Reading fatigue. It’s a real thing. But it’s a thing we don’t talk about often. Because we’re book lovers, right? Reading is our happy place. There’s nothing we’d rather do than curl up with a warm drink and a good book. We love to read. Until we don’t.
Here are a few books that are currently sitting on my nightstand:
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace
I paid cash money for each of these books. I am really looking forward to reading them. But every night I crawl in bed, look at my nightstand, shudder, and turn off the light.
The truth is, my reader is broken.
I just…can’t. I’m trying. And I can’t. And that’s okay. Reading fatigue happens for any number of reasons. For me it manifests either in avoiding books altogether or abandoning them within a page or two. So I just have to pat that pretty cover and say, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
I’ll get back to them. Eventually.
I am convinced that reading fatigue is linked to mental and physical fatigue. For me, self care is key. I’ve been in this particular dry spell for a number of months. It coincided with me finishing my new book. My brain was exhausted. My body was exhausted. I was spent.
This isn’t the first time this has happened so I recognized the symptoms. Over the years I’ve learned a few things that help recharge my batteries. And I asked Marybeth what works for her. So, if you find yourself in this situation, here are some ideas that might help (and if they don’t, that’s okay–this too shall pass):
1. Go back and read an old favorite.
2. Take a nap instead.
3. Watch some booktubers or scroll through bookstagram posts (other people’s excitement can sometimes spark yours)
4. Take a walk and listen to a podcast.
5. Find a shorter novel or book of short stories to read. (Instant gratification)
6. Read a childhood favorite to your kids.
7. Listen to an audiobook.
8. Sit on the deck with a glass of wine.
9. Switch up genres to something you don’t normally read. Or read nonfiction.
10. Go on a blind date with a book (let a friend or bookseller pick your next read).
11. Read what you want to read instead of what you *should* be reading.
12. Go to bed early and get eight or more hours of sleep.
13. Give yourself permission not to read at all for a few days (or weeks) and wait for the feeling to pass.
14. Flip through all your cookbooks and drool over the pretty pictures.
What about you? Do you have any tips on how to recover from reading fatigue?