People used to frown at me whenever they saw me slipping a book into my bag wherever I went, be it a journey or a party. My friends and family knew me well enough to buy my favourite books and bookmarks on my birthday and help me by not letting me go broke trying to buy originals. I could talk about books all day and judge people who thought the movie was better than the book it was based on. But that's all in the past.
We all have been through reading slumps in our life, even the most dedicated readers. There have been days when the words that seemed so magical and captivating before couldn't capture our attention. We picked up a book only to toss it aside to do something else. As for me, I couldn't pick up and finish a book at one go and it took me weeks, sometimes even months to finish one book, whereas I used to finish multiple books a week at one time. My TBR list piled up to the point where I couldn't even actively participate in a conversation related to books apart from seeing random memes about the fandom.
Then one day, a friend asked me what I was reading lately and I realised that I had no answer to that question because it has been quite long since I've picked up a book. This year, one of my resolutions was to get out of the dreaded reading slump. To reignite my love for books, these are some of the methods I followed and found useful.
Re-reading your favourite series: Roald Dahl, J. K. Rowling and Satyajit Ray are few of my most favourite childhood writers. Whenever I feel like I can't shake back the negative feelings that come with the reading slump, I pick up Matilda or The Adventures of Feluda, the books I used to read when I was a kid. It always lifts my mood instantly.
Setting reading goals: It doesn't have to be something over-the-top, rather start by setting small goals. It can be one book per week or 100 books a year. Maybe if you're feeling too confident, you can take up the one book a day challenge. Slowly you'll see yourself making it through your TBR list.
Reorganise your shelf: Get rid of the clutter, sell them if needed or give them away. There are multiple platforms and groups on Facebook where you can sell and exchange books.
Try magazines: This is something I found particularly useful. Seeing how dreadful I felt after not making any progress with my resolutions, one of my best friends dragged me to Nilkhet and bought me magazines. Maybe it was the colourful illustrations or the short articles that helped, but somehow, I didn't find myself tossing them aside after I started reading them. Try magazines, graphic novels, or comics – something that will be easy on the eye and won't bore you.
Update your TBR list and change your reading habits: When asked the reason for getting stuck in a reading slump, most of us answer that we don't find books enticing anymore. Well, sometimes that does happen when we keep following one genre and as a result get used to a singular pattern. If you're into YA novels, try reading thrillers or autobiographies for a change. If you're accustomed to reading hardcovers or e-books, change to audiobooks for a different experience. It will never be as good as reading the book yourself, but it's worth a shot.
Try writing reviews: Writing after reading a book might help you get over the slump. It can be a review or a fan fiction. Just write down what you liked or did not like about a book, summarise your experience, relive your favourite part of the book or describe your favourite characters. Post it on literary discussion forums to hear what other people have to say.
As an avid reader, nothing is more excruciating than going through a reading slump. But all of us go through it at some point in our life, so there's nothing to worry about.
Aateeya Saabeen, who scarily resembles a koala in looks and in sleeping patterns, likes to take day-long walks with her lobster. She believes her Hogwarts letter got lost in the mail because they misspelled her name. Leave her a message at www.facebook.com/aateeya.saabeen