5 Tips To Overcome Reader's Block
reader's block

5 Tips To Overcome Reader’s Block

reader's block

No matter how much of an avid reader you are, you are susceptible to experiencing “reader’s block.” Those that have reader’s block can’t seem to get past the first page of a book. Or, they haven’t read a book in ages. It is possible to get unstuck and reignite your passion for reading and the following tips can help get you back on track for your 2020 reading challenge.

Read something easy

If you burned yourself out reading a long novel like Gone with the Wind, it’s not a good idea to pick up War and Peace. Rather than reading a massive, never-ending book, start with something quick and easy to digest. A collection of short stories is an excellent way to get back into reading regularly. Plenty of independent authors offer their self-published stories on Kindle for $0.99 or for free. Be sure to thank them for a short and inexpensive read with a positive review. Independent authors aren’t the only ones who publish short stories. Some of the greatest writers, past and present, made their debut with a short story. Look for your favorite author to see how much progress they made from their first publication to their most recent one.

Find a new genre

The cause of your reader’s block could be because you are tired of reading the same genre. Bustle author Charlotte Ahlin explains her own experience with reader’s block. “I once read about four Vonneguts in a row and then spent a week feeling crushing despair over the human condition. Your mind needs a varied diet of books to stay sharp.” Do you typically read memoirs, biographies, and philosophical novels? Go for something opposite and daring. Try picking up a steamy romance or an out of this world sci-fi novel. Exploring new genres to break reader’s block is your chance to discover your new favorite author.

Reread your favorites

Many people find themselves watching reruns on TV when they can’t find anything to watch. The same goes for when you are stuck in a reading rut. Pick up your favorite book, no matter how long it is, and get back to reading. As an adult, rereading a young adult book you enjoyed as a kid is a great way to discover your next read. If you aren’t the type of person who enjoys rereads or reruns, find a read-alike. A read-alike is a suggestion for readers who enjoy the works of a particular author and would like recommendations of other authors that write in a similar fashion. You can find read-alikes using Literature-Map.com and Book Browse.


Sometimes all you need to do is unplug from excess noise in life. You don’t need social media, YouTube, or Netflix to stay entertained. These are all outlets that feed reader’s block. Take the first step to get back to enjoy books more regularly by making adjustments to your daily life. Remove smartphones and computers from your bedroom as they interfere with getting a good night’s rest. Another habit to change is when and how long you watch TV. Set yourself on a strict schedule that allows you some TV time, with most of the evening free to read a book. 

Read about reading

If you’re really stumped about how to break free from reader’s block, it could be how you are reading novels in the first place. Columnist for The Guardian and professor of modern English Literature, John Sutherland knows how to read. In his book How to Read a Novel: A User’s Guide, he offers advice on how to find your next interesting read. One of his suggestions is to pick up a book, any book, and read page 69. If your interest peaks immediately, you and the book were meant to be. 

In the case where you no longer have reader’s block but are out of suggestions, take a look at all of our book recommendations. While you think through some of the titles, take a look at how you can get through the workday more efficiently to get to more reading. By taking our Personal Productivity Course, you’ll find strategies to avoid procrastination, stay motivated after the workday is done, and improve your overall focus. Click the link to learn more.   

12 Medical Mnemonic Techniques (With examples)
What Are Some Misconceptions About Speed Reading?