The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

Bookish things to do when you don’t feel like picking up a book

on May 12, 2016

Hi guys! Sorry I haven’t posted in the last couple of weeks. I’m suffering from the most awful reading (and blogging) slump and I’m sadly feeling extremely unmotivated by the thought of picking up a book, let alone reviewing one.

I don’t really know where the slump came from, because the book I’ve now been reading for 2 weeks (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas) is GOOD and I’m ENJOYING it whenever I do pick it up. But something is stopping me from picking it up.

Long story short, I haven’t finished a single book this month, and that makes me sad.


As I’ve noticed a few fellow bloggers have been feeling book-slumpy recently, I decided to share a few of the things I do when I don’t feel like reading a book. These won’t necessarily cure a reading slump, but they might help you embrace it, and tide you over until you feel like reading again.

1) Get your gel pens out and make Hogwarts sparkly


Sure, colouring techincally requires you to pick up a book, but you’re let off the reading of any actual words. Adult colouring books are perfect for brain-melty days where you’re struggling to comprehend anything beyond how tired you are and how much you wish it were Friday!

2) Let the internet severely creep you out, short story stylee

No need to pick up an enormous short story collection; there are tons of awesome stories freely available online. I love horror fiction, and when I can’t handle an epic tome and just want to read something quick, I have a browse of the No Sleep forum on Reddit, or Creepypasta, for short scary stories. Sure, there’s a mixed bag of stuff out there, not all of it fantastic, but some of those stories are genuinely terrifying and well worth a read. This one and this one both gave me shivers.


Nope, that’s not a ghostly orb in the corner, just horrific lighting. #reasonsJessdoesntBookstagram

3) Read a novelty book about puppies

Be it a book of humorous quotations, a book of random facts, a book of Very British Problems, or a book of cute puppies, reading a novelty book takes about 5 minutes and when you’re in the murky depths of a slump, it can actually feel like an achievement (in the loosest possible sense of the word) to finish one.

I always ‘read’ this Cute Puppies book when I’m mega-hormonal and stressed, because puppies make everything better. It’s like Buzzfeed in a book:


4) Become obsessed with a podcast


Podcasts with a fictional slant are perfect for when you’re in a reading slump, because it’s like being read to – all you have to do is sit back, listen, and enjoy.

Up until this week, I’d never actually listened to a podcast, but my friend Kat recommended I listen to Tanis – a docudrama about a man investigating the (fictional) myth of ‘Tanis’.

I’m not really sure what genre I’d categorise this as – sci-fi mystery perhaps, but it’s also got plenty of creepiness and horror, and it draws on some real life mysteries and conspiracy theories too. I’ve listened to all of the available episodes in the space of a week because it’s so addictive. I’ve now started listening to The Black Tapes (another docudrama made by the same people as Tanis, about investigations into the paranormal), and it’s just as good so far!

5) Listen to an audiobook

In a similar vein, if your eyes are sleepy and you just can’t look at text without nodding off every few minutes, why not have somebody else read your favourite book to you instead? Audiobooks are the perfect way to read a book without actually reading a book, and who doesn’t find the idea of curling up in a blanket and listening to Stephen Fry read you Harry Potter all kinds of comforting?

FYI, I just had a hunt through all my old nostalgic junk and found my CASSETTE TAPE of this audiobook. I don’t even own a cassette player any more! (If you were born after cassette tapes became obsolete, please don’t ask me what they are, because you will make me feel OLD.) Check out the retro 101 Dalmatians cassette tape carry-case… #90skid


6) Read an old favourite a.k.a Harry P


Harry Potter is the ultimate reading-slump read, because even though it’s A BOOK (!!!!), reading it doesn’t require any effort because it’s like putting on your favourite old comfy jumper you’ve had for a million years and snuggling up in a big, warm, fluffy hug. It’s comforting and familiar and before you know it you’ll have FINISHED A BOOK without even realising. And then maybe you’ll feel like reading another…

But if all else fails, there’s always good old fanfiction.

