Which Books or Authors Get You Out of A Reading Funk?

When the words from a book build a wall in front of you.

It happens to the best of us. You stare at your TBR pile on the shelf and not even one of them calls your name, no matter how excited you were when you were buying them. You start a book only to drop it after a few pages, and try another one, but nothing is doing it for you. It sucks!

There are a number of ways to get out of that funk. It can be any other activity that is not reading, like listening to a podcast, doing other hobbies, meditation…anything but reading. Sometimes spending time off your reading couch and in an actual word can pull you back into the reading world.

There’s also another way, which always works for me – reading, I know, it doesn’t make sense but it’s kind of a ‘fight-fire-with-fire’ thing and it works.

What I do is go back to the books I love the most, or the genre that got me into becoming an avid reader.

Here are the books and authors, in no particular order, that kick me out of my reading funk.

Dr Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Books

There is just something soothing and wise about Auntie Maya that just pulls me back into the world of reading. I also listen to her interviews and poetry recitals so much that when I pick up one of her books, I read in her voice and it sounds like sitting on the porch with an auntie or grandma sitting behind me on a rocking chair telling me a story. My favourite of her works is A Song Flung Up To Heaven. (See review).

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

One of my favourite classic authors. His novels inspired me to write and whenever I hit a wall, I’ll pick up something I’ve read before like Devils or Notes from Underground and I don’t even have to finish it. A few chapters and that hunger for reading and just consuming book after book returns. My favourite of his books is Crime and Punishment.


I have subscribed to Poetry Foundation so I receive daily poems and if I want more I just head to their website www.poetryfoundation.org. It is a wellspring of some of the best poetry in the world. Dr Maya Angelou, Pablo Neruda, Koleka Putuma, Rumi, Nayyira Waheed, Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Langston Hughes, Ben Okri and many others. I recently bought this collection below and I am in love with it.

English Classics

They also work and there’s a particular way to read them; I have to be alone, with a cup of tea or coffee and some baked goodies, preferably scones. Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens and many others.

Mystery and Thriller Books

Specifically David Baldacci and Jeffrey Archer. This is because these are the books I started off with when I was growing up. These are the kind of books that dominated our bookshelf so whenever I’m in a funk I’ll pick up one of these guys (my roommate has a lot) and I’m back in the game.

Bessie Head

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read Maru. It’s short and it’s everything I love and enjoy about African literature. I’ve been reading it since high school. I keep having to rebuy a copy because I either give it away or sell it when I do my shelf declutter.

The books I cannot read when I’m in a funk a non-fiction books. Never. It just doesn’t work because of their weight and seriousness. I’m struggling already so I need something softer or more exciting.

How do you get out of your reading funk?

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Autodidact & Bibliophile

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