This is a very pertinent topic, since I recently crawled out of a reading slump myself. It just so happens I have some tips, some things that helped me personally. This is the best possible opportunity for me to talk about that. That means this will be a little different. I will give specific examples of books that have helped me, but I also want to have specific categories for each one. You’ll see what I mean as we get into this, so let’s do it.
5. Short Story Collections. These are absolute gold for me when I’m feeling slumpy. Instead of committing to an entire novel, collections are books you can dip in and out of. The pressure is off. The reading always feels quicker with short stories to me because they’re compact. To give a specific recommendation here, I recently read Blue Beyond Blue by Lauren Slater, and it proved perfect for getting back into regular reading.
4. Short Books. This is a general tip really, but if you’re feeling wishy-washy about reading, don’t pick up a tome. Go for something you can finish quickly. Not only will it make you feel accomplished that you were able to complete something, but it feels less daunting overall. I picked up a Goosebumps book, The Beast From The East, by R.L. Stine. Yeah, it was a children’s book I read in an hour, but it was fun, and it made me feel that I was still capable of finishing a book in one reading session. Even in the midst of a slump.
3. Graphic Novels. Again, they’re quick reads. Also, they have a visual element that will keep you engaged. It’s hard not to finish a graphic novel in one sitting when most of the story is told in images and the text is comparatively minimal. I read Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann smack in the middle of my slump, and it gave me the boost I needed to start picking up other books.
2. An Author You Love. If there’s an author that you know you enjoy, and you haven’t read all their books, find the next one and go for it. I know that new releases and popular “it” books are tempting, but sometimes returning to a beloved author is the ticket. I have a lot of favorite authors, but for me, it was Tanith Lee who ultimately saved me from myself. I read Sabella, and I loved it. Loving a book so completely again, when part of the reason I was in a slump was because of a bunch of mediocre reads in a row, really helped.
1. That Book You’ve Been Saving. Very avid readers can sometimes set books aside because they know they’ll love them. There’s no question. There will come a time when that book will be the perfect thing to read, and we want the right moment to savor it in. If you’re in a slump? That moment is now. Go find those books you’ve been saving for a rainy day, and let this be the rainy day they get read in. Surely this is the best possible thing you could seek out to renew your interest in books.
I hope this might help some of you looking for a way out of your reading doldrums. Thank you for reading, and as always, happy geeking!
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