getting out of a reading slump

I Pulled Myself Out of A 6-year Reading Slump and You Can Too!

The year was 2016. At the time, I was in high school. I joined a bunch of clubs and participated in whatever activities looked even remotely interesting to me. I remember coming home at the end of the school day, plopping myself face-down on the couch, and getting knocked out immediately.

For a while, it was just my schedule and, I guess, my stamina? that made it impossible for me to read. Then I went to university. Same situation, except add my mental and emotional capacity to the mix. My brain was overstimulated, and I needed to find hobbies that did not require any brain power. (That’s how I got into K-pop – but that’s a story for another time. 😂😭)

Fast forward to 2022, when I realized that I hadn’t even read a single book in 2021. I was genuinely so shocked that I ran straight to Goodreads to find myself a book to read.

I read 15 books in 2022, and 22 books in 2023. Not bad. But I managed to push myself way further out of my slump, and I’ve read 35 books so far in 2024 (and it’s only April)! 💪 Personally, I think it was rereading some of my favorite books that did that for me (I would like to thank Six of Crows and The Hunger Games for this).

Your experience might be different from mine, which is why I’ve come up witgh a few tips to help you get out of your reading slump, depending on the situation!

When your schedule doesn’t allow it

Trust me, there’s this unkowing pressure about starting a new series. This is why I have been loving standalones. You get a complete story in just 400 or so pages. There’s usually a lot less crazy world-building or descriptions of things that you won’t even need until the next book. Here are some standalones I’ve loved recently to get you started:

  • A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft – if you’re looking for something angsty with heavy character development, and a touch of magic
  • I Hope This Doesn’t Find You by Ann Liang – if you’re looking for a no thoughts, head empty read that will make your toes curl
  • A Crane Among Wolves by June Hur – if you’re looking for something dark, gritty, and real

I can’t really give any suggestions since I’m not an audiobook listener myself… HOWEVER, I do love listening to podcasts. I just have these on in the background whenever I’m doing mindless tasks or chores. It’s a great way to get things done while also keeping up with a hobby!

This helped me get out of my reading slump as well. Apple’s Books app has a feature where you can set a daily reading goal. I had mine set to 30 minutes a day, which really isn’t a lot of time, but it made reading a consistent part of my day.

When you make reading a part of your daily routine, you won’t even notice that you’re taking up time to do it! 30 minutes a day right before you go to bed? You’ll finish that book in no time.

When your brain can’t handle the stimulation

Personally, this is the situation where I would choose not to force myself to read, because this could totally push you further into your reading slump. But if you think you can handle the challenge, why not!

I think most of us take reading breaks or stop reading for the day in between chapters. Sometimes, we could think that finishing a chapter should be rewarded… and it should be! Find a book with short chapters, and take breaks in between them. Stretch your limbs, grab some tea, or have a snack. When you feel relaxed again, get back to your read!

When you nothing you read hits the spot, or when you just don’t feel motivated…

I love being able to discuss certain books with friends. I (clearly) have a lot of thoughts when I read, and it really helps to let some of them out and to talk to people about them!

If you can’t keep up with their pace, no problem. Let your buddy know, so you guys can come up with a pace that works for you both. Find time to talk about everything you loved about what you read!

I am a creature of habit. I rewatch shows, I reread books. Heck, I’m in the middle of rereading a series I loved wayyy back in 2014. 😂 I find that this works for me, because I’m already familiar with the characters, and I know that I love them. It’s actually shocking to me how books I’ve loved decades ago can even get better with time (*ahem* Hunger Games *ahem*). I hope you get surprised, too!

MAYBE your tastes are changing and you just don’t know it. Maybe horror books used to scare you as a 13 year old, but now that you’re 20? Maybe you’ll find yourself intrigued by them. 👀 Maybe you’ve grown out of reading about girls who suddenly discover that they’re princesses and have fun makeovers. Walk around the bookstore or a library and see if there’s something that draws you in, even if it’s not something you normally would have picked up!

And that’s it!

I hope these tips can help you get out of your reading slump if you’re in one! If you are, how long have you been in it? If you aren’t, when was the last time you’ve been in one, and how did it go? Let’s discuss! 💖

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21 responses to “I Pulled Myself Out of A 6-year Reading Slump and You Can Too!”

  1. Annemieke Avatar

    Buddy reading, readalongs and even readathons can be great motivators to fit in more reading in your week.

  2. Elsie LMC Avatar

    I love kpop too!! I agree about reading standalones and I adore books with short chapters, they do feel like mini accomplishments 🤣. With how slow I read I often think am I in a slump so this post is super helpful! Also I love the image designs for all of your posts they’re very pretty! 💗

  3. […] that’s about 13 years of readership! And while I did take the world’s longest hiatus after my huge university reading slump, that’s still the longest time I’ve been able to keep up with a hobby. Goodreads says […]

  4. Anne Bennett Avatar

    I agree with you about standalones and audiobooks. I always have an audiobook queued up on my phone. If I am stuck in traffic, I pop it on. If I am alone in the car, I listen. Amazingly I consume books over time without ever feeling like I am reading. Ha!

    Standalones are so much less pressure than books in series. One doesn’t have to pressure themselves to go on. Congrats on your movement back to books.

