Should We Fight or Surrender to the Reading Slump?

Posted January 17, 2019 by Clo

person trying to sleepReading slumps suck, period. A reader’s worst enemy is probably a reading slump. If it were a person, they’d be badly beaten from all of us readers, venting our anger out at the slump.

Anyway, with me still in my reading slump, which has been here, since August 2017, it got me thinking about reading slumps.

Should we fight it and read anyway, risk hating books we’d have otherwise liked/loved? Or should we surrender, not knowing when the slump will be over?

A Reading Slump is ALWAYS Inconvenient But…

No matter the time, month, day or hour a reading slump is never convenient for us. We want to be reading, I mean we don’t have enough time to read as it is. How on earth are we supposed to get round to the 467329023923 books on our TBR’s, when we’re slumping?

Despite slumps always being a pain in the ass, sometimes they can help us realise a few things, about what we’re doing to ourselves. If your slump happened through a really good book, then you get to learn that loving a book that much causes slumps. Helpful, I know haha, but it does happen now and then.

A slump can happen through life events as well as reading a few bad books back to back. Now both of these things, we can’t really control and that’s okay. Life happens and sadly it can and does interfere with our reading life. Bad books back to back, is just downright frustrating because we probably had high hopes for them. Only they flopped and have left us in a slump.

How To Ward A Reading Slump Off

Rereading can help if you begin to spot the signs of a slump…of course, if you don’t reread; you could always try and sacrifice the books you hated. In exchange for the slump to pass you by. *shrugs*

Symptoms Of A Reading Slump

  • You’re struggling to focus on a book
  • You don’t know what to read because nothing will be as good as the book you just finished!
  • You have no willpower to pick up a book
  • You’re doing everything but reading…weird?

When You Should Surrender

I’m not about to tell you, to go forth and fight your reading slump, I mean you’re fighting yourself here. As I’ve been in a reading slump since August 2017, here’s what I’ve learned.

My slump happened due to life events, the pressure I was putting on myself to review books…I mostly have just surrendered to it. I’ll read when I have the energy to read, and overall I’m not forcing myself to pick up a book.

I trust in my gut, myself that there’ll come a time again when the slump has passed, that I’ll have my mojo back. Hell hath no fury like a book dragon deprived of books, so I’ll be consuming books at an alarming rate at some point I’m sure.

If you’re faced with a slump, think about this, what caused it? Can I reread to pull myself out of it? Is there anything I can do stop this? If your answer to the last one is no…surrender to it.

It’s not nice to not be reading books, but sometimes we drain ourselves out from stressing over our own lives and fictional lives. Something’s gotta give…and until we can figure out how to turn reality off. We gotta turn that book off.

How do you tackle your reading slumps? What’s the longest slump (not reading at all or struggling to read… but still reading) you’ve endured?


Contributor at Bookwyrming Thoughts | Website

Clo is a 19-year-old book dragon from the UK, England primarily found on her own blog, Cuppa Clo. She studied Graphic and Digital Design. Sarcasm is her default, and she's addicted to tea. Oh, and she'd rather you didn't save her from a dragon.

She's also a Co-Founder of Bookend Events, a quarterly event with the aim to bring the bookish community, closer together.

Categories: Books

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37 responses to “Should We Fight or Surrender to the Reading Slump?

  1. Clo

    Yassss it totally should be on a mug or t-shirt haha, I’d have both and use them proudly. Oof I can relate to that Isabelle, I know my reading will come back to me just gotta have some trust in myself that it’ll happen hehe. I don’t think I could read ARC’s I’m having a hard enough time reading the review request books that came in last year *looks at them guilty* I just can’t handle feeling under pressure to read

  2. My reading slumps recently have always occurred when life hasn’t been great and I’ve not been in the right headspace to read. I’ve surrendered to these because I did not want to force myself to read and make things worse, but if it’s just a normal slump I’ll switch up my reading process, or re-read a favourite book and hope that will get me out of a slump.

    • Clo

      Totally agree with that method, I’m the same if my slump is caused by a book or something which isn’t relating to life. Then I’ll usually switch up what I’m reading or reread a book to help pull me out of the slump.

