Although we are all book lovers, it’s easy to get burned out on reading, especially if you are forced to constantly read literature for classes that don’t compare to your to-be-read list. As a student, it’s hard for me to stay caught up on reading for classes and my job, while also reading for fun. It’s a challenge to stay interested and motivated, but I’ve found some tips to prevent over-reading that might help you if you are in a similar situation.
Take a Vacation
If you start feeling burned out from reading, take a step back for a week. Time heals all, including reading-block. Try not to think about your overwhelming TBR list (we all have one) and focus that energy elsewhere. Use the time you usually read to do something creative or try a new hobby, such as drawing, knitting, or watching a new movie. Other than new hobbies, you can also try getting ahead in school or work. In theory, taking a vacation from reading will bring the urge back and make you excited to read again. Personally, I typically take at least a week after classes before I read for entertainment. It makes it seem less like a personal requirement or chore and makes it enjoyable for me again.
Meditate or Exercise
On the same note, meditation or exercise can help clear your mind, which is perfect to prevent over-reading. There are multiple breathing exercises that are designed to clear your head, which can be especially useful when you’re struggling to stay focused on a novel. For example, the 4-7-8 breath is simple, yet effective. You inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds, and repeat. Focusing on your breath is an easy method of relaxation, taking your mind off of unnecessary stressors that may affect your reading ability. Exercising also helps clear your mind, especially running or walking. Although it may be more time-consuming, exercise is not only a great habit to sharpen focus, but it has many other benefits as we are all aware.
Lastly, reading book reviews for best sellers is another trick that tends to get me excited about reading again. You can narrow it down to genres you are interested in, or take a risk and read about a novel outside your comfort zone. Either way, reviews can easily get you pumped up for a new novel. Another option is to seek out the crazier, more absurd reviews; reviews on Amazon are especially entertaining. There is something about a badly written negative review that gets me intrigued in random novels.
Taking a break from our hobbies is sometimes necessary to prevent boredom or getting burned out. There is nothing wrong with taking a break from what you love as long as you feel it is a productive. Besides, who couldn’t use a vacation from life?
Sabrina is a submissions coordinator at Holloway Literary. Follow her @SlbBerndt.