How To Beat a Reading Slump and Fall in Love With Reading Again

How to beat a reading slump

How to beat a reading slump? That’s the question! Recently, I’ve had a little bit of trouble with reading.  I could give you a list as long as my arm featuring all the books I have tried to read. But in contrast my pile of finished books is looking a little sparse. This happens to every reader sometimes, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating! Here’s a few things I try when reading fatigue takes over.

Stop reading books you think you ‘have to read’

The last person who claimed to have read every book was Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Now, we can all hazard a guess that he didn’t actually read all the books. Likely, he was only talking about ‘books that matter’. For avid readers, this is  a familiar concept. Some books are just ‘more important’. They win awards, they are critically acclaimed, people sip black coffee whilst discussing their merits. Those people are probably wearing berets and Breton tops. You know the drill.

Here’s the thing though, just because everyone is saying you should read a book, doesn’t mean you have to. Now, this might seem obvious, but there’s only so much time available to read and for many of us that results in a pressure to read worthy books.

But, if you are slap bang in the middle of a reading slump, ask yourself, do you want to read the books on your TBR pile or do you think you should? If the answer is the latter, you might have found your problem. There should never be a pressure to read books. So, leave the worthy tomes to one side for a while and read something you know you’ll enjoy, regardless of its reputation.

The Benefits of Reading

Don’t read anything for a little while

This might sound counter intuitive but it’s possible that you’ve just reached peak book! You know when you were a kid at Christmas and you suddenly had so much chocolate you didn’t really know what to do? So you ate it all really quickly and then felt sick…right? I mean, that’s not just me is it?

Well, reading can be like this. Sometimes when I have had a binge on reading, and I’ve started one book after another without pausing to catch my breath, I find myself a little fatigued. I love reading, but it’s just the same as anything else. Sometimes too much of a good thing makes it loose its appeal.

Instead, put the books aside. Indulge in a different hobby that has maybe fallen by the wayside during your book binge. Maybe start that Netflix show you’ve been meaning to watch. Whatever it is, if you feel like you want to beat a reading slump, sometimes the best way is to take a little break.

Switch it up

If you could see my bookshelves you’d notice a few repeat offenders. I’m talking about genres that I go back to time, and time again. Now, everyone’s are different but for me it’s generally ‘Classics’ ‘Romance Fiction’ and ‘Historical Fiction’. Sometimes, my lucky stars align and a book is all three of those genres wrapped up in one blissful book!

Here’s the thing though, as much as I love reading those genres, sometimes I just need to switch it up. This is especially true when you’re trying to beat a reading slump. Similar to my last point, reading the same genres all the time can feel a little repetitive.

Instead, look at books you would normally skim past in the book shop. If you usually go for fiction, why not try non-fiction, or poetry? You might find yourself inspired to read again, and discover a new favourite genre in the process. I’m looking at you ‘crime thriller’!

how to beat a reading slump

Get back to the good stuff

Alternatively, it might be that you’ve been doing to much ‘new’ reading. As fun as it can be to switch it up, and as necessary as it is sometimes, you can’t beat going back to your all time favourites.

I’ve said this before, but we only have so much spare time to dedicate to reading. I’m also a firm believer that you shouldn’t feel guilty for reading what you want to read. So I think it’s important to spend that time reading what you love.

That’s why sometimes, when I’ve been reading lots of new, or worthy, books for a while and I can feel the book slump rearing its ugly head, I just go back to my tried and true favourites. For me, there’s really nothing better than curling up with a romance novel and spending a couple of hours escaping real life!

Like anything else you do in your spare time, reading should be fun. And if it’s not fun, well, why bother? So, take a trip to your local bookshop and find a book that makes you really excited to read. No matter what it is.

Something to remember

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times in this post, but I want to reiterate it. There’s no pressure to read. It can be truly frustrating to try and beat a reading slump but don’t try and force it. There’s so many other things in our lives that we have to do, and it’s important to remember that reading isn’t one of them. Reading should be fun and something you enjoy doing.

How do you beat a reading slump?


  • This was great. I often find myself purchasing or checking out books from the library because I think I should read them. I’ve only recently gotten comfortable putting down a book I’ve started if it isn’t working for me and moving on to the next one.

    • I was exactly the same. It’s sometimes hard to stop reading a book even when you’re not enjoying it, isn’t it? But I am really trying to remember the joy of reading instead.

  • Adrienne Barnes Teague

    When I’m in a reading slump, I pull back. I figure out which books I absolutely HAVE to read, which is usually none. Then I read my favorites again. My favorite book to read when I’m in a slump is The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs. It’s all about reading what you want when you want. Excellent for slump dispersal.

    • Adrienne, that sounds like a brilliant book to read when you want to be inspired by reading again! It’s funny how we can forget that we’re supposed to enjoy our hobbies isn’t it? I will definitely look that book up.