I’ve been in a reading slump lately. Since the summer, really, since my university courses. I should have realized this would happen: it happened the last time I took literature courses at university and was forced into required reading, and it happened again this time. In my defense, I didn’t know one of the courses would require such an excessive amount of reading, considering it was a writing course. And yes, I understand and acknowledge and agree that reading is very important for a writer, but when a writing course consists of 75% reading and 25% writing, something has gone wrong if you ask me.
So I haven’t read a lot this fall. Oh, I’ve read books, don’t misunderstand me. But compared to the usual amount of books and fanfic I’m usually consuming, I’ve read very little. I’m 12 books behind schedule on my Goodreads challenge to read 200 books this year. And usually 200 books in a year would be no problem at all.
Very few books or stories grip me. I’ve downloaded a gazillion samples from Amazon, read them and discarded them again. I’ve searched my favorite tropes and ships on AO3, but nope. And to be honest, I’m starting to despair. Especially since I’ve planned a Christmas thingy for my blog, but have reading to do to complete it. Now I fear that I have to scrap those plans, and I don’t want to.
But the other day I stumbled upon a video recommendation in my YouTube feed, titled How To Get Out of a Reading Slump. It was as if the YouTube algorithm read my mind and provided me with exactly what I needed (for once, it never happens, but needle-haystack and all that). YouTuber gabbyreads has made a list of 7 action points for you to try if you’re in a reading slump, and I’m definitely trying them out. I’m linking the video at the bottom of this post for you to watch if you want; it’s definitely worth 12 minutes of your time if you’re in a similar situation like me, but I’m writing out her suggestions here, too, in case you don’t like watching YouTube videos.
- Take a break. Spend some time doing some of your other hobbies.
- Re-read a favorite book, even if it hasn’t been long since you read it. It will remind you why you love reading in the first place.
- Read short books
- Try an audio book, maybe listen to a favorite book on audio
- Read something that’s easy to get through, something lighter. Maybe a thriller with shorter chapters, or a romance that makes you smile
- Read something out of your comfort zone. Choose a genre you usually don’t read
- Try to find an atmosphere that makes you want to read
Those are excellent and thoughtful suggestions, and her arguments for each item on the list are interesting. Some of them won’t help me. I already read mostly short books, and audio books drive me crazy because I’m a fast reader and audio is sooooo slooooooow, and my preferred genre is romance, so number 5 won’t help either. And taking a break, spending time on one of my other hobbies? What other hobbies? Reading is my hobby. But yeah…maybe I’ll try to find those watercolors I bought earlier this year and give it another go?
I’ve already got number seven figured out: I curl up on the couch, light some candles, make a cup of tea, and put on a YouTube fire. That works perfectly.
So I guess that leaves number two and number six. And number one, if I can find my watercolors. I’ve found The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on Scribd for number six. I don’t read Gothic novels, at least not anymore, but I watched another YouTube video where the creator said she knew of the story but had never read it, so she decided to change that and loved it. It’s the same for me, so I’ll try it.
And when it comes to re-reading a favorite, I’ve made a list of eight books, hoping I don’t need to re-read them all to get back into the swing of things.
Tell me: do you have any tricks of what you do when you’re in a book slump?
And here’s the video I’m talking about: