I’m in a pretty awful reading slump right now, and its getting me on my nerves … I mean: I want to read! Reading is my ultimate way to relax and it feels weird to only have read two books this month (one of which was a reread). I had a minor reading slump last year, so fortunately I know a few tricks to get out of one …
There are two things that almost always help: reread and/or short books. Here I my top 5 rereads to get you out of your reading slump!
Harry Potter-series by J.K. Rowling
My most reread books, obvs … When I’m in a reading slump I’m nearly always very stressed. Uni, work, the future – you name it. It makes me feel uncomfortable enough and I don’t really want to try anything new, just feel comforted. What better book to read than one of Rowling’s masterpieces? I already know them inside and out (and I can probably cite them both in Dutch and English – but don’t ask me to!), but I can still be in awe of the amazing story Rowling has created. Major plus: there are seven of them, yay!
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Next to my beloved Harry Potter-books, Tolkien’s The Hobbit is probably the most reread book on my shelves. It is always categorised as a ‘children’s book’, but honestly, it’s ageless (as all good children’s books should be). The Lord of the Rings trilogy can be quite daunting at times (tell me about it!), but The Hobbit is a good example of a well told and coherent story that leaves you wanting more at the same time. I think Tolkien did a wonderful job of making the journey of the dwarves and Bilbo as a story on its own and at the same time introducing you to the story of the Lord of the Rings.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Austen is always a good idea and Pride and Prejudice is the novel I reread the most. Austen (like Rowling and Tolkien) isn’t for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for a love story and a fierce heroin who knows her own mind, this is the one for you. If you’re more into the somewhat shorter books, I can heartily recommend both Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Pick the latter if you like to read gothic romance and the first if you’re in for a very slow boiling romance with a killer love testimony that is definitely swoon-worthy. No thanks.
Narnia by C.S. Lewis – or any children’s book
Children’s books are always a good idea. The Chronicles of Narnia, consisting of seven books in total, are fairly short. You can read one book in one sitting easily, which makes you feel like you have actually achieved something (always good). Moreover, reading the whole series doesn’t take you as long as the Harry Potter series … If Narnia isn’t really your thing, you could also go for my hero Roald Dahl: his stories are a great read for both children and adults. Reading his work always makes me realise that it is very hard indeed to write a good children’s story.
Small, short and sweet
Something that definitely makes my day, is finishing a book and marking it as ‘have read’ on Goodreads. I know, I’m silly like that, but everyone loves a good list and loves the feeling of achieving something, right? So, one of my top tips is to look for a certain series like the Penguin Essentials, Penguin English Library or the Penguin Little Black Classics. The Little Black Classics are all very short, and the Essentials and the English Library have fairly short novels or stories as well. Take H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine for example: perfect for a first encounter with science fiction, short and very readable. Another book you could easily read in one sitting: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (DO read that one, especially if you love Jane Eyre or want to read Jane Eyre) or, my current read, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
I have no experience with reading poetry, although I would really love to actually try and read poetry. Short stories or poems are, I think, perfect ways to keep on reading. Any recommendations?
What is your #1 tip to get yourself out of a reading slump?