  5. Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense Avatar

    Welcome back to the community! Rereading old favorites is such a great way to get out of slumpiness. There are times when I don’t need something new, but something familiar and comforting. I recently read I Hope This Doesn’t Find You and loved it so much. I miss picking up those books where I don’t necessarily have to commit to writing a review afterward. I can just enjoy it. Buddy reading is also a great motivator. I always find it helpful to read with someone when it comes to books I’ve been putting off. Thank you for sharing all these tips and so glad to see you again.

  6. Roberta R. Avatar
    Roberta R.

    OK, the title of this post was quite catchy, so I HAD to see what it was about. A 6-year long book slump?!?

    I guess it makes sense that your brain (maybe subconsciously) refused to engage with more books when you had already so many assigned reads/uni textbooks to deal with. Personally, I don’t remember ever being in a book slump, but it’s true that I didn’t go out of my way in order to find new books to read in my high school/uni years. Like you, I’m a rereader (and I rewatch shows too! all the time!), so I was contented with the one I already had. Now…NetGalley and Edelweiss approvals and a string of bought books keep me entertained all year long 😂.

  7. lissa@postcards from the bookstore Avatar

    I don’t know why they are called reading slumps when it is more like reading stops because there are abrupt times you just can’t read.

    Standalone are harder to find if you’re reading fantasy/science fiction, at least, those to my interest. I’m quite fickle. Even murder mystery are mostly series now.

    I’m not an audiobook fan. I tried it a few times but my mind just wanders when I listen to audiobooks. I tried doing jigsaw puzzles while listening to audiobooks but my mind still wanders.

    The problem with buddy reading is that I wouldn’t even be able to agree on a book. Maybe someone can talk me into reading a book I wouldn’t otherwise want to read.

    I love re-reading but sometimes re-reading is just re-reading, it doesn’t make me want to read other books.

    I believe I have tried reading other genres I don’t normally read but again, being so moody, I can’t even force myself to read books I only have 10% interest in.

    These are really good tips even if I kind of refuted them. Sorry. I’m a moody reader so most tips don’t work for me.

    Thank you for visiting my blog. I guess your blog is new since there are only a few posts but it’s nice to visit a new-to-me blog. And your blog is nicely designed.

    Have a lovely day.

  8. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction Avatar

    Audiobooks are huge for me when I’m in a reading slump because I can listen to them while I’m doing other things (like driving or getting ready for work). I don’t always have the time or mental energy to read, but I can always listen to an audiobook.

  9. ratmom Avatar

    I’m glad to her you’re reading again. I read around 100 books a year. Some years are more, some less.

  10. Beatrice @ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic Avatar

    I am so thankful for audiobooks especially when I am reading books from genres I don’t usually read and whenever I am multi-tasking. Welcome back Aimee! I miss your reviews.

  11. […] case you don’t know, I went through a 6-year-long reading slump, so I have a crap ton of books on my shelves that I haven’t even thought about reading for a […]

  12. Jodie | That Happy Reader Avatar

    Audiobooks really help me get out of slumps too Aimee!

  13. blodeuedd Avatar

    I have been re-listening to old favs like crazy when in my reading slump. But it was still not that bad. 0 books :/ I am glad you got out of it. Any book read it fantastic

  14. anovelglimpse Avatar

    I always try something from another genre or an author I know I love if I’m slumpy. I’m glad you got out of your slump. 6 years is a long time!

  15. Julie S. Avatar

    Reading slumps are real! I had one after college and didn’t read a book for a long time. Then I discovered audio books and they were perfect for commuting.

    Julie @ ChapterBreak.net

  16. Rachel @Waves of Fiction Avatar
    Rachel @Waves of Fiction

    Wow, 6 years is a long reading slump! All these suggestions are great ways to combat a reading slump! Reading books with short, addictive chapters is wonderful advice. Sandra Brown does that and I’m usually hooked to continue on and on and on. Have a wonderful week!

  17. Jen Ryland Avatar

    6 YEARS omg!!! I’ve had short slumps but maybe you just got busy with life there 🙂
    Anyway these are great tips and you are hereby my #1 reading slump expert!!
    Thanks so much for stopping by. That site you commented on was also in a slump from 2017-2023 so it’s like you didn’t miss a thing!!!

  18. Cindy Davis Avatar

    What will quickly put me in a reading slump is if I try to finish a book that I don’t like. I now DNF more than I ever have, but it has been life changing!

  19. Samantha @WLABB Avatar

    I am glad to see you back! I agree with many of your points up there. Audiobooks are the best way to read and do something else like chores. That’s maximizing your time. I also have times when I read and have abandoned series.

  20. Louise @ Monstrumology Avatar

    Welcome back! These are some great tips; I tend to read a lot of standalones these days since I don’t always have the time to commit to a full series and I get 95% of my books from the library these days and they’re not always guaranteed to have all of the books.

  21. Grace Avatar

    Great post! Can definitely recommend audiobooks, from my personal experience. I’m not in too much of a reading mood currently, but audiobooks? Pop it in while I’m cooking or cleaning and we’re good to go! I will say, I did NOT like audiobooks when I first tried them, so I personally also recommend giving different narrators or even types of stories a try. I still can’t usually do really heavy fantasy over audio, but I love thrillers and lighter fantasy through audio!

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