We’ve all been there: a nice quiet room, a recliner, maybe a steaming cup of tea, a stack of books at our fingertips…and zero motivation to read any of them. The book slumps can hit at any time, but luckily, there are tools for fighting back. Here are some tips on how to avoid the slumps:
1. Cut Your List Down To Size
When you start getting bored with one book, you might think that the remedy to the problem is to pick up another book, promising yourself that you’ll go back and finish the first one later. You might try juggling two, or even three or four books at a time. It may break up the monotony, but you’ll probably end up overwhelmed and may not finish any of the books you started. Instead, devote yourself to finishing just one book at a time.
2. Switch Things Up
If you find yourself skimming over text without absorbing it, your brain may be telling you that it’s bored. Give your brain some stimulation by switching things up. Try a genre that you haven’t touched for a while, or try a totally new one. If you usually read novels, pick up a book of poetry or short stories instead. Pictures can give your mind something to work with, so mix things up with a graphic novel every now and then. Any little change will snag your brain’s attention and help refresh your interest in reading.
3. Get Recommendations
Chances are, if you stumbled on this article, you were already looking through the lists on this site for recommendations: if so, great start! If you need even more help, try asking your friends or people you know what they’ve been reading lately. Bonus points if they have entirely different tastes than you and point you towards something you otherwise wouldn’t have read. For recommendations based on books you’ve already read, try the incredibly helpful website What Should I Read Next, and to satisfy a very particular craving, try Whichbook.
4. Set Goals
Set some reading goals for yourself and write them down so that you don’t forget. For example, aim for a book a week or try to finish an entire list before the end of the season. If you need extra help staying on top of your goals, try joining a book club or participate in a reading challenge. Group pressure can be a great motivator to stay on track.
5. Break Up With Your Cell Phone
Set aside some time, at least a half-an-hour a day, that is devoted strictly to reading. During that time, turn your cell phone off and put it in another room. Don’t pick it up until your quiet time is over. You might find this difficult at first, as tempting as it is to check up on your social media accounts and email, but if you stick to it, your mind will start to settle into the routine.
6. Watch The Movie First
The film industry loves to turn beloved books into blockbuster hits, as people who repeat the mantra “the book was better” love to remind us. Take advantage of the catalog of movies based on books. Watch the movie first, and then read the book for comparison. Alternatively, you can read the book first and save the movie as a little reward for completing it.
7. Re-read A Favorite
Nostalgia is a great motivator. There’s nothing like revisiting one of your favorite stories to remind yourself why you started to read in the first place. Don’t worry about getting bored because you already know the story: even if you know what to expect, you’ll still enjoy it when it happens. Besides, now that you’re older and more experienced, the story will take on new meanings and you might catch things you never noticed before!
If you’ve tried all of these steps but none of them have worked, it’s time to take a break for a little while. Your interest in reading has waned, but have hope: it will come back with time and patience. Don’t worry: your books aren’t going anywhere soon, and they’ll always be waiting for you when you get back.
YouTube Channel: abookutopia
Featured image via Bustle