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How to Beat a Book Slump

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A long haired brown and white cat looks up from in between books on a bookshelf

July is National Anti-Boredom Month, and what better way to combat boredom than with a book? But what do you do when you simply can’t find that next perfect read? Maybe you’ve just finished something amazing and are suffering from serious TEABS (The End of an Awesome Book Syndrome). You know the feeling -- you’re not quite ready to move on from the people and places your last book took you to. Or maybe you’re in the dreaded book slump, when you just can’t find anything that really sucks you in. It’s the literary equivalent of standing in front of an open fridge - you know you’re hungry, but nothing looks good. You listlessly shuffle from book to book, never making it past the first couple of chapters. Fear not, intrepid bookworms! A few easy tricks will have you out of your slump and back in bookish bliss in no time.

Go short - Sometimes one of the greatest slump-related frustrations is the inability to actually finish anything. Try picking up a collection of short stories, nonfiction essays, or poetry. 

Try a different format - Take a peek at a graphic novel or try listening to an audiobook.

Read outside your comfort zone - Give a completely different genre a shot. Normally love fantasy? Maybe branch out to historical fiction. Only read horror? Give science fiction a try. Read authors who have a completely different racial, sexual, or gender identity from who you normally read.

Return to an old favorite - Conversely, sometimes all you want is something you know you’re going to love. There’s no shame in revisiting a book you’ve loved in the past.

Change your reading location - Try reading outside, on the train, at your favorite coffee shop, or, y’know, at the library (we have excellent air conditioning).

Ask a librarian - Did you know that Denver Public Library has a dedicated fleet of librarians who create personalized reading lists for our customers? Just fill out the form, and get an entire list of book recommendations!

Give yourself a break - If none of these tips are working for you, take a break! It’s okay to take a breather in between books: play some video games, watch a movie, walk the dog, go to the museum. The books will still be there when you’re ready for them.