How to Get Out of a Reading Rut

Last month I was absolutely in a reading rut. Hence why I only managed to finish one book as opposed to my usual 4-6.

I picked up multiple books in April, but would always tap out around the 100 page mark. Nothing held my interest and I couldn’t seem to find a book on my shelf to bring me out of it.

I even skipped my Book of the Month box* in April because I didn’t want to add even more books to my TBR shelf that I knew I wouldn’t get to or be motivated by any time soon.

By the end of the month, I’d almost given up. I was watching more Netflix and TV than ever (that Scandal season finale was INSANE) and ended my nights scrolling through Instagram instead of in a book.

Reading slumps usually happen to me if I’m trying too hard to finish certain books or after I finish a book so good that I can’t pick up something new and jump into another world just yet (a true book hangover).

Still, doing a few key things usually helps bring me out of a rut and back into a good read.

Fall back to old favorites

For me, there are a few books and authors I know I can always rely on for a good read, regardless of my reading mood. This typically means Harry Potter, some Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park specifically), or an Emily Giffin novel (Babyproof is my favorite by her, so far). It’s even better if you can reread a book you always know and love. Sometimes it takes going backwards a bit to move forward to something new.

Keep it light

Heavy books or ones that intimidate me definitely don’t help ending my reading ruts. I know we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover or length, butt that’s hard to do during a reading slump. A young adult contemporary read usually does the trick for me –and a smaller book at that. I recently read Jenny Han’s Always and Forever Lara Jean in one day. A big shift from my April reading.

Read with friends

Sometimes you need someone else to help motivate you to the finish line. Pick a book that you and a friend have both been wanting to read and work through it together. Plan a mini book club meeting to discuss what you liked and didn’t like about the book.

Step outside of your comfort zone

Mixing it up can be a good way to get yourself back into a reading routine. Try a new author or genre that you wouldn’t typically reach for. Or ask a friend with different reading tastes to recommend something that they’ve enjoyed recently. It helps to take the pressure off of yourself to choose the perfect book so that you can focus on reading.

Visit a bookstore or library

Have you ever walked into a library or bookstore just to browse and then walk out with a bag full of books and a really long receipt you didn’t plan for? It happens, book stores and libraries have that effect. Visit a local bookstore in your neighborhood and wander the shelves for a bit.

Wanting to read more is great, but I still say you should never keep reading a book you don’t like for the sake of finishing it. Don’t be afraid to put something down and try another read until you’re back into the swing of things.

What do you do to help get out of a reading slump? Share you tips in the comments!

* This Book of the Month link is an affiliate link.

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  1. These are all great suggestions. I’ve also been in a bit of reading rut lately. Mostly because the books I’ve been reading are all self-help/motivational/heavy reading material. What worked for me was picking up the trashy paperback novel my dad got me for Christmas (bless his soul, so sweet, and yet so oblivious to my preferences.) But it was EXACTLY what I needed. Some silly little novel about three women and their lives in California. But it helped. I’ve busted through 300 pages in the last two days, which is more than I can say in the last two months with other books.

    • Great post! I’ve been in such a rut too. All I read are self-help books and listen to self-help podcasts and I think I’m in self-help overload. I’ve decided to take a step back and get back to reading what I want to read instead of what I “should”.

      • Sometimes, that just what you need. I always read when I’m in the mood and I think that’s why I enjoy reading so much!

    • Haha sometimes you just have to reach for the silly romantic contemporary with the over dramatized plot to get you back into the swing of things. What novel are you blazing through?

      • It’s called “The Girls of Mischief Bay” by Susan Macias. Finished it up on Sunday, and now I’m itching to dive back into my Fitzgerald anthology. 🙂

  2. I usually go for a thriller/mystery or a light YA novel if I’m in a reading slump! Sometimes if I’ve read “too much,” I’ll give myself a one or two day break from reading before picking up a new book. Putting down books I’m not feeling is something that I’ve been trying to get better at over the last few years. I used to NEVER abandon books. But you know what? There are too many GOOD books out there to spend time reading one you’re just not that into. We all know how long TBRs get 😛 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s