Monday, January 23, 2017

Reading Ruts: Why They Happen and Tips on Getting Through Them

Reading Ruts or Reading Slumps.  They're horrible things.  They sneak up on you when you least expect it, and no matter how many books you pick up and try and read, they stop you at every instance.  I know.  I've just come out of one.  This one lasted for a good few months.  I'd almost say a year if i'm going to be totally honest. 
I'm a big reader, always have been, but there is a cycle all readers go through where books just aren't the centre of their world.  At least for a while.  It could last just days, or even weeks.  I've had a dry spell that lasted a few years before I came back around to reading again.  (Admittedly clubbing and all that jazz with turning 18 didn't help)

So why does this happen?

It could be a number of things.  You may have other things that take priority and reading gets pushed to the bottom of your to do list and then by the end of the day you don't "feel" like reading. 

You have too many tv shows to watch/catch up on to sit and read.  This is a big one.  I love my reading, I do.  But if given the choice (especially lately because of the awesome tv shows out there) to sit and watch mind numbing tv or pick up a book and read.... I'm choosing the easy option. 

Maybe you are just all read out.  The year before you might have read so many great books that you are burnt out and need a break.   

Whatever the reason, reading ruts suck.  But there are a few things you could try that might help break out this.

  1. Swap out the way you read.  If you read books the old fashioned way with a real book, try a kindle or an audio book or vice versa.  You might find this will spark the love for reading once more.
  2. Pick up your favourite book and reread.  I don't tend to reread books too often because there are so many on my TBR list, but there are a handful that I have read more than once.  (I am Messanger by Marcus Zusak to name at least one)  Picking up a book that you know you'll enjoy could be the kick in the arse you need to get back into reading.  
  3. Go to the Library or Bookshop.  Sometimes browsing books could spark a want for reading.  At the very least you could pick up some books you would normally read, and then when you break out of the rut, they'll be there waiting!
  4. Read something different.  Be it a new Genre / author or a shorter or longer piece of work.  You may find the change refreshing!
  5. Watch movies based on books.  Doing the complete opposite of reading could be the change needed.  If you are stuck on ideas you could check out some of the ones I've blogged about here!
  6. Check out Book Blogs.  This is a big one.  Another reader's enthusiam about a book could trigger your own love of books again.  If a book blogger highly recommends a book, maybe give it a go.  It might or might not be up your ally but stepping outside the box might be needed.  A tip within a tip - Look for reviews that mention books that a quick paced and step right into the action from the word go.  If you can find a recommendation for something that holds your attention easily, it could make it easier to stick with the book until the end.
  7. Stop trying to read.  Yeah, yeah!  I get it.  But sometimes when you force yourself to read to get back into things, it can have the reverse effect and make that reading rut go for longer.  Try doing something else and not think about reading.  Come back to a book you had looked forward to reading every now and then to see if it holds your attention.  
Just remember, reading ruts are temporary.  Once a reader always a reader!  So if you find yourself in a rut with no end in sight, try the above tips.  It will pass.  And when it does, look out :)


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