm ideas, outline your plot, characters and setting. Or you could just write for the sake of fun.

“Jot down your unbridled thoughts. Let them pour out on the paper from the crevices of your heart and soul.”

Moreover, if you prefer to do a reading related activity during the reading slump, devour book reviews. Take time to reminisce over your favourite books, or even better write book reviews. In the end we would like to console the readers stuck in reading slumps. We would also like to show them that not only there is light in the end of the tunnel but also inside it. The world of books is not limited to just reading. For instance you can:

  • Write reviews
  • Become a part of book discussions
  • Participate in book challenges
  • Making reading lists
  • Engage in book cosplays

We hope you enjoy diving into the world of literature with us. For more literary goodness, stay tuned!

Noor Hashmi
Noor Hashmi is a student of literature at Numl University. She is an aspiring poetess. She runs a blog by the name of “Diaries of Huda” sharing her journey through poetry. In her free time, she loves to paint and bake.

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