ANN/THE DAILY STAR – We’re all familiar with writer’s block – when you just can’t think of what or how to write, or even what to write. But there’s also the arguably more insidious reader’s block.
Reader’s block arguably feels worse than its writer counterpart, since reading is easier yet you just can’t seem to do it. Flipping through pages and traversing sentences feels like an insurmountable burden. But there are tricks to deal with it.
Its normal and acceptable to have a preferred genre. There’s nothing wrong with keeping to that genre, and avoiding books you know you probably aren’t going to enjoy, especially if you read for pleasure.
But this can also be a trap – staying in a single genre can become tedious.
Switching genres can be energising and exciting, potentially providing new ways to appreciate the genres you already enjoy, or may even introduce you to a new one you like.
This can sometimes be enough to push readers out of their block.
Audiobooks are the new favourites of the readers who are busy and still want to get some reading done. It’s book without the pages and written words, but rather narrated by someone.
So, one may listen to audiobooks while multitasking. This is not only useful but can be a blessing for those suffering from reader’s block because these are books but in a different form.
One may find audiobooks of most popular titles on the Internet and some are narrated by the authors themselves.
SWITCH TO VISUALS
Graphic novels and even comics can be a refreshing change in your reading habits and the difference can be a mood changer.
There are plenty of praise-worthy graphic novels that are rich in story as well as art. The arts can be captivating and can bring in new flavours to your reading. Even the most serious reader enjoys the arts between the pages; now imagine a book that relies on the art to tell its story. You should definitely give it a try.
This can be tricky and tedious for some people but it’s a method that usually works.
The idea is that you have to be persistent with your reading and read every day.
The first day you decide to try this trick, you should start by reading only one page. No more, no less. One page a day and you continue this way for a few days. Then two pages a day for a few days and this way, you start increasing the number of pages you read in a day after a regular interval.
Try this for a couple of weeks and hopefully, your reading mood will be back. The only difficulty in this method is that you have to be consistent. Regardless of how difficult and exhausting your day was, you have to finish that day’s reading.
When the words on the pages aren’t doing it for you, try branching out and seek different experiences. Look up your favourite book or story and these days, most popular books have a cinematic adaptation. Whether it’s a movie, or a TV show or animated depiction, all of them could be fun and uplifting if they are executed right.
For example, Pride and Prejudice alone has more than 10 different adaptations and at least one of them involves a zombie twist. Surprisingly, it’s an oddly fun adaptation. Look up such different adaptations of different books and they can have a positive impact on your reading mood.
Writing is more challenging than it sounds but it’s also very satisfying. To be able to imagine a story in your head and then put them into words on paper is a peaceful sensation.
When you can’t put your mind to read, try writing. The feeling of creating something new is so powerful that it will surely drive you to read more. Even if it’s not something as creative as writing a story, try keeping a journal and write in it regularly. Words are powerful and they will lift your mood quicker than you’d expect.
Of course, there can be many causes for reader’s block. While it is possible that reader’s block can be just a phase, it is also possible that it is induced by an underlying issue such as depression, stress or exhaustion. If that is the case, one should always address those issues first and the block will fade away itself.
Find out what’s influencing your mood and you’ll be able to snap out of reader’s block in no time. Happy Reading! – Ashif Ahmed Rudro