Ten Books to Beat a Reading Slump

Ah, the reading slump. We’ve all encountered one at some time or another. They can strike at any given moment, disrupting your usually happy reading routine. Guides on how to beat a reading slump abound on the internet. Now before you shout at me, but, Abbie, THIS is a guide on how to beat a reading slump, hear me out.

I firmly believe that before you go about choosing books to beat a reading slump, you need to decide whether you WANT to beat it. Sometimes a reading slump is a good way to spend some time doing other hobbies you love. Sometimes it’s a sign of burnout and you need to take some time to recoup. Or sometimes it’s just a great excuse to catch up on your Netflix list. One of my top tips for beating a slump is first leaning into the slump. Enjoy a few days away from your books. Reading isn’t a competition, and forcing yourself to read something just to beat a reading slump is a sure-fire way to dig yourself in deeper.

However, once you DO feel ready to kick that reading slump out the door, I have 10 book recommendations for you! I don’t have a specific genre I go to when I’m trying to beat a reading slump. All I want is something that will keep me hooked right from the beginning. There’s a fun (I think) mix of books here, that I hope will help you show that reading slump the door!

Disclosure: titles with an asterisk* were gifted by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I’m an affiliate for Blackwell’s, so this post contains affiliate links to their site. If you buy a book via my links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you – thank you!

1. The Boyfriend Project* by Farrah Rochon

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Romance is a go-to genre for a lot of people when they’re trying to beat a reading slump. I’m fairly new to the genre, but I can definitely see why! The Boyfriend Project sunk its claws in me from the beginning and would not let go. I was completely invested in Samiah’s journey to being her best self. There’s plenty of heat and humour to keep you reading. I also highly recommend the audiobook as the narrator, Je Nie Fleming, sounds like pure sunshine and I guarantee will have you smiling!

Buy The Boyfriend Project at Blackwell’s

2. The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

Sometimes when we’re in a slump, we need to get back to our childhood and reconnect with that initial love of reading. The Thief of Always is technically young adult but it’s such a timeless tale that it appeals to all. Plus, some of it is quite scary! I am a wimp though, so take that with a pinch of salt. Not only will your reading slump be cured, you’ll appreciate the reminder to enjoy every day as it comes and not wish your life away.

Buy The Thief of Always at Blackwell’s

3. Minor Detail* by Adania Shibli, tr. Elisabeth Jaquette

Minor Detail* by Adania Shibli, tr. Elisabeth Jaquette
Minor Detail* by Adania Shibli, tr. Elisabeth Jaquette

Another tried-and-tested trick to beat a reading slump is to pick something up you know you can read in one sitting. This could be anything, from a collection of poetry, to a literary magazine, to a slim novella. Like this one! Minor Detail is a challenging read, but I promise you’ll be drawn in by Shibli’s hypnotic prose. The two halves of the novella are so different yet go together so well. You won’t be able to move from your seat until you’ve read every last page.

Buy Minor Detail at Blackwell’s

4. Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

This one has the benefits of being both short and young adult – perfect if your attention span hasn’t been so hot lately. But this isn’t young adult as you know it. Akwaeke Emezi doesn’t shy away from tackling more serious themes in their YA work. They flawlessly combine charming characters and unique monsters with real-life issues. I guarantee you’ll want to devour Pet in one sitting.

Buy Pet at Blackwell’s

5. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Alright, it’s 2020 guys. If you HAVE NOT read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by now then I’m going to have to insist that you do so immediately. Why would you continue to deprive yourself of what is essentially a space hug in a book?! The characters in this book will provide an immediate balm to your reading slump. You’ll want to read it every second of the day just to spend more time with this insanely loveable crew. Get on it.

Buy The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet at Blackwell’s

6. Pew by Catherine Lacey

Pew by Catherine Lacey

Although Pew is short, and could be read in one sitting, I haven’t included it because it’s a definite one-sitting read. No, I’ve included it because it has that addictive quality. There’s a bit of mystery here, some intrigue, something not quite right that you can’t put your finger on. It’s not a page-turning thriller but there’s just something about it that DOES make you want to turn those pages faster.

Buy Pew at Blackwell’s

7. Ghost Wall* by Sarah Moss

This is another small but perfectly formed book. Bonus points – it’s set up in Northumberland which is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the UK. Ghost Wall is deliciously atmospheric and the tension is palpable. In just 150 pages, Moss creates a tightly controlled story with one of the most unforgettable endings I’ve ever read. Once you start reading this, your reading slump will be quaking.

Buy Ghost Wall at Blackwell’s

8. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Technically, at the time of writing/posting this, I haven’t even FINISHED Get a Life, Chloe Brown. However, it is so damn good that I just had to include it. I’m obsessed with Chloe and her list. In fact, Chloe is all of us with her lists. The tension between her and Red is hot enough to keep even the slumpiest of readers turning those pages. I’m inventing chores for myself just so I can carry on listening to the audiobook. That’s when you know.

Buy Get a Life, Chloe Brown at Blackwell’s

9. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

I read this super sweet f/f YA rom-com because of Bezi at @beingabookwyrm and Bezi’s recommendations are never wrong! You Should See Me in a Crown is delightfully over-the-top (Americans and their proms!) and will make you feel all of the emotions! I really liked how well developed all of the characters were, as sometimes with YA the secondary characters can be a bit flat. You can probably finish this one on a weekend afternoon. Afterwards, not only will your reading slump be beaten, your face will be hurting from all the smiling.

Buy You Should See Me in a Crown at Blackwell’s

10. Convenience Store Woman* by Sayaka Murata, tr. Ginny Tapley Takemori

Will I find a way to include Convenience Store Woman in every list I make on this website? Probably. But it’s just so good and I want everyone to read it! Settle down with Keiko on a Sunday afternoon and I promise you’ll soon be lost in the regimented routine of her days at the store. Plus, Ginny Tapley Takemori’s translation is so smooth that it feels effortless to read.

Buy Convenience Store Woman at Blackwell’s

That’s all!

Let me know if you agree with any of these choices! Or tell me your favourite book to beat a reading slump!

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One thought on “Ten Books to Beat a Reading Slump

  1. I love the mix of books you have here, Abbie! I think romance is pretty good for me when I’m in a slump – I can just get swept away by the characters. I also really like fast-paced urban fantasy, and rereading can help me too. ?