As a child, I used to be an avid reader. I loved stories especially loved mystery and fantasy books. I was crazy about books and was always in search of a good story. However, after I completed grad school and started working full time the number of books I read every year started dwindling. Initially, I chalked it up to my big life change and told myself once I have a routine, I will start reading more. During this time, my life was getting complicated and my mental health was deteriorating. It is extremely hard to read when you are anxious all the time. However, through it all I was craving the beautiful world of books and wanted to get back to reading.
Last year, I decided to read more books than I had read in the previous years, so I picked up a book from my TBR pile and after reading a few pages, I lost interest and did not want to pick up the same book again the next day. I tried different books (mostly books I hadn’t read before) but none of them seemed interesting enough for me to stick with it. I was getting frustrated because, I really wanted to read but it felt like my brain was throwing a fit and wasn’t interested in any book. I tried different genres; fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, self-help, history. Nothing seemed interesting enough for me to continue reading. I searched for tips on blogs and on reddit to see if anyone had a cure to my reading slump. There’s a lot of tips out there and here’s are the tips which actually helped me and finally helped me get back into the wonderful world of literature again –
- Bail on books
If you have read twenty five to thirty pages and you just don’t seem to be getting into the story. Bail! This is such a hard thing to do because it goes against everything we are trained to do. But sticking with a book which does not interest you will make you start associating negative emotions to the act of reading, and you don’t want to do that. Put the book back on your TBR pile and know that one day you might pick it up again but right now is not the right time.
- Try different formats
If you are primarily a person who reads e-books, give physical books a chance or try listening to an audio book. When my anxiety is high, my eyes hop, skip and struggle to focus on the words on the page, this is when I turn to audio books. I also love listening to the narrator while still following along visually on the book, this really helps we when I am having an off day.
- Go back to your favorites
This is what worked the most for me. If none of the new books you pick up are interesting enough, give your favorites pile a visit and see if you can find a book which you absolutely loved reading. Chances are if you read them long ago, even if you know the story in a broad sense, you will have forgotten some of the details. Re-reading your favorites will help you get back into a flow. The trick is to pick a book which you remember you could not put down.
Most importantly, don’t be hard on yourself and remember that it will pass and you will be able to get back into reading. These are the few tips which have worked for me. If you have any tips which work for you, comment below.
Feature Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash
One thought on “When the Dreaded Reading Slump Comes Calling”
Oh yeah, those who have trouble DNF-ing books can tell themselves that they’ll return to it later instead of abandoning it entirely. That often soothes the perfectionist reader. Life is too short to be reading books we’re not interested in. Thanks for this post!