What are your tips for coping with a reading slump? I need all the help I can get!!!! 


43 responses to “Bookish things to do when you don’t feel like picking up a book

  1. ieva says:

    I agree – audiobooks are great! You can listen to them while doing things around the house, exercising, walking places… It`s reading without actually having to read :)) So yeah, thumbs up for audiobooks. I`ll also look into the podcast, it sounds pretty cool 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      So true! And they’re great company on the bus on the way to work 🙂 I often don’t get a seat because it’s so busy, so it’s nice to be able to read without getting a big book out at the same time as trying to balance haha. Ooh yes please do look into the podcast, it was awesome!

  2. Great tips! I usually watch a lot of movies when I’m in a reading slump because I tend to miss reading books when I do that. Reading slumps are THE WORST, ugh. Hope you cure it soon! 😄

    • mudandstars says:

      Thanks! Yeah they really are the worst 😦 Watching movies is a good idea – especially ones which are based on books, because then I’ll start thinking about how the book is so much better haha. But I seem to be in a bit of a TV/movie slump too. I haven’t watched TV in about three weeks! Luckily after I wrote this post, I finished my book and I think I might have kicked the slump 🙂

  3. novelty books about puppies are always the way to go :p

  4. Aimee says:

    Ooh I love colouring but haven’t done any in months. I really want the Harry Potter ones.

    • mudandstars says:

      Me too, it’s so relaxing! Ooh you should definitely get them 🙂 I only have the first one, but I’m definitely going to add the Magical Creatures one to my collection soon! And I just noticed there’s another one – Magical places and characters – coming out in June 🙂

  5. transhaan says:

    Awesome original ideas! 😛 I’m seeing this adult coloring book trend since a couple months now, it’s fascinating how it’s become something so popular, so fast.

    – Lashaan

    • mudandstars says:

      Ahh thank you 😀 I know, it seems to be everywhere, doesn’t it?! I don’t even really know where it came from haha. I definitely recommend it though – it’s really relaxing if you’ve been doing something intense at work or studying, it kinda gives your brain a break 🙂

  6. I was JUST wondering about you!!! You need to snap out of this ASAP because we need you around here… When I’m in a slump, I like to visit Goodreads and add books to my endless TBR list. I also go thrift store book shopping and buy a ridiculous amount of books… It never fails that at least one of these tactics gets me excited and back on the horse. Good luck!

    • mudandstars says:

      Aww thank you for wondering about me 🙂 I’m glad to know that somebody noticed my absence haha! Luckily after I wrote this post, I finished my book and I think I managed to kick the slump. Maybe writing this post was cathartic and got rid of it! Usually I also do the same as you – add loads of stuff to my TBR and buy loads of books – but I haven’t even bought any books this month! So unusual for me haha. I think maybe I bought and read too many last month and got a bit overwhelmed.

  7. Ayunda says:

    Podcasts are awesome and rereading Harry Potter always brings me back to a bookish mood! Also maybe browsing through Instagram and looking at pretty book photography inspires me a lot to read more 😁

    • mudandstars says:

      Totally agree – some of the photos of books on Instagram are stunning! They definitely make me want to read ALL THE BOOKS. I actually started re-reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets after I wrote this post, and I think it got me back into a reading mood because I finally finished my book! Hopefully the slump is over! Podcasts are indeed awesome – do you have any recommendations? 🙂

  8. Hello, I’ve missed having your posts show up on my feed. I really ought to comment more often.

    I already do three of your tips: coloring for adults, short horror stories, and fanfiction (heehee!). Graphic novels and comics are also great for book slumpy days.

