TBH, reading can be pretty hard. Sometimes, you’ll read a book that sticks with you way too long – so much so that you can’t connect to another book because your head is still in the clouds. Other times, it’s life that got in the way. Maybe work is too stressful, or something personal is going on and you just don’t want to devote any brain power to anything else… ( *turns on The Office on Netflix*…YES NETFLIX I’M STILL WATCHING, STOP JUDGING ME)…
Regardless of how it happened, if you’re looking for a way to break the slump, here are my recommendations!
1.) Return to you
Everyone has a favorite genre. For me, it’s thrillers with a hint of “is it supernatural, is it not?”… These books will always capture my attention. Ignore what others think you should read… if you’re obsessed with uber cheesy romance novels that you’re friends would judge, just binge read in peace. It’s your “comfort food.” It makes you feel cozy, happy, and purely entertained, so just go for it!
2.) Try something new
On the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes reading the same genre can get tedious, too predictable. This is a great time to branch out and pick up something that’s a little different from your normal selection to kind of “shock” yourself. Pick up the memoir written by your favorite podcasters (looking at you MFM), grab the book that you’ve been hearing about on Instagram even if it might not seem your type, or even find a sub-genre in your go-to category that you just seem to forget is there.
3.) Grab a short story
Blame it on SAT prep, but I always forget that short stories are actually… well, stories. They’ve always existed to challenge me on determining the plot, the metaphor, etc. Well, recently I stumbled upon The Lottery by Shirley Johnson, and it was so powerful, so thought provoking, and (most importantly) so to the point that I was able to easily read it in one setting. Sometimes as readers it can be so hard to realize that a story’s value is not correlated to the length of the book. While I definitely think it’s best to read longer stories, I personally subscribe to the fact that quality trumps quantity, and a powerful short story can give you as much (if not more) stimulation that a novel.
4.) Get some recs
Book stores can be so daunting if you go in without a plan. Seriously. SO. MANY. NEW. BOOKS. However, the best part of all is the fact that the employees are fellow book lovers and can truly share “if you like this, then you’ll love that” scenarios. Just go to your favorite bookstore and have a conversation. You can describe what you’re looking for and instantly have hand-curated list, created just for you!
5.) Grab a buddy
The easiest way to keep yourself accountable is to buddy read. A set number of pages by a designated day? Seriously, that’s the accountability that I need. Hearing another person’s opinion and enthusiasm can encourage you to push forward when you’re tired, not really in the mood to read, or struggling to connect to a story. It creates an added layer of intensity and excitement for reading when you have a partner in crime!
6.) Put the books down
Sometimes, you just need a break. I know, I know… I’m probably going to be thrown out by the remainder of the bookstagram community, but hear me out. Reading can be such an incredible experience – mentally, emotionally, psychologically. But if you’re not in a place where you can truly appreciate that experience, nothing you do can force you into that mindset. Take advantage of the time to go for a walk outdoors, breakout an old cookbook to try a new recipe (bonus: it’s *technically* a book… *wink*), or just schedule a catch up date with a friend. Give yourself grace, because you deserve it.