Summer Reading Woes: Breaking Out of a Reading Slump

I love to read. I’ve always loved reading. There’s just something wonderful about losing yourself for hours within the pages of an amazing book.

books are an adventure

Last summer, Hubs and I took a trip to the beach, and I read nearly five books over the course of our beach time. Reading to the sounds of the crashing ocean just a few feet from you? That was pure and epic bliss.

This summer, I haven’t been as successful at reading. I have no idea why. While I am a bit busier than I was last summer, I’m not significantly busier. Besides, I genuinely adore reading, but I just haven’t been able to get into my hardcore reader mode like I normally can. I’ll try to get into a new book, and it just doesn’t seem to work.

britta bored reading

Here’s what makes it worse: I still totally love books. I have tons of book blogger friends who talk about great new books, and I pop that title on my TBR list. When I go to a bookstore or my local library, I still find about ten THOUSAND new books that I want to jump into. I think that if I maybe get a new book from the library, or buy myself a new book, I’ll actually read and get out of my slump.

tangled read a book

But really all that happens is I just stuff my already full-to-bursting bookshelves, and I find myself still stuck in my reading slump–only with less money.

So I have decided that I am officially over this reading slump, and I’m actively working to get out of it. How, you might ask? Well, I have a plan:

Set some reading goals, but keep it light. 

cat reading

If you want to read something super dense, go for it, but then make your book goal a bit smaller. Don’t say you’ll read three books in a month, and decide those three books will be stuff like The Art of War, Infinite Jest, and House of Leaves. Maybe once you’re back to your normal reading form, give yourself a challenge like that. But while you’re trying to break out of your slump, make sure that if the books are more of an intensive read, set a smaller number for your “books read this month” goal. For me, I’m shooting to read a novella, a compilation of short stories, and a full-length novel in the month of July.

Have some sort of accountability. 

disapproving look

It’s a lot easier to blow off goals if you don’t have something out there to keep you accountable. Everybody needs something different when it comes to being held accountable, so do what works best for you. Whether it’s joining a book club, telling a friend you need them to check in on your reading, or publicly stating that you’ll be reading more books on your blog, raising the stakes a bit by going public with your reading goal can help you ensure that you actually do your reading.

Don’t allow yourself to buy new books–unless you actually have to for work or school–until you’ve read a set number of your existing books.

all the books

You decide what your goal is, but telling yourself you can’t buy a new book or grab a new book from the library until you read a certain number of books is great motivation to get you back into the pages of a book. Although, if you’re anything like me, sticking to a “no buy/no library checkout” policy might actually prove to be more challenging than actually breaking out of your reading slump.

Actually do the thing.

read the book

You can set as many shiny goals and incentives as you like, but ultimately, you need to…

shia-labeouf-just-do-it-green-background

Actually set aside some time for reading. Don’t have the TV on, don’t start reading in a room full of people you love chatting with (that’s also kind of rude anyway, regardless of reading goals), don’t say you’ll read after a playing “a bit of Skyrim”. Sit down and read. The best way to get out of a reading slump is to actually, physically read. Chances are, you’ll remember instantly how much you love getting lost in a good book, and you’ll be back to your bookish ways.

Like I said, I’ll be reading a novella, a compilation of short stories, and a full-length novel in the month of July. You can expect to see me talk about them all here on the blog, so stay tuned!

How do you get yourself out of reading slumps? What are you reading right now? What’s next on your TBR list? Let’s talk books in the comments! 

12 Replies to “Summer Reading Woes: Breaking Out of a Reading Slump”

  1. I think I have about 20 free samples of books downloaded on my Kindle lol Whenever I come across a book that sounds interesting to me I download the free sample chapters to get a “feel” for the book and then decide from there if I want to purchase it or not.

    1. That’s a great idea, grabbing those Kindle samples. I’ve done that a few times myself. It really helps you decide if you’re willing to jump in on the purchase. I’m just too much of a snob–I really hate reading on my Kindle. I prefer a physical book.

      1. I love my Kindle lol But I will go out and buy a physical copy of a book if I really really love it!

  2. I have been trying to read more and finally last month I picked up a book and finished it. I actually finished 2 in one month which is CRAZY. I had to give up some video game time and didn’t read blogs every single day but instead sat in my bed and read a book. It sucks I had to “give up” doing some of my other favorite things, but honestly reading makes me so happy and I am excited to read more. I haven’t bought any books, just been reading things off my book shelf. When I’m done reading the books I already have I will be making a trip to the library!

    Jessica
    Pyreflies.org

  3. I am not in a slump, but I have been taking much longer to read an entire book than I normally would. The last one though finally grabbed me, it was The Diviners, and it was something that I finally read through completely and quickly.

    Reading slumps suck, I usually get into one after I reread the Harry Potter series. haha Cuz nothing really compares for me.

    1. YES! I totally get that! And I haven’t read the Diviners, but I’ve heard GREAT things about it. From what I hear, you can’t help but gobble that book up! It’s on my TBR list, for sure.

  4. Not buying books is one of my biggest downfalls. My in real life TBR shelf is legitimately overflowing, and yet I keep adding to it (and constantly update my TBR Goodreads list too of course). I don’t think I’ll ever have an empty TBR shelf!

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