In a Reading Slump?

Reading slumps are totally real. Sometimes I do really well for a period of time, consuming book after book, bringing stacks home from school, and devour them while watching tv with my kids. Then, suddenly, life gets too busy and I can’t even imagine having the time to read. When I get in those reading slumps it’s hard for me to start back up again.

I consider myself a well-educated woman whose career is centered around literacy. If I find it hard to get myself out of a reading slump, I can’t imagine what it must feel like for some students.

Some students have been in a reading slump their whole lives, never finding a book that excites them and gets them hooked; my heart breaks for those kids. They haven’t experienced the magic in the Hogwarts world or walked through the wardrobe into Narnia. 

I’m not overly worried about some kids who just experience a temporary roadblock where their life has just gotten too busy to find time to read. I’m confident they’ll find their way back to books when life eases up for them. I’m more worried about the kids that haven’t connected with a particular book yet or experienced the true joy of reading. Those are the ones we can’t give up on. We need to keep exposing them to different books and sharing our excitement with them. I’m hopeful that one day, they’ll hear about the one book that excites them and eventually, pulls them out of their reading slump.

Here are six strategies to help pull your students out of a reading slump and reignite their passion for reading!

  • Go back to your favorite author or genre

    We all have our favorites for a reason: we enjoy the time spent as we get swept away with the characters and storyline. Rereading something you know you enjoy may spark a new excitement!

  • Make a reading plan and stick to it

    Sticking with a plan you created makes you feel good! Start by writing down a few books you want to read and then a timeline for when you’ll read them. Start with a chapter a day, and slowly build from there. 

  • Read something short or quick

    It feels satisfying to finish a whole text! Start small with a short story or poem; it will motivate you to tackle larger novels!

  • Try a new series

    If you start a new series and end up enjoying it, you won’t have to worry about what to read next! Look for a new series in the same genre as something you know you’ll like. 

  • Visit the library

    Visiting the library brings a feeling of inspiration as soon as you walk in! Talk to the librarian and ask for some book recommendations. They are so knowledgeable and will be able to find you something in the genres you enjoy. 

  • Read with a partner or a club

    Talking about books is fun! Find a group of friends that enjoy reading and pick a book to read together. Chances are, that one book will lead to more and more!

As you continue to work with your students and notice that some may be in the middle of a reading slump I hope the strategies above help spark ideas to get your students back into the joy of reading. 

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Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.


About the Author

Liz Janusz

ELA Instructional Coach