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How to Break a Readers Block in 10 Days

My younger cousin is an avid reader. But lately she’s been calling herself a fake because she has been in a long reading slump . She is an English major with a huge to do list during the school year, which I blame for the reading block.  This summer she has been working with me on managing the bookstore inventory, but no matter how many books she touches, she can’t break her book slump, which baffles me.


So to help, we did some research and came up with some ideas for her to try (You know, for science). We searched online, since this happens to every book lover at least once in a lifetime, and found the following to be the most popular recommendations—maybe it can help you next time you notice your to be read (TBR) book stack has become another dust collector in your house.


# 1- Read an old favorite to get the juices going. She tried this one but she kept fighting the urge to jump to the good parts to get it over with. It took a lot of self control.


#2- Switch genre or author.  This was unsuccessful and it can be scary for many since change can be uncomfortable.  Some let luck guide them by trying a blind date with a book. This one can be a little risky for commitment fobs, which she is.  She tends to gravitate to strong female leads, enemies to lovers trope or when they unexpectedly catch feelings for each other. That’s her bread and butter and she’s sticking to it.


#3 - Change format, like book to audio. She thought at first her ADD wouldn’t allow her to focus long enough to follow the story line of an audiobook. But she actually found this enjoyable.  She listened To All Boys I Loved by Jenny Han for a few days, but again lost interest because it was a busy week.

#4- Another recommendation was to set goals. - but the quick answer to this was “Nope, that feels like work. “ which I agree, however for some setting a reading goal, like setting a walking goal, is motivating.  It gives them the push they need to get started.  A good reading goal would be to finish 100 books by end of year as part of your bedtime routine or to listen to one new audiobook every month while commuting to work or while working out.


#5- Start small. Find a story you can read in a weekend to then progress to the bigger books.


#6- Browse the children’s book section.  i.e. picture books? Which can either be very entertaining or just be one more way to get distracted.


#7- Visit your local library or bookstore and talk to other people about what they’re reading.  A book club could be just what you need to get you talking and reading, but for my cousin this would be a Summer thing because during school it would be hard to maintain with her schedule.


#8- Last but not least, I suggested to start in the middle. Usually the good part starts after we get introduced to the characters and plot, so if you jump to where plot thickens, you may get hooked and will have to go back to the beginning to understand how they got to this part. This one worked but not in getting her to go back to the start, but in grabbing her interest until the end, which we know is huge! She was not only hooked but couldn’t wait to keep reading. She felt like her old self, lost in a good story line.  She finished the book and picked a new one to keep it going, which is the best way to break a reading slump.


Once you start, don’t let the party stop! Could any of these help you?


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