Reading Slumps – A Reader’s Waking Nightmare

Reading slump. The cursed words that make any booknerd run screaming for the hills. As much as we hate them with the burning fire of a thousand hells they happen to the best of us. Yes – even the most dedicated reader experiences the dreaded slump at some point in their reading career.

For the past week I’ve been stuck in one of the worst slumps in the history of reading slumps so I figured I would share some ways to break free and get back to your over-piled TBRs. These are my personal tried and true home remedies but please, “chime off” in the comments below and tell me how you survive the plague known to all as the reading slump.

Okay, first things first – just what exactly is a reading slump?

Thank you for asking but you really, really don’t want to know. A reading slump is basically your very worst nightmare come to life. Bogie monsters and ghouls? Nope. You first edition Harry Potter books falling into the fiery pits of hell? Not even. Being completely unable to read? Bingo, Eureka, Ding Ding Ding – correct answer! Yes my friends, a reading slump is when the dedicated reader finds him or herself unable to read. And yes – it’s as awful as it sounds. You can’t be swept away by the book, you can’t stop thinking, and you can’t enjoy it. Like I said – basically your very worst nightmare.

Okay, now you’re probably thinking “so how does one escape this dreaded slump???”

Well, that my friends, is why we are here today. Take it from me – as seasoned veteran to the reading slump, before you panic and burn all your books there are a few things you can do to try to break out of that rut:

Rearrange your book shelves

Yes, breaking free of that slump can really be as easy as just playing around with your shelf design. Come on – we all know we have so many amazing titles on our beloved book shelves and sometimes changing it up is all it takes to spark that passion again. I’m talking putting on some music, maybe pouring yourself an alcoholic drink [if you really want some fun] and playing around with the layout. Nothing gets me more in the mood to read than arranging my beautiful books. There are just so many ways! By color [my personal favorite], by genre, alphabetically or just randomly. It’s completely up to you so make it your own.

Treat yo shelf

Okay, your bank accounts will probably come after me with a vengeance but why don’t you take this opportunity to treat your shelves to some new goodies? I love to include decorative trinkets and inspirational quotes and general what-not on mine. It really helps to make them your own and personalize. After all – they say a girl’s bookshelf is the window to her soul. No? Just me? Whatever, you know I’m right. What about some twinkling fairy lights for a cozy mood? Pop Vinyls to showcase your fandom love? calming shells? Bookish candles? Bright and colorful flowers? Play around with your shelf! It’s not just a book shelf – it’s wall art too so make it gorgeous!

Side note: have you seen my recent hauls and unboxing from Cosmic Moon??? An amazing Aussie business with some seriously stunning bookish merch – if your looking for candles and bookmarks look no further. You can see my Rep Unboxing here and my candle Review here.

Go to the Library or browse your favorite bookshop

Nothing calls to me more than a bookshop or library. These are a book nerd’s sacred ground –  hallowed halls filled with new worlds, new friends and incredible journeys. So why don’t you explore the new titles? Or hunt for that hard to find book you’ve been searching for? Maybe just window shopping will inspire you. Either way immersing yourself in books may give your slump the push it needs to move onto the next unsuspecting soul. #sorrynotsorry.

Browse Goodreads and check out some recommendations

Ahhh, goodreads… If the library is our church than goodreads is our facebook. Wait… Yes! That’s exactly what it is – social networking for us book nerds! Connect with friends and find others you never knew you had. Maybe they too are experiencing their own slump. Sometimes just connecting and talking books with others can help shake off that slump. Or, if that doesn’t help browse what your friends are reading and check your recommendations. Goodreads always has a whole new world of books and adventure just waiting for you to explore.

