It happens, even to the most dedicated readers among us. You pick up a book, even one from an author you’ve enjoyed before, and you just can’t get into it, drifting after just a few chapters. I call it “reader burnout,” and it’s the subject of one of the questions from our Ask BHP survey. (It’s not too late to add any questions you have!)
Here’s the question: “I have had trouble reading lately. I don’t know why. I have multiple authors with plenty of interesting books. How do I get my ‘groove’ back? How do I engage in a book like I did in the past, when I stayed up late finishing a book?”
To be honest, I don’t know that I’m more qualified to answer this one as a Bethany House employee than the average reader, but I’ve been there, so I wanted to respond to this question anyway. But I don’t want to do it alone—be sure to leave your advice in the comments! Here are a few of my thoughts on what has been helpful for me.
One: Read something totally different. Sometimes, novels in your favorite genre or by your favorite author start to sound the same. Mix it up a little by picking up something different from your usual. (Story by Steven James was one of those for me…it’s got a little bit of poetry, a little bit of first-person narrative of Bible stories, a little bit of memoir, and a lot of truth.) Try something from one of the categories on our Reading Challenge if you need some inspiration.
Two: Ask for a recommendation. Every year at Christmas, I have a few friends add to my wish list by recommending a book or two they think I would enjoy. Besides the fact that my friends have great taste in books, it gives me an added reason to finish them: when I’m done, I get to chat with a friend about a book he or she loved. Anticipating those great conversations motivates me to start—and finish—the books.
Three: Try an audiobook. Hearing a story as you do other things—drive, craft, exercise, or cook, for example—can be a fun and totally different way to experience a book. I’d suggest searching for a favorite author on a site like this one. Many libraries have a great selection of audiobooks you can check out as well.
Your turn, readers! What advice would you give someone who feels “burnt out” in reading lately?