Reader Burnout by Natalie

Have you ever read so many books in a row that you feel, god forbid, tired of reading? It’s a strange feeling that can often come after reading a few novels quickly in a short period of time. You may have enjoyed every second of the literature you read, but now it’s as if you’re burnt out on reading entirely. This is completely normal, and happens to me all the time. My interest tends to work in bursts of intense focus and dedication; so when I find a good book, I usually pull some all-nighters and practically enter the story myself. Doing that over and over again can actually get quite exhausting, but I’ve put together a few pieces of advice to keep this from happening to you or get you out of that slump.

  • YouTube has a wonderful side of it called BookTube. This is a small community of dedicated readers/writers who share and discuss the latest and greatest pieces of literature together. There isn’t anything that gets me more fired up to read than watching people excitedly discuss this cool new story they discovered. I have a few favorite BookTubers that never fail to get me excited to start a new book!
  • Don’t read the same genre too many times consecutively. For example, when I was reading the Twilight series many years ago I had some serious reader burnout after binge-reading the entire series in just a matter of weeks. I loved those books when I was fully immersed in the world, but it did tire me out for a while. Make sure to mix up your genres often to keep yourself engaged and focused in your reading.
  • If you’re already in that slump and need a way to get out, sometimes giving into that feeling can actually help. If you really aren’t in the mood to read, forcing yourself to do so will only prolong that burnt-out feeling. Try doing something totally opposite to reading that will call for all of your attention (Netflix, video games, art) and help you regain that desire to pick up a book.
  • Try to avoid reading things you really aren’t interested in. Although this seems super obvious, it actually can happen. For example, your friend could be reading a high-fantasy novel that he/she is super immersed in. They could persuade you to read it, and you slowly realize you really aren’t enjoying it the way he/she is. Instead of trying to force yourself to like it and becoming numb to reading completely, set it down and find something that does spark your interest.
  • Change up the format. Do you read a lot of books digitally? Perhaps you could be getting tired of looking at that Kindle screen for hours. Have you been listening to a ton of audio books recently? Maybe it’s time for a physical copy. You’d be surprised how much changing the format of the book could mix things up just enough to help you regain your interest.
    This is a case very similar to writer’s block, and shares a lot of solutions with that other dreadful mental-block. If you love to read and enjoy hearing that soft crackle of opening up the binding of a new book for the first time like I do, then don’t worry: your enthusiasm to read will certainly return. I hope you find these tips helpful and keep you immersed in your reading.

Posted on April 19, 2017, in Editorial Board Essay, Student Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I know the feeling, I just recently got out of a HUGE reading slump. For almost a year I would barely read anything except the books I had to for school. Because of both Booktube and bookstagram I’ve recently been really fired up to read the past few months and I’ve found a lot of really awesome books. These are all really good tips and I’ll keep them in mind if I hit another reading slump or feel one coming on.

  2. I like these ideas, Natalie! Some times, during the summer, mostly, I’ll read 3 books a day for a whole week…And then not want to pick up one of the 20 other books I still have waiting to be read.

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