Getting Your Reading Groove Back

No matter how big of a reading fiend you are, every now and then, you may find yourself mired in a reading rut. You know, a slump. A funk. A slog of a time where the magic of reading feels way less David Copperfield and way more Gob Bluth.

A library patron raised the question of reading ruts to me recently, and our exchange got me thinking about ways to recapture the magic and get your book-lovin’ groove back:

Go with a sure thing. At least for me, the best slump buster is to read something I’m almost guaranteed to love. The safest way to do this is to pick out something by an author you already know you really dig. Alternatively, you can pick a book from your to-read list that truly excites you, because that’s the goal; to get jazzed about reading again. You don’t want something that just “sounds interesting” or is “kinda cool”; you need a book that really calls to you. A book that’s going to make you actually look forward to reading and choose it over the myriad of other activities and content competing for your attention. The hope is that once you jump start your passion for reading with one of these sure things, you’ll rocket out of your rut and resume reading regularly with renewed rapture.

Bring back an old reliable. If you can’t find something new that really gets you pumped, try giving one of your all-time favorites another read. Revisiting something that gave you one of your best ever reading experiences is bound to stoke the flames in your reading soul. I would caution against getting too wrapped up in old favorites, because that could lead to a different kind of rut, one akin to rewatching the same comforting TV shows again and again. Read one or two of the old hits and then get back to exploring new stuff.

Try a shorty. When you’re in the middle of a period of lowered reading zest, sometimes the mere prospect of reading a full 300-400 page novel is enough to keep you out of the game. Reading something short is a great way to get in and out of a good story quickly without getting bogged down by the weight of commitment to a full length novel. On a similar note, graphic novels, while not always necessarily short in length, are generally quick reads, so knocking out a few of them can really help you build some reading momentum.

Try something totally different. If your rut is more of the comfort-induced variety described in point number two, totally ignore my suggestions from points one and two and fling yourself into the great reading unknown. Try a new author. Try a totally different genre. Try a different format, like audiobooks. However you choose to go about it, expose yourself to something new and give yourself a chance to fall in love with reading from a different angle.

Got any rut-removing, slump-slaying, funk-fixing tips? Let us hear ‘em.


  1. Jennie Blok says:

    I’m there right now… great advice, thanks!


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