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