Hi! If you’ve hit a slump and have little motivation to pick up a book, be it your current read or any book for that matter, or if you haven’t read a book in quite a while, this is the quick post for you!
We ALL have these moments first of all, so don’t despair; some people can go months/years without reading, but there are ways to reignite the passion and get yourself back on the road to reading for pleasure. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. There are many tips below to try that hopefully will help you to venture off to pick up that book or go find a better one!
My Reading Mojo Recovery Tips:
These are utterly brilliant for people that either struggle to fit in much time to read, struggle to read for a number of reasons, and/or haven’t read in a while and want a great gateway back in. There are books from all genres with a multitude of famous authors producing excellent stories in this series that is published every year through the Reading Agency Quick Reads Initiative. This year it was under threat and no new titles commissioned, but thanks to Jojo Moyes’ intervention in providing the funds the Quick Reads scheme was saved and will continue in 2020 for at least 3 more years. Hurrah!
2. Set Aside Reading Time
It sounds a bit ridiculous but just like you would (possibly) schedule in the gym or a meeting, book yourself some book time (see what I did there?) it’s the best way of guaranteeing you will have a chance at giving the book your undivided attention and a crack at reigniting your mojo.
3. Limit social media/screen time
Linked to point 2, there are many distractions in life most us are guilty of, screen time is definitely up there in our house. Whether it’s limiting the time you can browse (there are apps now for this, I can imagine the arguments they cause) or saying that after 8pm you put your phone in a drawer (or less drastically at least out of reach) this can all help with singling your attention on sitting down and picking up your book.
4. Switch genres
A game-changer for me when I felt like I hadn’t read a book in ages and didn’t know where to start was to try something new. I love contemporary romance books but apart from the odd ones in my late teens I hadn’t read any in my 20’s and had stuck mainly to thrillers/crime. I picked up a romance that a friend had recommended on maternity leave and I was hooked. It was pure escapism, fun and the emotional outlet I needed at that time (and they still are). The right book could be something you’ve never even expected, try something different: romance, crime, autobiography, nature, historical, scientific, fantasy, graphic novel, thriller?
5. Match Your Mood
Listen to your intuition of what mood you are in to match which book to pick up. This sounds obvious but often isn’t, even to a regular reader, but what mood you are in is likely to influence whether you enjoy a plot theme or not. Sometimes pure escapism is required, other times something gritty or something that completely changes how you think.
6. Read book blogs
Of course, if you need book recommendations and passionate reviews then the absolutely top resource you have is book bloggers. There are some absolutely brilliant book reviewers out there for all tastes, genres etc that are honest, dedicated, approachable book lovers that will happily guide you with what they think you will love and what might suit you. If you find an absolute gem after reading a book review then letting that reviewer know will mean SO MUCH I guarantee, because like authors, they absolutely thrive on spreading book love.
7. Don’t believe the hype
Trust your gut; just because everyone is raving about this book doesn’t mean it is for you, or that it is actually very good. So many examples of this. You do you.
Libraries are for ALL. *SHOUTING* LIBRARIES ARE FOR ALL. So if you need a book, or want a recommendation, LIBRARIES ARE FOR YOU! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been in one, if you last went in when you were 12, if your first language isn’t English, if you are partially sighted or deaf, if you are able-bodied or not, or even if you can’t get to your local library (housebound library services are run by most authorities as are wonderful free ebook services) they are there for you; crammed full of free books in all formats and staffed by people who want to find the right one for you.
9. Join A Book Club
Full disclosure, I’ve had mixed experiences of book clubs over the years, both real meet-up ones and online groups. However, ask your friends, ask in your local library, and look on social media for book clubs that will open up reading opportunities by rating books, all reading together to discuss the story, and providing a more social approach to reading.
10. It’s OK to DNF
DNF is “did not finish ” if you weren’t sure, as applicable to reading as it is to F1 though slightly less costly (unless you are in some kind of reading championship, I’m not sure if that would be a good thing or not). I usually set a rough limit of how far I am prepared to go with a book that isn’t grabbing me before I give up. This can be a number of pages or a % of the book, mine is usually around 25% give or take. There are a few instances where I initially didn’t get in to the story then all of a sudden it clicked for me and became a great read. Equally, there are some plot occurrences that I will not continue the book after (cruelty to animals, eye-rolling sexism etc) AND THAT’S OK. Repeating again, IT IS OK TO LEAVE A BOOK THAT IS NOT WORTHY OF YOUR TIME. The same rule applies to relationships. And disappointing cake (you know, the ones that look really great but then the first bite tastes like dry cardboard and it has no flavour, that is not worth the calorie hit and must be returned).
So good luck in banishing your reading lull and finding book lust 🐝