Top Five Tricks For Defeating That Dreaded Reading Slump


Ah, the reading slump. We’ve all been there. We all hate it. And we’d all like to prevent it if at all any way possible. Under the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, I can neither confirm, nor deny my magical abilities, but I can tell you this: there’s no magical way to beat this monster. I will, however, give you the next best thing – ideas.

Reading Slump – A term in which to describe the state of a reader unable to bring themselves to read.

There’s probably a fine, proper definition of ‘reading slump’ elsewhere on the internet but I sometimes like to make up my own, so that one up there comes straight from the Sacred Dictionary of Mikaela.

You’re welcome.

Ah, reading slumps, you’re more hated by the reading community than series’ with covers that don’t match, more hated than the book hangover, more hated than crappy paper quality and too-small margins. You are arguably one of the most hated things of all.


Because you ruin everything.

I was on a roll here, okay? I was right on track to meeting my Goodreads goal, I was finally managing to get through my gigantic TBR and boom! You march on in and you destroy everything.

I think I need a t-shirt that says Bookworms Against Reading Slumps. Actually I need to start a club, and we’re going to organise protests. That’s how seriously bookworms feel about reading slumps.

But never fear!

Superhero Riverside is here to tell you how to beat that dreaded reading slump as best as she can!

Reading slumps are really hard to beat, they’re like taking on Voldemort before destroying his Horcruxes (okay, easier than that, because that’s impossible, but whatever). I’ve found that the key to stopping any reading slump in its tracks is to beat it before it happens, or beat it before it sucks you deep down into its endless pits of doom and despair.

In order to beat it before it happens, I would suggest identifying possible book hangover reads. Book hangovers are often a major cause of reading slumps, so if you feel a hangover coming on, try out one (or all) of my top five tips below and then deposit $20,000,000 into my PayPal account.

Thank you. (I’m kidding about the 20mil, don’t feel obliged, buuuut, if you’re feeling generous, I won’t stop you).

Top Five Tips for Beating a Reading Slump

1. Read A Book You Love

Obviously not a book you love that is a known book hangover causer (I’m looking at you, A Court of Mist and Fury), because that defeats the purpose of this exercise. Instead, pick an old favourite that always makes you want to read more and more and more, rather than a book that makes you want to live inside it and no other book because it is way better than all of the rest.

By reading a book that you love, you’ll likely be reminded of why you love reading, and it will get those reading gears going in your brain again, making it easier to pick up the next book on your TBR. Now, speaking of TBRs, I know re-reading doesn’t help you with that mountainous pile of books you haven’t touched yet, but indulge yourself – you deserve it.

A book I read to end my reading slumps: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

2. Find a New Reading Spot

Sometimes all it takes is a new location for your brain to get back into the swing of reading. Always reading in the same spot can be relaxing for people who love routine, but I know that if I do the same thing too many times, I don’t dislike it, I hate it, so mixing it up is a must for me.

It can even be as small of a change as sitting on my bed with my back against the window, instead of against the pillows along the wall. Other times, it’s drastic, like I need to go to the mountains to breath fresh alpine air in order for my brain to properly process what is written o the page.

No, I’m not just making excuses to go travelling, who do you take me for? (Me, obviously).

3. Go On An Adventure

Is it a Riverside Library blog post if I don’t mention or suggest going on an adventure?

Perhaps your reading slump is a sign from the reading gods that you need to take some time out from fictional adventures and be the protagonist of your own.

I’m a big believer of making the ordinary extraordinary with the power of perception, so I don’t mean you have to go all Walter Mitty and book a trip to Iceland and escape a volcanic eruption on a skateboard. You can do anything, so long as you approach it with the mentality that it’s new and exciting and it’s helping you make the most of life.

A trip to the grocery store can be adventurous. It’s entirely up to you, and the way you choose to see it. All I’m saying is that a great way to get out of your reading slump is to stop trying to force it.

Go live.

4. Talk to Other Readers About Books

Okay, so sometimes hearing about all these books a fellow bookworm is reading can put a bit of a sour taste in your mouth when you can’t seem to manage to read anything, but chatting to another bookworm about your reading help is a sire fire way to start getting out of it.

They’ll understand what you mean, they’ve likely been there before, and they might even have some tips on how to stop it, or better yet, some book recommendations that are tried and true book slump avengers.

Bookworms are like all knowing, all powerful people, and you should definitely utilize your connections.

We’re powerful people, us bookworms.

5. Find Inspiration Elsewhere

So none of this has worked and my advice is terrible? Okay, that’s cool.

It happens.

Rarely, but it happens.

I have one last piece of advice before you tell me I’m terrible at giving advice, and it kind of goes hand in hand with number 3 – take a break. Relish in another hobby. Do you love to draw? Draw! Do you love to run? Run! Do you love to binge-watch movies while eating Ben and Jerry’s having forty-two existential crisis’ at once?


Never force yourself to read when you’re not in the mood.

If reading is something you do for fun, but you can’t seem to find the fun in it, then you might just need to take a break. No one is forcing you to read, it doesn’t matter if you don’t reach your Goodreads goal, no one will judge you and if they do then they’re really not worth it.

Live a life you love, and if you’re not loving it, change it.

Mikaela is an illustrator, and writer based in QLD, Australia. She's been writing novels for eleven years and editing for six. You can often find her with a coffee by the beach, pondering existentialism and the psychology of writing. She has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and takes pride in her paradoxical nature. She's also very much like a cat.

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