In this day and age, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to filling our free time. We can ‘Netflix and chill’, cruise on our iPads or go hunting for Pikachu on Pokemon Go! But it seems increasingly rare that we’ll sit down to notch up some serious hours with a good book. Despite the digital distractions all around us, it is possible to break out of the slump and fall in love with books, all over again.
Read on for eight top tricks to help you rediscover the magic of reading.
One Book at A Time
Biting off more books than you can chew is guaranteed to be a stumbling block. Some people read several books at a time to avoid getting ‘bored.’ No matter how tempting, don’t be a greedy reader. It’s intimidating and makes the whole process seem tough. Instead, try focusing on one story at a time, removing the option of switching to another book if you hit a rough patch. In saying that, if you genuinely don’t enjoy a book you’re reading, it’s okay to let it go (there’s no book police around). Simply find another book you’re interested in.
Log Off & Schedule Reading Time
If you’re going through a long-running reading slump, then chances are you’re spending a little too much time online. The internet, despite its amazing cat memes and funny videos, is the single biggest procrastinating tool in the world today. You can sit down for a quick Facebook session and suddenly five hours have passed. Set aside some internet free time and use those hours to reconnect with reading. Schedule it in your calendar so that you’re held accountable and more likely to go ahead with it. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you find pleasure in the page when you step away from the screen.
Revisit the Classics
Do you remember why you started reading in the first place? Maybe a particular author spoke to you in a way that no one else had. Or perhaps a certain story stuck with you long after the book was over? If you’ve found yourself in a reading rut, revisit an old favourite to rediscover the magic. Even if it’s a book from your childhood, it’s possible that by taking yourself back to that moment, you can find the spark that started it all.
Hang Out in a Bookstore
This may sound a little simple but sometimes proximity to your problems can prove the best remedy. Set aside an hour or so, head to your nearest bookstore, grab a coffee and just hang out. Wander around, spend time looking at the shelves, chat to the bookstore employees about what they’re reading. Before long you may find that being surrounded by books is the shortcut to busting out of your slump.
Find a Friend
Reading is typically a pretty solo kind of activity, but sometimes a little company can be the cure you’re looking for. Team up with a friend and tackle a book together. Make a mini-book club, read a chapter a day and then meet up to discuss. Alternatively, find a fellow book lover who is also a good listener. Take it in turns to read to each other – a creative approach to beating the reading blues.
See It & Then Read It
As leading Australian bookseller Dymocks suggests in their blog post – there’s no better way to cure a reading slump than to watch a movie and then read the book to compare storylines and details. Luckily, 2016 is an exciting year for book lovers and movie buffs alike thanks to the myriad of book to movie adaptations coming out on the big screen. Think Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train and Dan Brown’s Inferno. If you’re extra committed, read the book BEFORE seeing the movie.
If you’re really struggling to enjoy reading but are missing the world of books, then audio readers are a great alternative. These days most of your favourite authors will have recorded audio versions of their work. Download the file and let fiction filter into your brain via your ears! This can be the exact kind of halfway point to help you survive the slump.
Getting stale is a common reason that many book lovers find themselves stuck in a reading slump. No matter how much you love Harry Potter, the Chamber of Secrets doesn’t seem so exciting the tenth time round. If it’s all feeling a little too familiar, why not try a new genre? A rom-com reader may suddenly be blown away by the world of sci-fi and vice versa! They say variety is the spice of life, so don’t be afraid to put that into practice! Ask for recommendations from friends and family, and prepare for an exciting experiment ahead.