    • mudandstars says:

      Hi! Ahh thank you – I’m so happy that my absence was noticed 🙂 I’ve never read any graphic novels – do you have any recommendations? I want to read one, but have no idea what’s out there! Fanfiction definitely helps haha. If I’m feeling slumpy it just feels like less of a commitment than an actual book, and I feel less guilty about giving up on it if it turns out to be bad. Ooh glad to hear you like short horror stories too – do you have any recommendations? I am always on the hunt for new creepy stuff, as for some reason I seem to enjoy being scared! 🙂

  9. noteablepad says:

    Reading slumps are actually the devil in disguise. Adult colouring books are great, but you also need to sort of relax from reading too. Try not to feel like you’re making a grave mistake or defying the heavens if you’re not reading. Maybe it’s blogging that’s putting pressure on you? Try and forget your long tbr pile and pick up a book you genuinely love which will hopefully get you to enjoy reading again. 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      They really are the worst! Thanks for the advice, I think you are completely right – blogging was the thing that was sending me into a slump. I sometimes feel like I need to prioritise certain books because of blogging, and that stops me from reading exactly what I’m in the mood for. And I also feel the pressure of trying to finish books quickly so I have stuff to post. I think you’re right – I need to stop making myself feel so guilty, and just read what I want! I actually finished my book yesterday, so maybe writing this was kind of cathartic! And once I got back into it, it became really addictive again 🙂

      • Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

        Glad you found some credence in my advice! I hope you get to blogging soon 🙂 It’s great to have you back!

  10. really enjoyed reading this 🙂

  11. Mahnoor Shah says:

    These are really interesting ideas. Maybe I will pick up a coloring book, I sure did love those back in primary. I really need to get over my blogging and reading slump, but lets be honest my university and all the work it gives and going to work, is to blame or maybe I am just not managing time effectively.

    • mudandstars says:

      Ahh thank you 🙂 Yes I really recommend colouring, it’s really relaxing if you have a lot on your mind. It’s meant to be quite good for mindfulness/relieving stress. Sorry to hear you’re in a slump too 😦 I know exactly what you mean – I barely read for pleasure when I was at university because I had so much other stuff to read for my course. And I tend to get slumpy when I am really busy in my job. Sometimes life gets in the way 😦 Hope you’re able to get over the slump soon and find a good book to get into 🙂

      • Mahnoor Shah says:

        I hope so too! Hopefully the slump will be over as soon as my semester ends ! I have so many books to read. And not to mention a colouring book to get!

  12. That’s a drag about the reading slump. Sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed I’ll find myself resisting even things I love. I’m thinking it might be a control thing, as in I may not be able to control my work/family environment or all the errands/chores I have to do, but I can control whether or not I read a book or write a chapter.

  13. I think you forgot NETFLIX! If I’m not reading or working on my WIP I am almost definitely getting lost in the Internet or Netflix! I think just not reading gets me out of a slump. You cherish a book more when you haven’t read it for a while. I hope you can get out of the slump!

    • mudandstars says:

      Haha yeah Netflix is normally my go-to reading slump fix, but for some reason I’d been in a massive TV slump too – when I wrote this post I hadn’t watched any TV in about a month, which is so unusual for me!! I totally agree with you about not reading – I just decided to embrace the slump and do other things until I felt like reading again 🙂 Luckily I seem to be out of the slump now!

  14. Annelise Lestrange says:

    This post is just brilliant, Jess! And I still think that if you tried, you’d be a wonderful bookstagrammer ❤ Even though with the ghost lights on corners, haha!

    • mudandstars says:

      Ahh thank you! 🙂 Hahahah, there always seems to be some kind of ghostly orb or shadow in my photos – maybe my house is just haunted and I’m not actually a crappy photographer 😛 I would like to try one day, but my real issue is that the lighting is really bad in my house, which is why my photos don’t come out so great. Maybe in the summer I will try some outside shots for better light. If you have any tips let me know, your bookstagram is awesome ❤

      • Annelise Lestrange says:

        It would be so cool to live in a haunted house!! *–* and I do, haha! I’ll give you a speech on an email tonight along with book club email – in the style I did with blog tours and should do regarding manga, ugh! Another thing I keep forgeting!!

      • mudandstars says:

        Ooh thanks so much, that would be awesome!!! ❤

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