Books are magical. If you’ve hit this page, then you know that they are and I don’t need to preach to the choir. But it can be hard to keep up the book reading habit once you become an adult. When you’re younger there’s more time, but with work taking a huge chunk out of your day.
When I talk about reading in the office, what I hear the most of is “I want to read more, but it’s hard to find the time” or “I don’t have the attention span for reading anymore.” When you’ve lost the habit of reading and don’t know where to start, sorry babe, but you’re in a reading slump.
Reading slumps can feel devastating for people who’ve been avid readers.
I’ve struggled with reading too, stopping reading altogether for nearly a year when work became overwhelming. Once work calmed down, I still didn’t know where to start with reading again. I had fallen out of the habit and starting again felt daunting to me.
So here are the 5 ways that I found that help me when I’m fighting a reading slump:
5. Revisit old favourites
Your favourite books are your favourites for a reason. So when I’m really stuck, I’ll go and find the books that I’ve reread so much that I know the plot beats by heart. Reading something that you love can be the first step toward rekindling your love of books and reading, so forget that new bestseller that your friend raves about and instead go back to what you know. Whatever it is, you know that you’re going to have a good time and it’ll be easier to carve out time for yourself.
4. Start with something easy
When we think about reading, a lot of us have these grandiose ideas about what we’re going to achieve. I’ve even fallen victim to it. I tell myself that I’m going to read self-help books and sort myself out or I’m going to finally tackle the Canadian 100 list or all those classics. But when you’re starting to build a reading habit again to break out of that slump, you don’t want to start with something too onerous. Think about it like working out. If you haven’t touched a gym in six months, you’re not going to be able to do the same routine you’d do if you’d been going every day.
So start simple. For me, that means going back to read some deliciously cheesy romances or even going back to books I loved as a kid like the Little House on the Prarie Series.
Find what you can read without thinking much about it and then start reading that.
3. Enjoy a book with a friend
Going back to the gym analogy, it’s always easier to have a friend to keep you on track. If you don’t have anyone in your daily life that can keep you on your toes, there are tons of Facebook groups or groups on Goodreads that will help you keep on track. Reading is something that so many people love and it’s easy to find someone who’ll support you through it.
2. Read during your commute.
This isn’t an option for everyone. Some people are driving and don’t like listening to people talking. Other people get motion sick and can’t read on the subway, but if you have a long commute, try to carve out some time for yourself. Even if your commute is only 15 minutes, that still adds up to half an hour a day of reading and two and half hours per week! Listen to an audiobook or read your novels on the bus. Whatever you can do to get some reading time in.
Plus, it makes the commute go by a little faster and who doesn’t want that?
1. Join the Bookish Community!
As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of book communities and people who are in the bookish community are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. If you’re like me and you get nervous about talking to people, you don’t have to worry! I’ve never met a nicer group. Whether you’re meeting people on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, or talking to them on Discord, you’re always going to find a group of people that’s accepting and fun.
Start a blog! Get a Bookstagram. Booktube your heart out. I can’t wait to see what you all get up to and good luck breaking your slump. <3