Discussion: Reading Slumps & What to Do About Them

Bookishly Speaking | Reading Slumps & What to Do About Them

So far this year hasn’t been a good one for reading (for me). I’m off to a slow start, too much happening IRL, not enough time to sit down and get absorbed into a book, or when I find the time and sit down the book just doesn’t hold my interest… You see where I’m going. It’s a reading slump. It seems I can’t really shake it. It’s been following me for months now, waxing and waning but still there. And now, it’s in full effect. 

Earlier this week I found myself actually avoiding the book I was reading and I knew it was time to switch to something else. Finishing be damned. So, I checked out a new title from the library yesterday and I’m hoping this could help me. 

I wanted to see what you all do to help yourself out of a reading slump.

Do you have any tips for others? 


13 thoughts on “Discussion: Reading Slumps & What to Do About Them

  1. If I hit a few titles in a row that fail to engage me, I tend to head to something tried and true. Usually that’s an unread standalone by a favorite author or the next in a series I know I’m enjoying. Robert Parker’s Spenser series used to be my go-to, it felt like pulling up in the driveway of my home. If I can’t identify something in those arenas, I tend to go non-fiction with a subject I know I love or pick something I think will be humorous. There’s nothing like engaging my brain with a subject that floats my boat or making me laugh to put me in a better space to get back to the “harder” stuff.

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  2. April, I completely agree with what Lauren said in her comment; if I have several (or even just one!) books that don’t grab me and I feel like I’m losing interest in reading, I look for something I feel pretty certain I’ll enjoy. Even if it’s something cheesy, it’s sometimes really nice to find a light, quick read that will make me smile and get me turning the pages again. Even if I have to buy a book (gasp!), it’s worth it to get out of the ditch. Is there anything in your queue that you’re really looking forward to, but haven’t started yet, or something you saw in the past that you haven’t had a chance to get around to? I hope you find something great, April! Keep us posted!

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  3. I get in these slumps more often than I’d like. A lot of times it’s after finishing a really good book that I just can’t settle on what to read next, nothing is keeping my attention or sounds good, or I’m too tired to even focus on something. If it’s not grabbing my attention immediately, then I’m finding excuses not to pick it up, and I hate when that happens! The only thing I’ve found that has worked for me recently is either picking up a book by a favorite author, that I know won’t disappoint me. Almost like comfort food, and it helps get me back into reading again. Or I’ve been looking back to the oldest books on my TBR list and trying something random that hasn’t been on my radar for a long time. That most recently helped me get out of a book funk – I picked up a book I’d had on my list for years and it ended up being one of my favorite books read so far this year.

    I really hate book slumps and feel for you! I hope you’re able to find something that grabs your attention and pulls you out of it.

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  4. I just accept this happens now and again for various reasons. Sometimes it’s my mood, others the book or I have a lot on and just don’t find or make the time to sit and read. It will pass. :)

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  5. My two tips:
    1. Re-read an old favorite.
    2. Don’t worry about it. Watch TV, do some crafts… whatever you like to do. Reading should be fun, and if it’s not, maybe you just need a break. Stressing about it will just make you feel worse. Do some other things, and eventually the desire to read will come back.

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  6. Great post! My reading slumps are usually caused by great works of literature, that I know I want to read but don’t engage me as much as they should. I usually put them down for a while and read something I know I will enjoy, like a detective, or a re-read of an old favourite. The only danger is that I never pick up the original book again and my pile of half-read books gets higher and higher..

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  7. I was recently in a mini-slump and abandoned two books in a row that came highly recommended. I went back to a favorite author – Liane Moriarty (Big, Little Lies) – and that was just what I needed to help my snap out of it.

    Also, if I’m reading something but not enjoying it, I sometimes just trudge through… But that can lead to slumps for me! So I give myself permission to put down a book when it’s not hitting the spot since reading is supposed to be fun not punishing. Good luck!


  8. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a break from reading! Of course, if you find something lighter to read or like a thriller or something, that can get you back into it. But if you’re not feeling it, you don’t have to be feeling it. Might be a sign that you want to be doing other things, which is totally ok. Live your life!


  9. Yes, if you’re actively avoiding the book it’s time to find something else! I do hate slumps and they can be so frustrating but I’ve found sometimes that when I’ve got a lot going on and am just mentally tired it’s just going to happen. The things I’ve done that have worked is just kind of gone with the slump – watched TV when I would be reading or something like that to give my brain a break and soon I find myself wanting to read – or going with tried and trues. I’ve had good luck busting out of slumps with books by favorite authors that are on the lighter side or even rereads of lighter books. Good luck!


  10. I agree with all those who have recommended re-reading an old favorite. That often works for me! Additionally, sometimes I just switch to an audiobook, and I let myself get fully immersed in it – just listen to it on the couch without multi-tasking (sometimes reading along) or going for a nice walk with headphones in, listening to it.

    Or sometimes I go to the bookstore or library and am reminded of how many millions of things I want to read someday. Then, even if I end up buying something new and starting it (abandoning anything else), I don’t mind if it gets me back in the swing of things.


  11. I forgot to mention – sometimes reading a book ABOUT reading can bring me out of a slump. Reading about other people’s passion for reading can often remind me of why I love reading so much, and put the passion back in my reading. Some of my favorites are ‘Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading” by Maureen Corrigan, “So Many Books, So Little Time” by Sara Nelson and “Tolstoy and the Purple Chair” by Nina Sankovitch



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