Last year, I read 110 books, give or take a few. At least half of those books were books that I had to read, either for a Book Riot post I wanted to write, or for my reviewing job. Some of those books were brilliant, some not so much. But what they all had in common? I first got my hands on them because it was my job.
Now, anyone who’s ever attended school knows the deal with required readings: almost invariably, we don’t want to do them. Even if the books turns out to be life-changing, having to read something will take at least some of the shine out of it. When you’re dedicating several hours a day, most days a week, to work reads? It can begin to take the enjoyment out of all reading. Before you know it, you’re in the middle of a slump, and you struggle to remember why you fell in love with books in the first place.
But fear not! Even if you’re constantly reading for work or for school, you can still implement measures in order to avoid this outcome — or at the very least, minimize the odds of it happening. This is how you can hold on to your love of books when you read for work.
Bookend Your Days With Books That You Choose to Read
The best way to beat reading slumps is to prevent them, and you can do that by clinging to the books you are interested in. Even if you spend several hours a day reading because you have to, make sure to bookend your days with a few pages of a book you do enjoy. Even if all you can manage is a couple of pages with your morning coffee, or in bed before sleep.
Reread a Favorite
I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve broken out Pride and Prejudice or a Hercules Poirot mystery when I want to read but also really, really don’t. Stories that I know inside and out, that I can quote if need be, are the literary equivalent of curling up in bed under a cozy blanket on a winter’s night: peaceful and relaxing. Bonus: I don’t feel guilty if the book goes unfinished because — hello — I’ve already read it a million times.
Read a Children’s Book
Children’s books are full of magic, and I don’t mean of the dragon variety (although, if that’s your thing, try a children’s fantasy book STAT). After all, these are the books that make young people fall in love with reading; in my experience, they also make exhausted, over-read adults remember why they did so in the first place.
Try Visual and Interactive Novels
Not only are visual and interactive novels usually shorter than full-length books, they’ll involve you so deeply that, before you know it, you’ll occasionally find yourself thinking of the main character in the first person. More than a little embarrassing? For sure. Am I still obsessed? Absolutely. I enjoy the Choices and Choice of Games apps.
If You Always Read the Same Thing, Try a Different Genre
Are you a mystery reader? Give romance a try. Your beloved historical romances are failing to capture your attention? Maybe it’s time to explore horror. Do you live for true crime? Now’s the perfect time to read manga. When you pull yourself away from the tropes and themes that you know so well and expose yourself to new ones, it can be easier to remember why you became a reader.
Try a Different Format
Do you always read paperbacks? Maybe you should look into audiobooks. Have you been holding your ereader for too long? Time for hardcovers. Especially if your work reading usually happens in the same format (as my very tired Kindle knows), switching to a different one might help your brain realize that you’re not, in fact, still working.
Take a Break
You can’t always avoid reading slumps. Almost every reader goes through them occasionally. If you’ve tried all the steps here, and still your soul shrivels at the idea of reading even more than the several hours you’ve dedicated to a work read today already, it’s okay to take a break. Eventually, if you don’t put pressure on yourself, you’ll find yourself excited to read again.