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6 Ways to Crawl Out of Your Reading Slump

The reading slump. You’ve gone from ravaging through book after book to being unable to bring yourself to pick up a single book off your TBR. Here is a reader’s confession of six ways to escape the grip of the wretched reading slump.

  1. Create a Cozy set up

You completed a hard day of work. Whether you busted your ass in school or at your job (or both), you deserve a break. Get your blankets out, turn on your fairy lights if you have them, light some candles, pour yourself a fat glass of wine and cozy up in a designated spot in your house to have that break. Getting out of a reading slump becomes much easier if you tie it to a relaxing atmosphere and let it soothe away the wrinkles of the day. 

  1. Ditch the Distractions

If you’re like me, your phone has become a leech that sucks up all your free time. I have found that for reading, and doing school work as well, having my phone hidden is a blessing. You don’t realize how productive you can be with your phone away until you try it. So lock it away. Put it somewhere you can’t see it and forget about it. Doing this will allow you to fully absorb yourself into your book. While I’m listing six ways to escape your reading slump, there is only one that is most effective: to actually start reading. You can’t easily do that if you’re aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, binging Gilmore Girls, or playing Candy crush on a constant loop.

  1. Re-Read the Classics

We all have them: the books that hit right every time. When you can’t seem to connect to new storylines and characters, go back to the ones you already know. It’s like comfort food. If you can’t quite be healthy and adventurous with your food like Gordan Ramsey, you might go make a hearty bowl of Mr. Noodle or order your go-to pizza for take-out. The same principle applies to books. Going back to classics allows you to relish in the familiar warm feeling of when your favourite characters meet for the first time, re-experience the iconic lines and the much anticipated kissing scenes. Allow yourself to skip the parts of the story that are the hardest to read—the breakups, the losses and misunderstandings—and just have fun with the parts that remind you of the reasons why you read it in the first place.

My go-to favourites to re-read are the Shatter Me series by Tahareh Mafi, Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins and I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. 

  1. Read Feel-Good Contemporaries

Pardon me if this is subjective, but when I am in a reading slump I crave the juicy gossip, steamy scenes and grand professes of love that have me ensnared for hours. As a self-proclaimed reader, there are times where I feel like I need to be adding classics under my belt and other thought-provoking reads. The feeling of shame and imposter syndrome collide and implode with the reading slump you’re enduring and you can find yourself hiding from books altogether. But, those feelings are not helpful in getting out of your reading slump. You need easy reads; you need fun books in which you know the main characters are going to end up together but you still enjoy the ride to get there. Pick books you can swallow in one sitting. Contemporary novels are much easier to read, and once you finish one or two you start to feel accomplished once again and can move on to deeper material once you’re ready. From experience, I recommend anything written by Colleen Hoover or Emma Mills, or try Sally Rooney’s thought-provoking novel Normal People. You will not be disappointed—that’s a promise.

  1. Try Audible

During exam season or when looming deadlines are breathing down your neck, it can be hard to fit in time to read. Scratch that—it can be impossible. However, you may have already incorporated going to the gym, or going to work or even cleaning your house into your busy schedule. With my whole heart, I recommend Audible or any other listening service for books. It is the easiest thing to have your new read playing in the car as you go run errands or are on your way to work. Or just pop in your headphones while you clean your house. Nothing is better than being at the gym working out while listening to a particularly steamy scene in your novel and having to hold back your laughter on the treadmill as people move around you unknowingly.

  1. Read a Series

Now, this suggestion may seem counterintuitive with my previous suggestion of reading something quick and sweet like a contemporary, but hear me out. Series, especially the mind-blowing kind, have the ability to drag you from a reading slump single-handedly. If you find a series and become attached to it, all you’re going to want to do is know what happens next and it can lead to you reading over six books at a time to finally get the satisfying ending you’ve been craving. I suggest the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas or The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Both are filled with fantasy and romance that’ll have you fiending for more and will make you forget you were in a slump to begin with. And if you want a full can of worms, there is the beautiful and captivating fictional world created by Cassandra Clare, where you will have an abundance of series and trilogies that will keep you satisfied for a long time. 

In the end, you have your whole life to read, whether it be scandalous romances or classical literature. Try to remind yourself that reading is a journey and not a race. If you have to sacrifice reading for other things in your life, know it’ll be waiting to welcome you back when the chaos has soothed. But, if you’re ready to reemerge better than ever, then use these steps and recommendations to guide you out of your reading slump, and back to reading.

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Katherine is a first year student at Western University pursuing a Bachelor's degree in the faculty of Arts and Humanities. Katherine enjoys an absurd amount of black coffee, re-reading books and ignoring her newly purchased reads, and spending all her money on buying skin care products online.
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