What Are the Best Ways to Get Over Reading Slumps (Let’s Talk Bookish)

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

The Prompt: Sometimes you just don’t want to read anymore, how do you get back into it? Do you give yourself a break? Watch Booktube or read blogs? Read an old favourite book to reignite that spark? Do you just force yourself through it? Maybe you read a picture book or a graphic novel?

Star Divider
How to Get Over a Reading Slump

I have blogged about this before, but I do not actually see reading slumps as a problem. Indeed, I previously wrote about how I find reading slumps valuable. Not reading gives us time to do other things, such as catching up with friends, writing, gardening, getting outdoors, and more. Just because we are not reading, that does not mean that we are not doing something worthwhile. Because I have never seen reading slumps as something negative, I have never tried to get over one.

Reading is activity that can, frankly, come with a lot of moralistic baggage. Reading is almost universally considered to be a social and individual good, a pastime that educates and improves its practitioners, even as it entertains. Parents, librarians, and educators are forever trying to find ways to get students to read more. Adults are always trying to read faster. As a result of all the language surrounding reading and its benefits, people who read big books, who read many books, or who read “difficult” books are often assumed to be better and smarter than everyone else. Simply put, there is a lot of pressure not only to be a reader, but to be a “good” reader.

As someone who enjoys reading and who has experienced the benefits of reading, I, of course, also think people could and should read more. However, that is not to say that people need to be reading all the time. There are plenty of other activities that are beneficial to people. And there are plenty of other ways for people to experience the benefits of reading, without reading. Gaining information, learning critical thinking skills, becoming more empathetic–these are things people can do without reading. So why do we put so much pressure on ourselves, and others, to be reading all the time?

The idea of a “reading slump” is, I think, more common among avid readers than among the general population. I have, in fact, never heard someone who is not a book blogger even use the term “reading slump,” and I suspect this is because, for many, not reading for a period of time is neither unusual nor concerning. Sometimes we might want to read. Sometimes we might not. This is probably true of most things in life. Sometimes we might want to paint or watch TV or go for a bike ride or sing. And sometimes we might not. But few people talk of “painting slumps” or “TV slumps” or “biking slumps” as if the people not doing these things every day have failed some sort of test. I think this is because reading is seen as virtuous, in a way many other activities and hobbies are not.

The reality is, however, that reading is just one beneficial or pleasurable activity we might choose to spend our time doing. But there are many other interesting things to do, as well! Reading slumps are not a problem. The best way to get over one? Don’t worry about it. Do something else fun instead.

13 thoughts on “What Are the Best Ways to Get Over Reading Slumps (Let’s Talk Bookish)

  1. Hasini @ Bibliosini says:

    I agree that reading slumps are the best times to indulge in other hobbies and ventures we readers want to pursue in! And I like how you pointed out that reading slumps seem to be a part of this book blogging/book community culture rather than a universal thing. That actually helps put a lot into perspective too! Thanks for great post, Krysta!

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  2. Sofii @ A Book. A Thought. says:

    I love your point of view, no doubt we should take it easy and enjoy other activities, in my case that always works and I also LOVE re-reading favorites, that usually puts me back in the mindset of enjoyed while reading. 🥰

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  3. Briana | Pages Unbound says:

    I never really try to get over reading slumps either, though I guess I might if it lasted really long, like four months or something.

    I agree this is something mostly bloggers and other book influencers seem worried about, probably because reading is related to how they produce content. So maybe it’s not even so much that they’re worried they’re not reading but they’re worried they have nothing to blog or make videos about.

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    • Krysta says:

      I don’t really keep track of my reading slumps, so I guess it might take me awhile to realize I was in one. Sometimes I muse, “Hm, it’s been awhile since I’ve read a book,” but I couldn’t say how long that takes.

      And that’s a good point about needing new content. For most people, not reading for awhile won’t really have any negative side effects, so to speak.

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  4. Books Teacup and Reviews says:

    This was amazing post. I agree about avid reader having this problem more than general public or occasional reader.we as book blogger consistently need content and for that we need to read more and more. We always feel there is so much we want to read and that kind of build pressure and we eventually burn out don’t feel like reading and then getting into slump and worrying even more.
    I always take break whenever needed. Sometimes I dedicate a time of day to read, and I keep switching genre that helps a lot.

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    • Krysta says:

      That’s a really good point! Many people probably have no reason to read other than that they enjoy it, but book bloggers might feel that they have to be constantly reading in order to post! I hadn’t really considered that angle!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary Drover says:

    Reading slumps have always seemed so strange to me because they feel like something wriggled subconsciously into the joy of reading by the capitalistic nature of the world around us. Oh, you’re not reading? Well, you’re not doing your hobby right, then! Better get back to being productive! We stress out so much about our slumps because society has drilled it into us, over and over, that to be unproductive with even our hobbies is a big glaring sign of failure, so we look at slumps as this obvious manifestation of that failure. “I’m already reading books considered “not as difficult/intelligent” and now I’m in a slump, so clearly I’m doing this all wrong.” But you’re right. Slumps are just a thing we’ve created to fit the mold of constantly being productive when, in reality, it’s just the natural progression of having a hobby.

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    • Krysta says:

      I love the way you framed this! It DOES seem like we’re trying to make reading a “productive” hobby when we don’t allow ourselves to take breaks. But why on earth should I have to read every single day? I don’t need practice learning to read. I am already an avid reader. But sometimes I’m just busy or, I don’t know, feel like doing something else. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

      Liked by 1 person

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