  3. Reading slumps can be a bloggers worst nightmare because without reviews, we have to find that creativity when posting to keep our content fresh and relatable. I’ve found over the eyars that the more you try to push yourself, the worse it becomes because you’re anxious. Reading should be an enjoyable experience and if you’re not feeling that, I’m all throwing that book away and getting out to see the world, finding a new hobby in the meantime or just getting your Netflix on even. Reading is something you’ll likely come back to if you don’t force it. It’s a real dilemma though and something we’ve all experienced. Great post Clo!

    • Clo

      Thanks Kelly and I totally agree, thankfully I don’t rely too much on reviews being a main source of content on my blog. But I totally still get that problem for others 🙂

  4. I have never been in this situation since I started only reading books I wanted to and by resisting hyped books. I also find that shorter books are better (under 500 pages), because my reward, the ending, is closer than in a BIG book.

    • Clo

      Huh that’s a good point, something else which helps me with larger books is being able to see how much I’ve already read, and how much I have left to go. That helps me usually not fall into a slump, I try to read the books I want to read sometimes I get tempted by hyped books although, I usually wait a while before I read them.

  5. I feel like for me a lot of reading slumps for me come from whenever I treat reading like it’s my job rather than something I do for fun, especially when I’ve got other things going on? More of a symptom than an actual problem, I guess… (I think I get more into reviewing slumps than reading slumps?) I kind of read by mood so reading slumps are probably just part of it, when I’m not in the mood for something in particular.

    • Clo

      hmmm interesting, see I’ve noticed my slumps can also be caused when I’m overthinking how I “have” to review the book at the end, which is ridiculous since I don’t have to review it if I don’t want too. Mood reading is a pain, I’m probably a mood reader too since I’m super inconsistent with reading.

  6. I usually reread some old favorites to get my reading mojo back. If that doesn’t work, I try reading something outside my normal genre. That usually does the trick.

    • Clo

      Yasssss rereading old favourites 9/10 times will help pull me out of a slump, it’s nice to be able to revisit a favourite book and world to be honest.

  7. Oh I love your take on this – this is something we don’t think about often. It’s true that the circumstances around the reading slump matter ; For exemple, After reading too many english books in a row my brain just started to get tired and every book afterward felt flat… my solution? going back to read in french ! That was the needed cure for that “event”, which can be different for different people or event.

    • Clo

      That’s so interesting Kristina, so I’m guessing your brain gets tired because English isn’t your first language and it’s working twice as hard to help you understand the English? I mean, it’d make sense to switch back to French as a solution 🙂

  8. Great post! Before blogging I didn’t really consider them reading slumps. I just thought of it as phases where I read non-stop and phases where I didn’t read at all. It just depended on my mood and I just went with it! My last reading slump I kickstarted myself out of it by reading a bunch of picture books that I got free from the “Read Now” section of Net Galley. They were easy and quick and kind of re-set my reading mood.

    • Clo

      That’s awesome, and yeah I guess before I started blogging I didn’t consider them slumps either. Having said that, I actually read more before I had a blog…and wasn’t as prone to slumps *sniffs* very frustrating

  9. I have been in a slump since January 2 and have surrendered to it. Honestly I feel a lot better this time around about it, normally I am whining and trying to read but this time I am just like “meh, not in the mood. It’ll happen eventually.”

    • Clo

      ugh *hugs you* I mean my slump from Aug is still lingering around at the moment, but I’m mostly able to read if I set aside some time and focus on doing that.

  10. I’m pretty lucky and I’ve never really dealt with a book slump. I don’t think you should just anything if you aren’t feeling like reading, because you probably WOULD end up hating books you’d otherwise love. If you can re-read, do that! Or try a new genre! Or read really short books! Or just let it be and read when you get the urge.


