Let me start this post by pointing out the irony of my situation. I started drafting this post a while back thinking it’d be a great idea to share the ways in which I personally get out of reading slumps, and as of right now at the moment of posting this I can say I’m finally getting out of a slight slump so, great timing? It wasn’t a “I don’t feel like reading” slump but rather an “I have no time or energy” one. Whatever the case, it happened, I followed my own advise to get out of it, and it worked, so I really hope it works for you too.
Reading slumps are a pain, and we all have our own methods to get out of them. The general consensus is that we just have to ride them out, because forcing ourselves to read can have the opposite effect of what we’re trying to accomplish. While I agree with that view I am also a very impatient person, and as such, I simply cannot wait them out.
My strategy, instead, is to read something where I don’t need all that much brain power, or something that I won’t mind missing some bits from if my brain drifts. Sometimes, even if you don’t adore what you’re reading, you can feel fulfilled after finishing a book and it’ll help pull you out of a slump. I know this might sound a bit bizarre and like it defeats the purpose of reading in the first place, but it usually works wonders for me.
What to Read?
There are some genres and formats that I find are the best to get me out of a slump. Here, I’ve divided them into broad categories and I’ve recommended five books for each one. I’ve tried to give varied recommendations within my possibilites—I’ve read a finite number of books and obviously there are many that I have read that I wouldn’t recommend.
This is going to be a long list—much longer than my usual ones—so let’s get into it right away!
This is hands down my favourite way to get out of a slump, I find it to be a super effective way to get back into reading. Audiobooks allow me to read whilst I’m doing other stuff, so they are perfect for when I don’t have much time to seat down and read. I have to admit that audiobooks have totally revolutionised my reading in the best possible way, and it’s mainly thanks to them that I can read a lot.
NOTE: I must point out that although I have this category for audiobooks, many of my recommendations for other ways to get out of a slump are also books I read in audiobook format.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
I picked this up because everyone was talking about it and the title is very intriguing. This was very short but highly enjoyable. I listened to it in a few hours and it was a super entertaining story that also made me feel accomplished for having finished it so fast, always the best feeling.
Sadie by Courtney Summers
I’ve talked about this book in many occasions, but the thing is that it really took me by surprise. I hoped to like it, but it surpassed my expectations. This was an incredibly gripping thriller that I didn’t want to put down. Despite the subject matter being very heavy, it is a beautifully crafted novel. Don’t forget to check the trigger warnings before jumping in.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Another dark yet captivating read. Just like with Sadie I didn’t want to stop reading this despite the themes it deals with. This was fascinating and uncomfortable, but if you like this type of books, this will definitely help getting out of a slump. Once again, make sure to check out the trigger warnings.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Will I ever get tired of raving about this book? Probably not. If you plan on reading this make sure you have time, because if you’re anything like me you will stop your life and obligations until you’re done with this book.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
I will admit I had really high expectations for this and it didn’t quite meet them. However, this was a fun and cute read that kept me entertained, so I can’t really ask for more.
This is an interesting category, because many of the books in here aren’t my favourites by any means, but still, hearing about celebrities’ lives is always interesting. I really don’t consider myself to be a nosey person, but for some reason, I found myself only able to consume this type of books at the beginning of the year. This list mostly sums up my January reading.
A Work in Progress by Connor Franta
This is, by definition, a youtuber book, but it gives off a different vibe. Although I’ve followed Connor for years, I had no inclination to read this book. Then I picked it up for some reason, and I must admit I had a good time reading it. It also helped with the slump situation, so let’s all cheer to that.
Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness
If I had to tell you to read one book from this category, it would 100% be this one. I absolutely adored every single second of it. Jonathan is such a charismatic person and it really shone through in his book.
Am I recommending a book I gave 1,5 stars to and that had me constantly rolling my eyes? Yes, yes I am. This was super short—I read most of it while dusting some shelves—and once again, it made me feel accomplished—which is what we want to get out of a slump. Plus, some of her anecdotes were okay.
Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me by Lily Collins
I had heard some good things about this book, and Lily Collins has always seemed to me like a reserved public figure, so I was curious to pick this up. I enjoyed it for the most part, and there were even some parts that I think about to this day.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Although enjoying her films and liking her interviews, I really had no idea about Anna Kendrick’s life. This was like listening to a friend telling you a story, which made it super easy to listen to. It was fun and I did chuckle a few times while reading it.
By light contemporary I don’t mean that these books can’t deal with harsh topics, but that they do so while keeping an overall positive tone. Most are romance or coming-of-age stories.
