Top Ten Tuesday: How to tackle a reading slump

In recent weeks I've been known to wander from room to room going 'I need a book' in what I know is an annoying, whine-y way. But you can't help it when you're in a slump. I've been saved since by Judith Kerr's When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Andrea Levy's Small Island, the fourth Game of Thrones (so, so good) and Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked. But they're all very different so I'll be back on the hunt when I'm done with this one. It's never-ending! Still, working in a library helps of course. This weeks TTT topic at That Artsy Reader Girl is 'books to pull you out of a slump', so here are some of the things I look for in a book when I desperately need something to read.

Something epistolary or diary style

They suck you in quick and they never feel like hard work. There are lots of good stopping places because you've got short letters or diary entries instead of long chapters. And that makes you more likely to think 'just one more'. 

Something First Person Perspective

Like the diary entries, first person puts you squarely in the moment and in the characters head - so you get more involved more quickly. I find they're usually a bit pacier too. The narrator has to stay in character so there's less room for endless description of the scenery or whatever.

A 'Popular' classic

By this I mean books that they wouldn't get you to read in school, but were big bestsellers back in the day. They're usually easier reads than your 'real' classics, but if a book sells well there's usually a reason. Romances, family sagas, detective or adventure stories are always a good shout. Something you can get your teeth into. 

A 'proper' classic

Whether you read classics or not, they're classics for a reason. Sometimes if you're looking for something to really get you back into reading, you need something you know is good. I'm a big Jane Austen fan so I'll revert to one I've not read so for ages to get me back on the reading wagon. Whether you're more Dickens or Thomas Hardy or a Harper Lee kind of person, sometimes you just need something well-written with a story good enough to have stood the test of time.

A Childhood favourite

If you want the ultimate comfort reading experience you'll need an old, easy read favourite. Plus, if you loved it when you were a kid and still love it now, then that's officially a good book. Or try something you loved but can't remember anything about, might be you'll fall in love all over again. 

A book you know nothing about whatsoever

I recently read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine on a recommendation from someone who said it was 'difficult to explain' what it was about. I loved it.  And I think some of the joy (and tears) came from the element of surprise. 

Something Contemporary-ish (but not too fluffy)

I'm more of a fantasy/ historical fiction/ classics sort of girl, but I've got to admit there's something about contemporary novels that make them easier to read (unless they're *shudder* literary.) Sometimes you just don't want to bother wading through flowery language and archaic speech patterns. 

A sprawling series or saga

If it's pulling out a slump you want, you might even need a book with a few sequels to keep the momentum going. I've just finished reading the the fourth Game of Thrones (Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold) and it was so much better than I was expecting. It's a while since I read the others but I'm pretty sure its the best one. Would recommend. 

A Book adapted into a film/series you love

You already know the film back to front, so you've got a prior interest and connection to the characters. The book might be filled with a wealth of extra detail you didn't know you needed, or it might be completely different, Either way, its interesting comparing the two. 

Harry Potter



  1. Great list! Sofia Khan is Not Obliged is a great choice - that was one is so much fun. I still haven't read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine but I've been hearing amazing things, so I need to give it a chance soon.

    1. Thanks :D I loved Eleanor Oliphant, but it's quite a dark story really - easy read though!

  2. Harry Potter for sure! And I loved seeing Pride and Prejudice and North and South on your list. I don't read classics that often, but those are two of my favorites!

    1. I never see enough love for North and South!

  3. YES! These are all great suggestions. Some of my favorite books ever are on your list. Harry Potter can always get me out of a slump.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thanks! Harry Potter is definitely the first thing I turn to :)


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