Books

Defeating the Reading Rut

Finding yourself stuck in a reading rut is worse than getting lost in Wonderland. Everything is weird and it’s as if reality is attempting to cut your head off. Books provide sanctuary from the evils of life. The pages act as your shield and bookmark as the sword. I tend to find myself putting down my weapons and wandering aimlessly on the battlefield. I’m not the best soldier.

Reading is great, however there comes moments where the words blur together and nothing seems to make a mark on your brain. Continuing the story seems like a great idea but in theory everything provides distraction. It stops you. The slump seems endless with frustration sinking in. You can’t help but wonder how to escape, but feel no motivation to actually do so.

You find yourself helplessly skimming the bookshelves. Testing the weight of books and texture of covers looking for a sign. Netflix and sleep distracting the simplicity of picking out a book or finishing the current one.

Despite my awful solider skills, I have managed to pull myself out of a fair few slumps. Some have lasted longer than others, but I’ve always found my way back to the story.

Rearrange your bookshelves

It might seem odd but it’s so satisfying. Pull off each book, dust the shelves off and begin to put them back on. You might rediscover books you purchased and never got to. It could spark inspiration and remind you of your love.  You can get creative and admire the collection big or small. You will be able to pick up something that has actually sparked your interest.

Take your credit card out

Visiting the bookstore can lead to even more inspiration. You might need to reign back on buying like crazy, but simply skimming over the back of some books could launch you back into the game. If you can’t fork out the cash visit the local library or even a second hand book store. There’s no place as magical as the bookstore, regardless of what Disney’s marketing company say.

Try smaller books

Take out the novellas or smaller reads you’ve had on the TBR. Taking to these smaller novels can give you the boost you need to launch into a rhythm. Perhaps a short collection of books or even a poetry novel. If these don’t scream out to you try a graphic novel or something light. Find something fun and simple can push you onto something bigger.

Reread

Picking up an old book can really kick start the mood. Picking up something you read as a child or a book you really enjoyed can kill a slump. From Harry Potter to an old Roald Dahl novel, going with something you know you’ve enjoyed is worth a try. It’ll push you to dive further into your bookshelf. You might find yourself digging further into rereads or pushing into new reads afterwards.

Don’t force yourself

Never read out of guilt. If you’re not feeling it, don’t push. Reading is meant to be joyous. If you force yourself you might not see the joy. You could push away reading more, and fall further into the slump. Return to reading at your own pace. Like everything, never bite off more than you can chew.

Reading is the ability to escape whatever you need a break from. If you find yourself unable to pick up the book, don’t be hard on yourself. Stay patient. Your love for books isn’t in question.  It’s slumps that make us love reading, because we’re reminded as to why it’s so important to us.

Recommendations:

Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover 

Sweet Evil, Wendy Higgins 

A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness 

A Thousand Splendid Suns,  Khalid Hosseini

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli

Have any others? Make sure you leave a comment to help those of us stuck in a slump!

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