The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert
Aaah, Talia Hibbert. Her books are a guaranteed great time. I’m making my way through them slowly because I don’t want to run out. I loved this a lot and I absolutely flew through it because it was simply that good. Fake relationship trope? It’s a yes from me.
The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu
This is my current saviour, the book I chose to get me out of this slight slump, and I’m happy to report it’s doing the job! I’m always a bit hesitant to read straight romance but I find that, lately, this category has been improved by new stories. The Donut Trap is a great time and it comes out November 2nd!
Loveless by Alice Oseman
I had to at least include an Alice Oseman book because they are the MVPs of getting me out of slumps. Their books are engaging and always deal with self-discovery themes which are always fascinating to explore through the lens of the protagonist. Loveless is a perfect example of that.
I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver
This might be one of my favourite contemporaries I’ve ever read. It’s a coming-of-age story that deals with many issues—from identity to family. It was a truly enjoyable read and one that I devoured in one day because I simply couldn’t put it down. Perfect to get out of a reading slump.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Another fantastic coming-of-age novel. Felix Ever After, despite dealing with harsh themes such as cyberbulling, gave me the most wonderfully warm feelings. I had extremely high expectations for this book, and it met every single one of them.
Books in Verse and Poetry
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a huge poetry/verse reader. However, there have been some books in this format that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and they’re perfect to get out of a slump.
Considering that I’m a huge Halsey fan, it comes as no surprise at all that I enjoyed this. Her poems were reminiscent of her lyrics while being completely different at the same time.
Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti
Another work I’ve mentioned in previous posts. Goblin Market is a fascinating text, made even more interesting by its interpretations. I read this for class and then for my own enjoyment, and I can say I still think about it to this day.
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
I picked this book up on a whim because it was available on Scribd, and I loved it so much. The story was engaging and the pacing was great, which made this a perfect one-day read.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
This is possibly the harsher and most unsettling book in this category. However, it’s a very engrossing story that will have you glued to the page. The concept is also extremely unique, since the story takes place in the span of an elevator ride.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
A quick, fast-paced story about slam poetry. If you have the chance to listen to this on audio, I highly advise you do. It is read by the author, who is a slam poet herself, and she brings this to life.
Short Stories, Novellas, and Plays
This type of reads are always fantastic to get out of reading slumps because they’re so short that finishing them makes you feel accomplished and pushes you to read more!
Surrender: An Erotic Short by Rilzy Adams
I talked about this recently in my September Wrap-Up. Surrender is a super steamy short story, perfect for if you’re into erotica—or even if you aren’t.
Fear, and Other Love Languages by Aveda Vice
Another book from my September Wrap-Up. Aaand another erotica. However, this one comes with a twist, since it’s erotic horror—a genre that I would highly advise you to try if you haven’t. This was equal parts sexy and horrifying.
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
This story is my favourite Poe one I’ve read. For full disclosure, I picked this up because I kept seeing memes about it on twitter (what better reason is there to read a book?), and I actually quite enjoyed it. Despite not being my absolute favourites, Poe’s stories are always a good time.
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
I’ve always found Oedipus’ myth really fascinating, so obviously, I really enjoyed this play. I listened to a dramatised audiobook, and it absolutely was the right decision. It’s a story that you won’t want to put down because there’s constantly something going on.
The Deep by Rivers Solomon
I originally picked this up because it’s narrated by Daveed Diggs, whom I adore, and based on one of his band’s—called clipping.—songs. This was a very unique short story that deals with intergenerational trauma. Despite the topic, it’s a very fast read.
This is a fantastic way to get out of a slump. Graphic novels are quick to read plus they’re filled with gorgeous art, which always makes for an incredible reading experience.
Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu
This graphic novel imitates the form of a vlog, with the protagonists talking to us as if talking to a camera. It is a unique format that works wonders. Additionally this is available as a webcomic so you can start it right now if you wish!
The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neill
This is the perfect fast read. It’s an absolutely stunning series that deals with a variety of topics, with great diverse representation. And on top of everything else, it has little adorable dragons.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Another book I picked up on a whim (you can tell I do that a lot) and that I absolutely adored. I’m pretty sure I cried all the way through reading this because I was just that happy. This is simply fantastic, and I highly advise you to give it a chance if you haven’t already.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
I couldn’t not mention Heartstopper. This graphic novel series is one that never fails to bring me joy and put me in a great mood. It’s super fast to get through and the characters are all fantastic and lovable and will make the reading experience all the more great. Also available as a webcomic!
Jackass! by Scarlet Beriko
Finally, a manga recommendation. I borrowed this from a friend and I read it in its entirely on the bus trip back home. This was lots of fun and the right amount of naughty. Additionally, I was a big fan of the art style.
What is your method to get out of a reading slump? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?