February 23, 2017

Reading Slump Relievers

Today's Top Five Wednesday topic is books to get you out of a reading slump. I don't know if there is a book that would get every single person out of a slump. But I have theories about what KINDS of books might pull you out of the slough of reading despond.

  1. A short book - Sometimes all I need to jump start my reading is to finish a book. Short books offer quick reward. You finish a book quickly and it boosts your reading self-esteem and you feel like reading some more. I like to use graphic novels for this sort of thing.

  2. A fast-paced book - Find a book that keeps you turning the pages because you can't stand to not find out what happens next! This is also feeding into that finish quickly thing. If you want to keep reading, and you're on the edge of your seat, finishing that book will feel amazing, and you'll want more. I like Janet Evanovich for this.

  3. A favorite book - Sometimes all it takes to get me back in the reading saddle, is to reread a book that I know I love. This is especially effective if I know every word along the way. If it's nice and comfy reading, you have no anxiety about it and you can finish it and get that forward motion going. I like to read The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs for this. Also, it's a book about reading, so it fires up that book lust in that way.

  4. A book with short sections - It's way easier to convince yourself to read a little bit if you know it's not going to be a big commitment. Books with short chapters give you an option out early on if you're really not feeling it today, but you can still pat yourself on the back that you read something. Short stories are good for this sort of thing, if they are really short. Not just a novella masquerading as a short story.

  5. Try a chapter - This is a little game I play when nothing is really jumping off the shelf at me. I choose five books I think MIGHT do the trick and read the first chapter of each. That much should give me some idea of whether or not that book is going to scratch my reading itch today. Alternatively, I hear people recommend reading page 69 of each book to see if it's up your street. It's far enough in that usually the author has set into their rhythm but not so far that it gives away anything important in the plot.

So that's my remedy for the dreaded book slump. What's your cure all?