How to Remedy Reading Slumps

I’m not sure if this happens to everyone, but sometimes I just don’t want to read. I absolutely love reading, but sometimes I just can’t bring myself to sit down with a good book. Most of the time I can’t focus on a book because something else is drawing my focus away. When this is the case, I have a dry spell of not reading, and by the time I actually have the time to read, I have forgotten the previous chapter and can’t get back into the book.

Now I’ve been through my fair share of what I call “reading slumps” and there are a few things that I like to do to get back into my reading groove.

The first thing I like to do is set a time that I’m going to start reading and commit to it. Usually, this means the upcoming weekend, very late at night. I find that when I read late at night, it reduces the number of distractions I have. My family is usually off watching TV or asleep, and the notifications on my phone are a minimum.

The second thing I do is pick the right book. I may be right in the middle of a great book, and in that case, I’d continue reading it, but sometimes I’m in a lull in between books. So, to help get me back into reading, I would reread an easier book. I would pick books that I already know that I’ll love and could fly through and enjoy them. Some quick recommendations would be Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan if you wanted some Greek mythology/fantasy. For a simple and charming young adult romance, a fantastic series is The Selection by Kiera Cass. And for a more contemporary book, any Nicola Yoon book is amazing!

Finally, the last thing I do is make sure that I have a comfortable spot to read. Whether you enjoy reading at a desk or in your bed, make sure that you are comfortable! This is because the less you are worried about external factors, the more you can focus on your book. Oh, and a bonus would be to sneak in a couple of snacks to munch on throughout your read.

I hope some of these tips help you come out of whatever reading slump may occur. Happy reading!

-Katherine L.

Reading for Fun

reading-takes-away-from-home

Image copyright Adazing.com

I think we can all agree that reading for fun has declined in popularity over the years.  I believe this may be partly due to the widely-held opinion that those who read for fun are “antisocial.”

This irks me a little.  I find it really annoying how the general populace believes that those who read for fun do not have any lives.  I read for fun.  However, I am also an International Baccalaureate student, a coach for a local running program, an avid watcher of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, and an involved friend. I have several interests outside the world of reading and overall, I would call myself a fairly busy and social person.

Just because I read for fun does not mean I have never had a boyfriend, or a job, or a social life.  I simply read because I enjoy it.  It helps my writing and critical thinking skills, and also serves as an escape, just like music, movies, or television.

According to the New York Times, reading literary fiction can actually help boost social skills.  During an experiment conducted by the students at New York’s New School for Social Research, those who read literary fiction performed better on tests measuring emotional intelligence and social perception than those who did not read often.  In other words, reading can actually make you more social.

Now, I am definitely not saying you have to read 24/7 and never see the light of day.  I am saying that as teenagers, we all need to try new things and find our places in the world, and reading can help you with that.  It’s all about balance.

Have you ever been labeled as antisocial because you read for fun?  What’s your opinion on this? Sound off in the comments!

-Amanda D., 11th grade