Are you finding it hard to immerse yourself in any of the partially-read books stacked within an ever-growing, teetering tower on your desk? Are there more books you haven’t finished reading cluttering your Kindle than ones you’ve actually read?
Reading– even fun, well-written books –no longer giving you that special rush you’re accustomed to?
Is every typo, oddly-phrased sentence, weak verb, and word ending in “ing” pulling you out of a story you should love– one you’ve been dying to read?
If you’ve said yes to any of these, here are
3 Fresh Ways to Get Out of Your Reading Slump:
Figure out what’s causing the slump. To get to the bottom of your slump, list the last 3 books you didn’t finish. Under each, list 3 reasons it didn’t captivate you. Notice a pattern, like, “Lack of Action,” “Flat characters,” and “Too Predictable” ? A clever, action-packed psychological thriller might revive your reading buzz. Have you set a book aside because it was “Too gloomy,” “Depressing,” or “Slow”? A fast-paced comedy might be in order.
Rediscover an Author. Was there an author whose books shaped your young life? One whose characters are forever tattooed upon your mind? Look him/her up, and see if they’ve published anything you haven’t read, or wouldn’t mind rereading.
Search for new books using keywords relating to favorite books and/or movies. Example: if Interview with the Vampire is one of your favorite books, the keywords: vampire, Lestat, interview, gothic, and gore may spring to mind–these keywords will pull up books with similar themes, etc. ***Imagining your “perfect” book and searching related keywords can yield interesting results, as well.***
5 Common Online Tips I’ve tried and recommend.
Read outside your usual genres. I tend to gravitate towards paranormal, urban fantasy, romantic fantasy, and mystery, so when I’m in a rut, I flip the switch. This time to horror. And who better than Stephen King, I thought. I was wrong. My writer/editor side was too busy studying his technique to enjoy the stories, so I moved on to horror anthologies by authors I’m not familiar with.
Try a Short Story or Novella. I’ve noticed that I lose interest in a story at about the 30% mark when I’m in a slump–by that point I’ve imagined several possible outcomes, and if none are interesting enough to keep me turning the page, I set it aside, sometimes giving it another shot weeks or months later if it was well-written or remarkable in some way. If you can relate, I highly recommend short stories, novellas, anthologies, or even comics, if that’s your thing. Something about finishing an entire book (even a short one) for the first time in several months, invigorated me enough to finish 6 other short stories since.
Goodreads and Amazon Recommendations. Look up the last book that had you jonesing for more over on Goodreads and/or Amazon, skim through the reviews to find people with similar tastes in books, and see which books they recommend. Amazon also offers recommendations based on your searches, purchases, and authors you follow
Author Recommendations. Many of the Indie authors I follow on social media offer their recommendations on sites like: Bookbub, Amazon, #Bookstagram, Goodreads, etc. Odds are, if you love an author’s work, you’ll like the books that inspired them to pen that work.
Flip Your Allotted Reading Time. If you read at night in bed, try reading a chapter or two with your morning coffee. If you only read during your lunch break or only at night, etc., and you don’t want or can’t read at other times, spend a few days reading blogs, magazines, news articles, etc…. Short, Non-Fiction books on a topic of interest are great ways to break reading ruts. Some people read Non-Fiction one night, and fiction the next to shake things up, and I agree: it can be effective.
Are you currently in a reading slump?
Have you tried any of these tips? Which worked best for you?