I’ve always been an eager, enthusiastic reader. I can thank my parents for nurturing in me a voracious appetite for books. The older I got, it wasn’t unusual for me to be reading 9, 10 or 11 books a year.
My parents always used to say ‘love books, and you’ll always have a friend’. That’s true for sure, and I’ve found some books so utterly riveting, it’s been difficult getting into a new book.
As much as I love to read books, lately, I’ve found there are times I can’ even get past another paragraph of a book without getting distracted. Words on a page no longer hit me as hard as they do, and at times I even feel like they are just random words thrown onto a page like an Oxford dictionary.
Reader’s Block is Real
From my research on the subject, it seems many furocious readers experience reader’s block at some point. On Reddit, many threads (such as this and this one) about reader’s block have many people chiming in on their own inability to get past the words of books they were once fond of.
Have any of you ever experienced this before? It just seems ludicrous that I’m bored with books when each one is different.
Complaining about reader’s block to my friend, he gave me some good advice which I feel I should share with you. It certainly put me back into the ‘reading saddle’ again for which I’m really grateful. Here they are:
Take a Break from Reading
No need for alarm – it’s just for a while, and it’s just for the heavier stuff. My friend suggested I take a break from my regular books and read a few light-hearted comics or magazines. Some of them I finished reading in half an hour, but I must say I found the short stories and articles quite refreshingly different.
I actually enjoyed reading for 10 minutes or so before switching over to the big crossword puzzle at the back of the mag for a while. My reader’s block gave me a new interest – filling in crossword puzzles, and that’s a good thing!
Try a new Genre
I’ve been reading fictional books ever since I could remember, and may have just reached the burned-out stage. I just couldn’t admit to myself that I may just have been getting a bit bored.
I now also read auto-biographies of musicians, sports-people and even politicians, and loving it. Some of these books have pictures in them, which I’ve found really refreshing, helping me break free from the sea of words that the books I usually read put me in.
Pick a Different Time
Have you ever thought that maybe it’s simply just not the right time to read? You could be stressed and your mind isn’t tuned into a book. Bide your time and wait until you’re relaxed.
Snack while You Read
I can’t believe that such a simple idea actually helps. I’ve started turning it into a bit of a ritual even – preparing a bowl of popcorn, a few small blocks of cheese and some savory biscuits.
Other days I pander to my sweet tooth and eat chocolates or make a delicious drink. The hot coco or jasmine tea creates a mini getaway for me, tickling my taste buds as the book stimulates my mind.
Move and Try a Different Location
Just like trying a different genre of books may help you get over reader’s block, so may moving to a different location. For me at least, I’ve found it immensely helpful.
Instead of reading my favorite fantasy novel on the couch,, these days, I like to switch up the scenery. When the weather is good, I take my reading adventures into the back yard, or even to the Starbucks down the street.
This is especially helpful for students or those studying- if you’re reading a book that requires a lot of critical thinking, get up every once in a while to stretch and move can do wonders for your reader’s block. Exercise has been proven to help improve concentration, and even simple stretches helps improve blood circulation and cognitive functions.
Summing it Up
If you’re anything like me and you’re just plain burned out on reading, it can be mind-boggling trying to regain that passion. I’d say just take a break from reading, or perhaps just read light hearted stuff for now that doesn’t require much concentration.
Read what interests you, make it enjoyable with a snack or two, and I reckon that pretty soon, you’re going to be ‘A’ for Away, just longing to get back together with your paper- and hardback friends.