All the chores are done, and I’ve been given a blessed reprieve to indulge in my favorite hobby. The couch pillows have been perfectly arranged, creating a little niche to relax. A welcoming aroma coasts from my favorite mug, enticing me to take a sip. This is the perfect setting to enjoy a good book.
So why have I been staring at the same page for 30 minutes, rereading a sentence that for some reason my brain can not comprehend or even care about?
Crap…I have Reader’s Slump.
It happens to best of us. Even those of us who could complete a novel while our house is engulfed in flames or while our kids are hanging from the rafters. Every so often, that spark fizzles out and the instinct to pick up another book goes dormant.
This rare feeling is certainly shocking at first, but not permanent. Your love for reading has not been extinguished and here’s a few suggestions to rekindle that old flame.
1. Focus on another Hobby
Maybe this is a good thing. You now have an excuse to finish that scarf you were crocheting, put that puzzle you got from your Secret Santa together or start that jewelry making project you’ve been procrastinating on. Focusing on another hobby will allow you to still do something that relieves stress, decreases depression and provides you with a type of solace and rejuvenation from your daily life. And this can be just as helpful when the source of our stress is the reading slump we sometimes find ourselves in.
2. Change of Scenery
Perhaps you are actually experiencing reading fatigue and the reason you can’t seem to focus or invest in the book in front of you is because your eyes need a break. According to the experts, the best remedy for this is to stop what you’re doing and get a change of scenery. Overworking our eyes can be exhausting. Getting up and using our eyes to see far away objects rather than words a few inches away from our face can help tremendously. Take a walk, breath in the natural world around you and avoid looking at a screen. You’ll be refreshed in no time.
3. Change Genre’s
Even a hardcore ParaRom junkie like me needs a different flavor every once in a while. And changing genre has definitely nudged me out of a slump, a time or two. To quote a few clichés; “too much of one thing is never good" and "absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Overused? Perhaps. But, in my opinion, quite true. Taking that break and stepping away from even your most beloved genre can revitalize your need for it again.
4. Try a Novella
A nice novella or short story can be just what you need when you're in the middle of a slump. The page count or "hours left in book" can be intimidating and only add to your stress. There's no need to force yourself into a long commitment with a full length novel when you have so many great, quicker options. You may find that several of your favorite series have a few novellas thrown into the mix. Getting started with one of those can get you in the right mood and frame of mind for that next, big read.
5. Netflix and Chill
There is nothing wrong with putting down that paperback and flipping on the boob-tube. Sit back and delve into a drama, horror or Rom-com. Let the directors and actors do the hard work for a change. Maybe you need a flick that will completely get your mind off that book you can't motivate yourself to read. Or, maybe a literary based movie will be able to wet your whistle. And, if a little "chill" also happens to take place, even better. "Chill" is the best stress reliever, isn't it?
Reader's slump is not the end of the world. A little break and attention to something else can do wonders to help you rediscover your love for reading. With your focus diverted for a moment, you'll be itching to get your hands back on that book in no time.
Thanks for reading. What helps you out of a reader's slump?