How to Get Out of a Reading Slump

Photo Courtesy of

Ian Johnson, Editor

Stress, brain fog, and straight-up boredom can contribute to the dreaded reading slump. Let’s explore the causes and treatments for the worst disease a reader can catch!

Do not be alarmed if you experience symptoms of a reading slump. It is completely normal to not know what to read or feel like it is impossible to. If you have ever gone through this you are not alone because not just students or people who do not particularly enjoy reading get into this kind of literary roadblock. Even Mr. Fowler, the Thunderbird school librarian, has dealt with this. Mr. Fowler explains to students that “you just have to go through it.” This is a natural process as a reader and a human! 

Now we understand that many people go through this, but is there an actual scientific reason why some of us end up not reading for weeks, maybe even months? The answer might not be clear, but there are definitely some explanations! “There is not going to be one simple answer for everyone, and every time you hit a reading slump there could potentially be a different problem,” explains Joshua Craig, a writer for the editorial book site, Book Riot. Craig studied neuroscience during his undergraduate, and as a self-proclaimed book nerd, he took a particular interest in understanding the science behind reading slumps. When you read you use many parts of your brain. Sometimes when reading new material or material you are not really interested in, your brain has to work harder. This can create a heavy mental strain leaving you with a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to reading. However, as Craig explains in his article, “Using Neuroscience to Understand Reading Slumps,” this does not always mean you are currently in a slump. Because there is such a wide variety of factors that will lead to a reading slump like stress, anxiety, headaches, and even brain tumors, it is very difficult to pinpoint the actual cause. 

Though it can be hard to find the cause, it is still very much possible to get yourself out of the reading slump. A tried and true way to get back into the groove of reading is to reread one of your favorites. It has to be something that gets you excited to keep reading but also too afraid to finish because you do not want the story to be over. Another way to relieve yourself of this suffering is to challenge yourself. Judge a book by its cover, pick something you would never see yourself enjoying because you just might surprise yourself with a new genre that you really like. Have a favorite author? Look up books that your author of choice enjoys. Maybe you will like them just as much! 

There are so many ways to get back to your normal reading self or even get into reading for the first time! For THS students there is one remedy that will cure you of a reading slump, guaranteed; the Thunderbird Book Fair has so many affordable options that will for sure grab your attention. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, go take a gander at Briana Quiroga Flores’ article, “The New ‘Scholastic’ Book Fair”!