If you follow my blogposts and read my monthly wrap up’s you may have noticed that the past few months (well, since January really), I’ve really been struggling to read as much as I used to. By that, I mean that reading 4 books a month for me was a struggle. I’d say I’d average 3 a month and that’s only because I deliberately chose books that were shorter in length so I could get through more (I guess in theory that would work but my reading slump didn’t let it!)
I couldn’t quite tell you the reasons why I fell out of love with reading for such a prolonged period of time (and it honestly makes me emotional to write that). My enthusiasm for reading normally has its peaks and troughs, but those go over days/weeks, not half a year! I think it was a combination of general feeling of being down and low-moods.
Though you’d think that reading would have been the perfect escape from everything awful happening in the world in early-2021 (the pandemic, losing my job and having to go through the arduous job search once again), it was quite the opposite. I had the attention span of goldfish; I could not concentrate on the words on the page and every time I opened my book, I thought of all the hundred and one other things I had to be doing. I think there was a sense of guilt there, telling myself that I shouldn’t be reading when I had more important things to be sorting out. I also think I overdid my social media consumption during this time; I was scrolling Instagram to take my mind off things, but that in turn led to my mind becoming so saturated with content that I really couldn’t consume anything more.
I’m sure that a few of you will also be feeling similar feelings to those I’ve written about above, so I wanted to write this blog post in the hopes of helping some of you.
In this post, I want to talk about what helped me to get out of a six month reading slump and the books that really contributed to this. Enjoy!
#1 Don’t beat yourself up about it
I think it’s important to not beat yourself about this and feel guilty for not reading. I felt the pressure a lot more than I think I would normally purely because of this blog and feeling like I had to read more to give you all more content. I thought I wasn’t doing well enough to warrant having a book blog in the first place! You can’t get caught up in the numbers. Whether that’s your Goodreads yearly goal or how many books are on your monthly wrap up, you need to let that all go and stay in your lane.
#2 Read easy books that you know you’ll enjoy (including re-reads)
There’s nothing wrong with re-reading books that you love; your comfort books. There’s also nothing wrong with deliberately choosing to read short or easy books. I found that, obviously, easier and shorter books were better for me to read as it gave me a sense of acomplishment after I finished them purely because I was finishing something. I was also so close to picking up the Harry Potter series for the 1000000th time to get me back into the swing of things, but I resisted!
#3 Overdrive ❤ (the new love of my life)
I’m going to write a whole blog post about my love for Overdrive, but for now, all I’ll say is that it was one of the main driving factors of me getting back into reading. Overdrive is an app that you can download on your phone/Kindle etc. You then link your account with your local library, or whatever library you have a membership with. You can then get access to all the thousands of books that your library owns, including magazines and audiobooks. I found that having more choice of what to read, rather than just the books that I own in these four walls, really encouraged me to read more.
#4 Watch booktube/read blogs
If you’re in a reading slump, I would really recommend watching booktube videos or reading book blog posts. I know this may seem counter-productive (you’re supposed to be spending less time on social media and more time reading) but I really think other people’s enthusiasm for books can be catching. There has been so many times that I’ve wanted to read a book after watching someone rave about it on Youtube.
#5 Dedicate time to it
You need to start thinking of reading as beneficial to you and your health. Reading is not a bad thing. Reading is not taking up time that you could otherwise spend doing something more typically “productive”. You should make time for it. I decided I was going to limit my social media consumption in the evening and this was going to be my dedicated reading time. Not only is this great for setting yourself up for a better night’s sleep, but I also think it’s good to schedule in your reading if you’re really struggling to make time for it.
#6 Read in a new setting
One thing I found that really helped me, particularly in Spring and Summer, was going on my daily walks around the local park, taking my book with me and sitting on the bench for a few minutes and reading a chapter or two. When the alternative is going back home, logging back onto your laptop and working from home, reading outside seems the most beautiful thing (even those times when you’re really not feeling it). Some of my happiest moments this year have been sitting in the sunshine in the local park reading my book. I think changing up the area where you read can make you feel refreshed and renewed.
There were a few books that really helped me to get out of my reading slump and those were: Tales from the Café: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, and several books by Agatha Christie.
I found the Agatha Christie books to be the main helper in getting me out of my reading slump. They’re generally quite short books (around 200 pages) and I find myself being pulled in and hooked straightaway. They make me want to keep on reading more and more because I have to find out “whodunit” and solve the mystery. Every time I read an Agatha Christie book, it took me maximum three days to get through the whole thing and that’s because I kept telling myself “just one more chapter”. Then that chapter’s ending would make me want to read on, so then I’d say “just one more chapter” and so on and so forth.
When in doubt, turn to Agatha!
I hope these tips help you to get over your reading slump ❤
Thanks for reading!
Love, Zoë xx