Re-read your favorite series

I mean – your favorite series was dubbed your favorite series for a reason. Because it awoke a love for a world you never knew existed before! Maybe it inspired you to try new things? Maybe it helped you to deal with your own world? Or, maybe you just loved the characters and their witty and/or steamy banter? Whatever your reason, if your still caught in that slump maybe it’s time to venture forth on that journey once more. Sometimes just spending time with our favorite heroine or number one book boyfriend/girlfriend is enough to start that reading fire. I mean seriously? What better reason to drool over Dmitri Belikov or Edward Cullen again? Need I say more? Get to it!

Read some new works by your favorite author

So, you loved Twilight but did you ever check out The Host or The Chemist? Did you get around to the Vampire Academy spin-off the Bloodlines Series? Or what about J.K. Rowling? Did you know that Harry Potter aren’t her only published books? If you answered no to these than you better get your butt down to your local library. Stat! Just like your favorite books or series, your Favorite author is your favorite author for a reason and most likely they have other books under their wing too. Sometimes they tackle similar issues and themes or create spin offs and companions to their more famous works. Regardless, it’s still the writing and voice you fell in love with. Who knows – you might find yet another favorite to add to the list!

Change up your genre

Maybe the cause of that slump was the fact that you’ve been reading to many high fantasy books recently. Sure – you may have a favorite genre but the great thing about reading is that there are millions of amazing works out there and hundreds of genres. Maybe it’s time for a change? Swapping your genre could be like a breath of fresh air – just like our diets or look sometimes we need to change things up a little. What is it they say? Changing your genre is as good as taking a holiday.

Switch the book you’re currently reading

Like with genres sometimes it can actually be the book your reading. But wait! Before you bring out the pitch forks and clubs let me explain. This doesn’t mean the book your reading is terrible and so not the book for you. Not at all. It just means that perhaps it’s not the right book for you right now. Maybe your stressed or have a lot going on. Maybe your just tired and in need of a break. Maybe the book you’re reading is too heavy and what you really need is some good ol’ fashioned fluff? Whatever your current state of mind, maybe the book your attempting to read is not the book for the right moment. If I’m in a slump straight away I know to stay clear of the high fantasy and Sci-Fi. Not because I don’t like them – on the contrary – but because those books require me to actually use my brain. Basically, I have to think. Sometimes the best thing for that slump is a trashy, light fluffy read or a romantic contemporary.

Get involved in a book club

The internet is truly an amazing thing – it allows us to connect to fellow book nerds and book lovers of all walks of life across many countries. Just as there are many stars in the sky there are also a great number of book clubs. Sometimes getting support from friends and fellow bloggers can encourage you to get back to that TBR. It’s also a great way to discover new books that maybe you’ve never thought to try before.

If all else fails – allow yourself to just take a break

If you’ve made it to the very end of this list and still find yourself in that slump maybe it’s time to take a break. No, I’m not encouraging to give up on your reading challenges or to admit defeat (never!) but sometimes it takes a clear mind and a small book vacay to finally shake free of that slump. Maybe you’re a little overwhelmed lately? Maybe that TBR is piled so high it’s discouraged you? Either way sometimes we need to step away from that shelf for a bit and clear out the stress and clutter. Don’t worry – it’s not forever! Like me, after a week or two without reading inspiration might finally hit and you’ll be diving for that series you suddenly can’t help but explore. Accept the fact that it’s okay to walk away from that monstrous TBR pile for a little bit. Maybe it’s time to check out that series you’ve been eyeing on Netflix? Who knows? Maybe you’ll find something adapted from a book to set your passion aflame once more! Just know that a reading slump, no matter how endless it seems cannot possibly last forever. Just breath, and enjoy some other hobbies for a week.

So I hope that this little [yeah – little] post might help you break free of that slump. Just remember – they don’t last forever so don’t be discouraged. I’ve been through about 3 this year alone [I know right – so not my year!] but the sun does eventually come out and that slump does eventually release it’s dark hold.

What do you do to break that slump? Have you got any ideas that might help a fellow book nerd? If so I’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below and as always – happy reading!Alexandra

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