Get over your reading slump in 7 simple steps.

#Book Bloggers/Reviewers edition

So you are a book blogger/ reviewer on top of your game then one day you wake up and every book you read bores you. There is no excitement and reading a book seems like a chore you’d rather avoid. Days later, the feeling is not going away and you are now panicking because you have too many Arcs that need to be completed.

You are even afraid of opening your e-mail in case you see that your request on Netgalley has been accepted and another book has been added to the pile. So what are you supposed to do?
Well, for starters take a deep breath and relax because you are not alone. Many readers face this problem all the time.

Personally, I get a reading slump once a year. This year’s however has been worse than usual. It lasted for almost a month and even right now there are still traces of it, lingering like a nasty hangover. I could easily feel the symptoms but I chose to ignore them hoping that the whole thing would go away.

I was in the middle of a long list of Arcs that I needed to complete and a reading slump was the last thing I wanted to entertain. Days later, I couldn’t even read ten pages without spacing out. It was official, I was suffering from a reading slump.

Generally reading slumps suck, but when they happen to a book blogger/ reviewer it feels like a special kind of torture.

 Every time I opened my Epub reader I felt a little ill. All the books I had happily requested and received from authors and publishers were now turning out to be a burden which I wanted to get rid of. I wished I could make all the books disappear in that moment but that was obviously not possible so, I did the next best thing.

 I spent hours online searching for ways to instantly get over my slump. The advice was all the same but it did nothing for me hence the month old suffering. Eventually I had to accept that this was something I had to work through in order to get over. So I came up with these 8 steps through trial and error to help me get over my reading slump. I hope that they will help you get over yours too.  

Step 1:  Stop Reading.

Stop reading at once! Stepping away from your books is the best thing at this point since forcing yourself to read will only make things worse. I learnt this the hard way but you don’t have to.

Step 2: Stop the Review Requests

Write an announcement on your blog that you will not be accepting review requests. You can write this on your Review Policy page or anywhere else you are sure it will be seen by everyone. Don’t fall into the trap of not doing this like I did the first time. I had convinced myself that I would be able to say no when authors and publishers contacted me. You can guess how that went. I found myself with three more books because they were too interesting for me to turn down. Eventually I just had to put up the announcement when the requests kept coming.

If the requests keep appearing even after the notice, reply with something like, “I am not receiving review requests at this time. I will notify you when I start again nevertheless, I’d like to thank you for considering me as a reviewer for your book.”

Step 3: Ask for an Extension

Ask for an extension from the author or publisher who gave you the book. This is important especially if you had a deadline for the review. Apologize and ask for a few more weeks to submit your review. This is better than submitting an awful review that might reflect badly on you just because you didn’t read the book properly.

Step 4: Stay Busy

Now with all that out of the way, I suggest you stay away from anything book related at least for a week. Find something else to keep you busy during this time. Work on that other hobby you’ve neglected or finally follow the common advice most bookaholics receive, “Get out of the house and make friends!” Once you’ve finished your week, go to a book related site and check out some of the new books.

 I used Goodreads to check out new books and what people were saying about them. Read all the fangirling reviews you can get but stay away from the negative ones since this is about working up your excitement for books. Don’t and I repeat don’t add any of the books to your shelf, cart or anything like that. You are just looking, so don’t commit to any of these books at this point.

Step 5: Pick a Book

Take a look at the books on your shelf (this applies to your e-book shelf as well). Pick the first book that catches your attention. Open the one that screams “pick me” first. Remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be your favorite book for you to read it. Personally, the book that caught my eye was Wonder by Cameron Jace. It is not exactly a favorite, but it was a book I liked and I ended up completing it and the rest of the series as well.

Step 6: Slowly ease yourself back to your reading routine

If you have any trouble reading the book you chose, get another one from your shelf. If you are still having trouble reading it, go back to step 4 and try again. If you have succeeded in reading your book, slowly ease yourself back to reading the books you had quit in step 1.

Don’t remove the announcement you made in step 2 until you are able to read and write reviews for half of these books.

Step 7: Back to the old you!

If you are able to successfully complete step 6 then you can proudly pronounce yourself cured. Celebrate by taking down your announcement and announcing that you are open for business. Enjoy every book you read and review because that is the way it is supposed to be.


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