What to do if You’re Struggling to Read Right Now

I’ve seen a large number of posts from Bookstagrammers lately saying they aren’t reading as much as usual. That’s not a surprise considering many of the people in my life aren’t doing something as much as they did pre-COVID. I’m not working out or thrifting as much. I haven’t picked up my cross stitch once since the whole thing started.

It’s easy to berate ourselves for slacking on all the things we think we “should” be doing.

If you’re struggling right now, please know you aren’t alone. There are a whole lot of things we can’t control in our lives, but we can control how we act each day and the thoughts we tell ourselves.

If you aren’t finding joy in reading right now, that’s okay. If you’re finding more joy than every in reading now, that’s fine too. If you’d like to read but can’t, here are some tips for getting back into the groove (or not.)

What to do if You’re Struggling to Read Right Now

Give yourself grace. This is one of my mantras these days. Remember, we are living through unprecedented times. There is no standard for what any of us should be doing with our time. That’s unsettling. I know because I feel it big time. Think about what you’d say to a close friend who admitted they were struggling right now. Then say that to yourself.

Try something different. Reach outside your comfort zone. Many readers who weren’t particularly fond of romance novels before COVID are finding comfort in them now. Try one. Or if reality is too much for you these days, try fantasy. Overwhelmed by the thought of committing to a full length novel? Pick up a short story collection, or a book of essays or poems. Feeling low? Try a non-fiction book on happiness or personal development. Look for a memoir by one of your most loved musicians, actors, comics, or ______(fill in the blank)_____.

Peruse Goodreads. Not sure what you want to read? Scroll through your Goodreads feed to see what your friends are reading. Enter some giveaways for new books.

Give yourself a break. If you’re pressuring yourself to read though you don’t feel like it, give yourself a set amount of “time off” of reading. Reach out to a friend or even to me and get an official break period that you can hold yourself accountable to. Fill your reading time with something else entertaining and stimulating, or calming. Do a jigsaw puzzle, watch a show you’ve been curious about, draw or color. Use your evening reading time to soak in a bath or simply get to sleep sooner.

Image from WikiCommons

Above all remember that whatever you’re feeling right now is valid. And you don’t have to force yourself to read if you don’t want to. Again, think of what you’d say to a friend.

I hope you find this post helpful. As always, I’d love to hear from your thoughts in the comments.


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