I’ve accomplished something great. I finished a book last night. The first book I’ve finished in over a year. According to Goodreads, I’ve read over 1,000 books. I LOVE to read. I just haven’t been able to do it in a very long time.
And I know I’m not alone. I’ve posted memes about reader burnout before and it’s always something that resonates. There are so many of us that love reading but struggle to pick up a book, let alone read one. And for most of us, it’s hard to pinpoint why. Why is it hard to pick up a book and just read it as we’ve done hundreds of times?
I’ve been trying to overcome reader burnout and I believe I’ve found what works for me and I wanted to share it just in case you might find it useful!
Reader Burnout Tip #1
Change up your preferred format. For the last five or so years, audiobooks have been my go-to. I could have headphones in at my old job and I’d go through 2-3 audiobooks a week. It was the best part of my job. I felt like I was getting paid to listen to books. When I quit last year, the book drought started. I love audiobooks and I think they’re such a wonderful way for people to access stories that they might not otherwise – but my brain is tired and I think I needed a break. I’m currently reading an ebook so I encourage you to try something new! If you’re into paperbacks, try an audiobook!
Try different kinds of stories. A few months ago, I discovered webtoons and I fell in love with them. The chapters are short, the storylines are simple (usually!), and the art is pretty. It was a great way to ease back into stories without putting pressure on myself! You can also try manga, comics, poems, or fanfiction.
Re-read the book that made you love reading.
A few weeks ago, I started re-reading Anne of Green Gables. It always makes me so happy and the words fill me with so much joy. It was the first “big kid” book I can remember reading. What was that book for you? See if re-reading it helps you find those happy endorphins.
Try a genre that you wouldn’t normally read. Sometimes we’re burnout out on a genre (even if it’s one we love!). Trying something different can help you get excited about seeing where the story ends up.
Join a book club or reading challenge. I’m competitive and I do better when I have a goal or some sort of accountability even when it’s made up and the only one who knows is me! I’ve challenged myself to read five books by the end of the year!
Use Kindle’s Free Samples
Even if you prefer audiobooks or paperbacks, check out Kindle’s free samples. As long as you have the Kindle app on your phone, you can read the first few chapters of a book for free. That way when you decide to purchase the book (in whatever format!) you’ll find something that’s grabbing your attention.
And finally – read at a different time of day. When I read books in the past, I always read them before bed. It was a nice way to relax and wind down (or for very special books – spend the entire night reading). I’m now old and the reading before bed thing does not work for me anymore, I fall asleep immediately! So I’ve been reading when I wake up and during lunch. Muuuuch better!
I hope these tips for reader burnout were helpful. Don’t give up if they weren’t. You’ll find that magic of reading again.