Slumps are grim. Reading slumps are even grimmer. They keep us from feeding our brains with thrilling stories, complex characters and their gripping journeys and developments. Essentially, reading slumps impede our minds from stocking up valuable information- from educating ourselves.
So YES, I detest reading slumps. And I’m currently in one.
As so often, I believe that I can self-diagnose my issue and I’m pretty sure that my reading slump runs back to finishing my master programme. Which, in theory is great news and yes, I am beyond happy that I can finally call myself “a literature graduate”. AND it also means that I can finally read whatever I fancy reading.
This is enormous for literature students. Only a few people understand that as a literature student reading becomes a chore. It, of course, depends on the assigned books, but if we have to read two literary fiction novels and three theoretical articles in four days, then no one should judge us for turning on Netflix at the end of the day instead of delving into Shakespeare “just for fun”. That being said, I’m a bit overwhelmed by the fact that I can finally read whatever and when I want to (Whenever, wherever, …). And thus, I identify my reading slump as a symptom of my graduation.
However, I still really enjoy reading and I don’t want to remain in that frustrating slump. Therefore, I brainstormed, researched and compiled five tips and tricks to get out of my slump and I hope that they will help you too.
1) Wake up earlier
I just heard my imaginery audience groan at this title. However, waking up earlier means that there are some extra minutes left for reading. It doesn’t need to be at five in the morning, but waking up fifteen minutes earlier to read five (or ten) pages will already help to reignite that passion for reading.
2) Read something out of your literary comfort zone…
If you’re an avid fiction reader, try out some non-fiction books and vice versa. Or explore new genres, such as fantasy, romance or horror literature. Most readers stick to one, two, maximum three genres- myself included. Yet, sometimes it’s fun to let in some new perspectives into your literary radar.
3) Calendar blocking
If I want to increase my productivity, I rely on calendar blocking. I basically fill in my entire day from 7am to 22pm to make sure that I don’t spend some valuable time on meaningless social media scrolling. Why not try to block some hours to get in that extra reading? If we treat it like a priority, it becomes a priority.
4) Reading dates
Do you have a bookworm friend, just like yourself? A fun way to get in more reading is to plan a book date together. Go to a cafe, order a large cappuccino, macchiato or tea and spend hours reading. You coud even plan in some breaks to exchange your book impressions- or even read the same book. Creativity has no limits.
5) Set yourself up for an exciting challenge
There are loads of book challenges out there. From one book a week, to seasonal to-read-lists, to “15 books everyone should read”. Sometimes it helps to set yourself up for a good old challenge. To give you an extra push, why not follow some of the amazing book bloggers, bookstagramers or booktubers out there? They have created their own reading challenges and templates which are lot of fun and easy to follow. And if following and sharing others isn’t your cup of tea, you can always create your own challenge.
There you have it! Five tips and tricks to get yourself out of a nasty reading slump!
I will certainly attempt to wake up earlier and squeeze in some extra reading minutes…