    • Clo

      Oof you are lucky Lauren, reading slumps are evil. I tend to reread usually or I’ll pick up a book I’m 90% sure I’ll love to read. Recently though I’ve let it be and I pick up a book when the urge to read kicks in

  11. Reading slumps are so hard! I found that a book with an emotional jolt helps. Usually something laugh out loud funny or a favorite character in a series. Great discussion Clo! ❤️❤️

    • Clo

      That’s a good point Dani, emotional jolts can help…having said that I think I’ve gotten more mushy since books are more prone to making me cry now haha. Thanks Dani <3

  12. Personally, I prefer to fight reading slumps! I totally get your point, so this is just a subjective opinion of mine. 🙂 I find that, for me, when I give in to the slump, it’ll probably take me months before I feel the urge to pick something up again. When I fight through it, I usually end up enjoying something again in a few weeks! But the problem with the latter is probably that I won’t be “wowed” by a book since my desire to read is forced. GAH, maybe I need a looooong hiatus from reading? D:

    • Clo

      Oof Aimee, I feel that I think sometimes taking a break from reading is actually helpful? It’s crazy I know, but when you stop trying to force yourself to read you can enjoy other things. Catch up on things you’ve let get stacked up too high, or if you have ARCs maybe read them? Or if it’s the ARCs which caused it switch to reading something else…like a backlist book.

  13. I surrender to it when it happens, if I keep trying to push through it to no avail. Surrendering is akin to giving myself mercy or a reminder that, no, reading is not a chore or required.

    Interesting fact: During hot weather (e.g. summertime), our brains process things less and more slowly, so trying to force ourselves to read through it regardless can do more harm than good.

    I tend to not read during the summertime because of this, or I’ll read just one or two books for the duration of it because I felt like it. Otherwise, I stick to reading during cooler weather, when my brain needs more stimulation than television can provide.

    • Clo

      Yeah, I think it’s super easy for us to switch without realising it, from reading being a hobby to almost a chore. Like we “must” read, when we really don’t have to, it’s something we should choose to do.

      That’s interesting actually, I get more reading done when it’s hot simply because I can’t be on my netbook/laptop or electronics. Since they’re not designed to handle the heat, and being on for the time I am usually, could risk them exploding. So last summer, I got a ton of reading done because it was too hot for me to do anything else other than read.

  14. I don’t think I’ve actually ever had a real, honest slump. Okay, there were some years where I barely read, but that was more due to life being focused on other things. I didn’t even notice I wasn’t reading anymore, so I don’t even count it as a slump? It’s simply life.

    Book hangovers though! Boy, have I had those, haha. The worst one was due to Obsidio. I didn’t want to read anything else. It all sounded bland or boring or I was simply too scared to get sucked in too deep again. I got out of it eventually, by reading some blurbs of books I had yet to read until one of them caught my eye and didn’t let go. I’ve been pretty fine since. 🙂

    I do hope you get out of your reading slump someday! But, like you say, forcing yourself out of it won’t work. It’ll only make it worse.

    • Clo

      Oof book hangovers are also a pain, if it’s not a slump its a hangover haha. Ah thanks, well I’m just reading when I feel like it and not putting pressure on myself to read, it also helps that I just pick up a book that piques my interest. Whether it’s a reread or not, since if I want to read I’m not complaining cause this slump is evil.

  15. Clo

    That’s such a great method Lindsi! Honestly I should do that, since I shove watching TV shows and series to the bottom of my list, with having a blog, reading and everything else. Yeah forcing myself to read I’d also start DNFing more often

  16. Clo

    Oof Heather, I mean I’ve noticed since I started my blog I don’t read as much. I also am prone to slumps more now then before I had a blog. I’d love to read 6/7 books a month in an ideal world, but I’m not I’m sat on about 2/3 atm, don’t try and force yourself into reading. Audiobooks count but I totally get you, I’ve yet to try an audiobook and they scare me because what if the narrator sucks; thus ruining the entire book for me?!

  17. I’ve been really struggling with a book slump around 6 months now. You’re right that life events tend to bring it on, I think it was the case for me and I just find that by the time I’m home I’m so mentally tired I don’t have the energy to read. It’s been a bummer since I have so many new books I want to read, but I’m not fighting it anymore and just pick up a book when I have a little free time. Great discussion post!