Hello everyone, Haley and Emily here. We are so excited to present our first feature that we plan to regularly do together.
Matters of Shelf Control is a feature in which we talk about HOW we’re reading, rather than WHAT we’re reading. So if there is an aspect of our reading lives you’d like us to cover us to cover let us know!
Today we’re talking all things reading slumps and how we deal with them. Maybe its the time of year but seems like everyone we talk to is working through one.
Because let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t feel like reading (I know, shocking) and that’s okay. But its not just that you don’t feel like it; its almost like you can’t. Every thing you pick up just feels boring and uninteresting.
If this sounds like you, read on!
Here are our suggestions for dealing with reading slumps . We realize that there is no one size fits all fix, so these ideas are to be taken as just that - recommendations. Comment below with any solutions that work for you!
• Step Out Of Your Wheelhouse: As you know from my first wheelhouse post, I love to read dark stuff. Like really dark stuff. I find it comforting and grounding (that’s a conversation for another time). But some times my favorite genres just don’t do it for me. Typically I’ll pick up some thing I know will make me laugh (The Lady Janies are a prime example). I find that breaking from my normal reading feels like a reset of sort. Kind of like eating a piece of fresh fruit after a heavy meal. Its light, its refreshing, and it wakes up your palate. Obviously, what cleanses your reading palate is different for everyone but you never know what you’ll find when you take a chance.
• Get A New Book: Now before you run out and by a stack of books that you may or may not read anyway (hello teetering physical and digital TBRs), might I suggest going to the library or opening your Libby app. Take a chance to peruse that genre that’s out of your comfort zone- like I talked about above. Rediscover that love of browsing for some thing you had no idea existed. Maybe, just maybe, if will help you rediscover your love of reading.
• Lean Into the Slump: Alright, before you freak out, hear me out. Some times we forget, especially when you get into blogging, Goodreads challenges, and online book clubs, that reading is supposed to be fun. Now I’m not suggesting you Mari Kondo every thing that doesn’t bring you joy but maybe you need a break from reading. Binge watch a Tv show, play a video game, try that new recipe. Then, when you feel like it (and there is no rush!) pick up another book.
• Get Something Finished Fast!: Nothing helps me beat a slump like feeling super productive! In order to beat a slump, then, I read something that I know I can finish FAST — like a graphic novel or light romance. Once I finish one or two of these quick reads, I usually feel more capable of finishing something more weighty.
• Change it Up!: Haley talked about changing the kind of books you’re reading and I do that, too! But one other thing I think can be super helpful is even changing the WAY you are reading. If I’ve been reading a lot of print, I switch to e-books. If I’ve been doing a lot of e-books, maybe I’ll take an audiobook for a spin. There are so many awesome (and all EQUALLY VALID, ahem, stepping off my soapbox) ways to consume books. For me, sometimes it’s just as easy as changing the input and I can get into reading again!
• Make it Happen!: Ok, this is basically the opposite of Haley’s last tip, and both have worked for me in different times. Basically, sometimes I just force myself to read. Before settling into an app or some other mindless pursuit, I’ll make myself read at least a chapter, or at least for 10 minutes or something. If I want to stop after that time, great, I stop. But more often than not, I want to keep going. So sometimes, if it’s important to you to be reading, you just have to make yourself do it, even when it doesn’t sound fun. Kind of like working out, but usually less sweaty.
What Works For You?
Ok so that’s what works for us in busting a slump — what works for you? Share your tips below so that we can all keep reading!