Click. The rumble of boiling water sounds as the electric kettle goes off. I plop a bag of chamomile tea into my favorite blue mug, pour the steamy hot water over it, and indulge in the calming herbaceous aroma. I snuggle up with my tea and Kindle e-reader in a warm blanket on the armchair, which is tucked into the secluded alcove in the living room. My roommates and I have created a reading nook there, complete with a side table, a faux fur rug, and twinkle lights. It’s any bibliophiles’ ideal respite from a long day.
All is well until I’ve gone through my Kindle library and found nothing I want to read.
Even the most avid readers will probably experience a reading slump at least once in their lives. It’s inevitable. And it’s painful. Reading is an incredible pastime that can allow you to experience the best and worst of humanity through the lens of pen and paper (or pixels, your choice). To have that slip away is devastating. Through the years I have experienced my fair share of reading slumps, and hopefully I can pass on some of the wisdom I have gathered from dealing with them.
Sometimes the problem is simple: you have a general idea of what you would like to read, but you don’t have a book that fits that description. I’ve been on the second or third “O” of a Google search looking for new reads before, and I have a better alternative to keep you from such dire straits. My favorite app for finding new books is Goodreads. Not only can you track what books you have read and follow your friends to see what they have read, but you can view tons of book lists compiled by the community. There are lists for everything from “All Time Favorite Romance Novels” to “Best Non-Fiction (no biographies).” You are sure to add a few books to your TBR (to be read) list.
I also know of a few bonus apps if you enjoy ebooks and audiobooks. The Libby app from OverDrive allows you to check out digital books from your library (including the University of Delaware library) as long as you have a library card. Open Library (www.openlibrary.org) has lots of older books that you can check out if you make an account, and Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) has digitized copies of works in the public domain, 100% free, that you can download and keep!
Your fellow bookworms are a fantastic resource to help with reading slumps. Ask your friends about their favorite books, or ones that they are currently reading. That way, once you start the book you can chat with them about it, which can motivate you to keep reading. Alternatively, Youtube and TikTok have incredible reading communities, where people recommend and discuss all kinds of books. Reading can be a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be made all the better when shared with others. I initially read the Twilight saga by Stephanie Myers in middle school. I was underwhelmed then but kept reading for the angsty teen drama. Nowadays, with the resurgence of the series’ popularity on TikTok and the many hours of laughter-filled “it’s so bad it’s good” conversations with my friends and I, it’s become one of my favorite series.
The last piece of advice I will leave with you is that there is no shame in having a reading slump. I will repeat for all of us overachiever Honors students: there is no shame in having a reading slump. Reading for entertainment is your personal choice, and if it isn’t fun for you at the moment then you do not need to force yourself to read. Sometimes it can feel like a competition to be well read, as if you are wasting your precious free time away from class or extracurriculars by not reading. Our schedules get too busy and we get stressed out, and we can’t spare the extra brain power it takes to read. it’s okay to watch a TV show or movie instead. Before you know it, inspiration will strike and you will once again return to literary bliss. It only takes time.
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