How To

5 Tips For Getting Out of a Long-Term Reading Slump

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D’you ever find yourself . . . just not reading? For weeks? Or months? Maybe years?

I have gone through long-term reading slumps that have made me ashamed even to keep calling myself a reader. I can only split my creative energy so many ways, and sometimes reading is the thing that falls by the wayside while I concentrate on other things. When you haven’t been reading for awhile, it can be hard to get back into the habit of reading. Where do you even start?

Never fear! I have done this many times. I have tips.

1. Try reading an old favorite. Many times, what gets me out of a reading slump is the urge to re-read a book that I love–one that I’ve read so many times, its lines are etched into my DNA. I have come out of reading semi-retirement for David Sedaris, Good Omens, the Liquor books by Poppy Z. Brite, The Dark Tower Series; often, getting back into the groove with a book or two is enough to prime me to move on to new material.

2. If you don’t want to re-read a book, see if one of your favorite authors has a new book out. Maybe you’re not in a re-reading kind of mood. I can dig that; I’ve read some books to saturation and have had to put them away for a long time. Checking to see if your favorite authors have new material out is an easy in-road to getting back on the reading path; you know you’ll probably like it, and it’ll keep the intimidating prospect of catching up on everything you missed at bay for awhile.

3. Go to the library. I can become paralyzed trying to choose books in a store, but at the library, I can load up my basket with any ol’ book that catches my fancy. If it doesn’t capture my attention when I sit down to read, oh well! Nothing lost but a few moments of my time; back to the library it goes.

4. Plan a reading day. Pick up a special snack, brew a pot of tea, run a bubble bath or slip into your comfiest PJs. You have a special date with a few hundred pages of reading bliss and nothing is going to stand in the way of your love. Uh, probably you should also have a book picked out. See 1 – 3.

5. Consider going digital. I KNOW. Some people absolutely don’t want to read ebooks, and that’s a perfectly valid choice, etc. I did find myself reading a LOT more when I went digital, though. Being able to access pretty much any book at any moment on my phone makes it so much easier to scratch that reading itch whenever I want. I also have been dipping into digital audiobooks so that I can “read” while crafting or doing other hands-on activities. (My jury is still out on whether I like audiobooks, though.)

What tricks have you used to get out of a reading slump? Let us know in the comments!