10 Tips on How to Get Out of a Reading Slump

Kennedy Davey, Staff Writer

Reading slumps. We’ve all been there. Whether you just finished a great book and are struggling to find interest in a new one, or you can’t find the motivation to read your assigned novel in English, here are a few tips on how to get out of that slump.


Tip #1: Read something else

This might seem contradictory, but I find that sometimes when I’m in a reading slump, it’s because of the book I’m trying to read. Even if I would enjoy reading it at another time, some books just aren’t for getting out of a reading slump. Check out this Cardinal’s Nest article about the best books to get you out of a reading slump. This doesn’t always work, because I’m sure your English teacher won’t appreciate it if you don’t read the assigned novel.

Tip #2: Find an audiobook/ebook

I’m not a big fan of audiobooks, so I can’t testify as to how well this would work. That being said, sometimes you just need a change of pace. When I get in a reading slump, I can spend so much time on my phone because I don’t have the motivation to read. When this happens, I like to find an ebook to read to change things up a bit. My favorite resources are OverDrive and Cloud Library. If you have an AACPL card, you can use that to sign in and check out ebooks and audiobooks.

Tip #3: Buddy read

This is my favorite strategy for when I have no motivation to finish a school book. Buddy reading is defined as “when you agree to read the same book at the same time as someone else so you can discuss it together,” according to fable.co. This might just seem like English class, but doing it in a small group with people you know can make it easier. You can hold each other accountable, ask questions, and overall be more prepared for class discussions. 

Tip #4: Reread a book you enjoyed

Personally, this isn’t a strategy I like. Once I know the plot of a book, rereading it isn’t something I want to do. However, I know it can work for some people, so it’s going on the list. Rereading one of your favorite books can help you rediscover your love for reading. Rereading can also help you get a better understanding of a book and make you a better reader.

Tip #5: Make a schedule

Once again, this isn’t a favorite of mine. Reading is a fun thing to do, and making a schedule can take some of the fun out of it. That being said, sometimes a schedule is the only way to get through a book I don’t want to read. This works especially well for school reading, although with homework and sports, sometimes the schedule is hard to stick to.

Tip #6: Switch genres

Reading the same genre over and over again can sometimes cause a slump. Don’t get me wrong, I have three genres that I consistently rotate through. Even this slight change between genres, however, provides a fresh perspective to read. Trying something new, even if you don’t end up enjoying it, can be rewarding.

Tip #7: Try a short book or other writing

The feeling of finishing a book is great, and after that, starting a new book can seem daunting. Shorter books can be easier to get into, especially if they get to the action quickly. Also, you don’t have to read a novel to be reading. News articles, magazines, fan fiction, and other forms of writing all count!

Tip #8: Listen to music

This definitely isn’t for everyone, because the urge to sing along to your music can overpower your motivation to read. Personally, I prefer to listen to lofi or piano music when I study or read for school. When I’m reading for fun, I typically have the motivation to get through it. But when it comes to reading an AP Government textbook, music is my best friend.

Tip #9: Set a goal for yourself

At the beginning of this year, I decided to set a goal for the amount of books I would read in 2023. My current goal is 60 books, and by now I have read 19. Pretty good, if I do say so myself. I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone, because there is a certain amount of stress that can come with the goal. For me, I just try to remember that it isn’t a set number I have to reach, just something I would like to complete. Try to start with a reasonable goal, unlike me. If you want to make some changes over the course of the year, feel free!

Tip #10: Give yourself time!

One of the things I’ve learned since making a goal for the amount of books I want to read is that I don’t have to be reading all the time. Sometimes the best way out of a reading slump is to give yourself time. If you’ve just finished a good book or series, you don’t need to go directly into a new one. Try another activity instead to give your brain a break. Once again, this isn’t a great option if the book in question is for class.

In general, don’t fret if you’re in a reading slump. There are many different ways to get out of it, and sometimes you just need a break. Have fun reading!