What to Do When You’ve Got the Reading Slump Blues?

Posted August 21, 2018 by Amber in Bookish Things, Memes / 20 Comments


Summer is one of those times of year when I’m really prone to the Reading Slump Blues.  Either the sun is bright and the skies are so impossibly blue that it feels like a dream… or the humidity wraps its foggy fingers around your neck and chokes the breath out of you.  The prime time to be lost in a book in New England is during its exquisite autumn.

But it’s August, loves, and what to do when your got the Reading Slump Blues?  Here’s a handful of suggestions that work for me.

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Stop reading that book!

I think that with ARCs and highly anticipated books, sometimes we push ourselves through things that we really aren’t enjoying.  Guess what y’all?  You don’t have to do that?  If the book is not your jam, that’s okay!  Take a deep breath and give yourself permission to let go.  You’re not doing anyone any favors by making yourself miserable.

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Read an old favorite.

It is an undeniable fact that if you’re a mood reader, a book that gave you the warm-fuzzies will probably do so again, therefore restoring your faith in books and making it easier to read new ones.  I tend to fall back on old, simple, afternoon reads like Time Cat or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban that I know well and have warm memories for me.

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Watch a good movie.

Sometimes, it’s not the stories or characters that get you down and into a slump – it’s the act of reading itself.  A highly anticipated new release or an old favorite film can re-ignite the passion for delving back into  a good story, and it takes less time than reading a book!

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Find your tribe!

Humans are, by nature, social creatures.  Even the most introverted of us have a tribe.  Our groups of favorite people may be big, or they may be small… but fundamentally these are the people that make us our best selves, and make us happy.  When you’re in a slump and you’ve got the blues, go find the people who remind you of all the best parts of life, and come back later.

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Suck the marrow out of life!

To quote Henry David Thoreau:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…”


Sometimes, you must climb out of your usual patterns and responsibilities and go to the woods, whatever that means for you.  Sometimes, you must find the heart of things and breathe in their very essence.  When you’re in a slump, go.  Go to wherever this place is for you and even if only for a day, make your life extraordinary.

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the types of books people go to when they need to get out of a reading slump, but I wanted to talk instead about other things to break the slump.  If I’m sick of reading, I really do one of two basic things:  read anyway and be miserable, or stop reading cold turkey and do some of these other things.

What about you?


What do you like to do when you’re in a reading slump?

Have you ever forced yourself to finish a book you hated?

What books have helped you break a slump in the past?

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20 responses to “What to Do When You’ve Got the Reading Slump Blues?

    • Amber

      Yeahhh I stopped requesting new NetGalley ARCs a while back because it was starting to feel like I never got to read anything I wanted to read? That’s been a huge help! 🙂

  1. Great twist on this week’s topic! I agree – as much as I love reading, sometimes I just need to not read and that’s fine. Besides, I love a good movie or TV show and sometimes I go through phases where I’m reading so much that I barely watch anything, so when I find myself in a reading slump I’ve got plenty of shows to catch up on.

    Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday | Slump-busting
    • Amber

      Thanks Jess! Yup, I’m totally with you – I have an intense TV show backlog that is a ways nice to come back to when reading just isn’t doing it for me. Are you watching anything in particular lately?

  2. I’m a big fan of the rereading a favorite. 95% of the time that’ll pull me out of the slump. Watching a movie and just putting down the meh book are things I need to try more often! I think sometimes I make my slumps worse because I insist on finishing a book I’m not loving or I refuse to try a story by another medium.

    • Amber

      I think there’s still a lot of stigma around DNFing… which makes it super hard to put stuff down. At the same time, though, if you’re hating a book and suffering through… putting it down may be the kindest thing we can do, rather than giving a one or two star review for boredom. ?

    • Amber

      I think that switching up genres is a great idea! I love me some epic fantasy, but gosh darn it it’s awfully nice sometimes to just read a fluffy contemporary!

  3. Very true! Re- reading favorites, watching or binging a show, getting social… those are all great tips! And your point about finding one’s special place – love that! A certain place or activity can do wonders.

    • Amber

      I think that sometimes, it’s not about needing a different book – it’s about revitalising ourselves! I’m glad you enjoyed the list! ?

    • Amber

      Yay for DNFing! I love to hear that folks do this – I’m a habitually DNFer and it truly helps, but many folks feel guilty doing it. ?

    • Amber

      Hi June,

      I’m afraid I don’t know the origin of the phrase, but you may be able to find that information through a few well-phrased Google searches. Good luck!