This semester I am reading lots of textbooks. In the beginning I learnt a lot by reading books but soon after, the amount of my learning started to decline. I feel like I have hit the reader's block where no matter how much I study books, I won't learn much. How do I deal with this?

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    What's your discipline? Depending on the topic doing exercises should be prioritized Sep 7, 2021 at 17:52
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    Learning to read both quickly and for content is a learned skill.
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 7, 2021 at 18:11
  • @Rubus I am computer engineering student, but this semester we have lots of theoritical subjects unlike in past semesters where there used to be lots of numericals. Sep 7, 2021 at 18:25
  • @JonCuster I have been reading a lot of books till date. At the start, I learnt a lot, but at this point, I feel like I am not learning anything new by reading books. I feel in a block. Sep 7, 2021 at 18:26
  • Look at old exams to get the level of detail required to pass. Then learn in a breath first search style. I'm studying computer science and for me it would be impossible to learn everything they suggest to us...But maybe you are a genius then its certainly possible... Sep 7, 2021 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


Reader’s block is a real thing. There’s not a “cure” per se, but there are a few tactics you might employ in the dry moments.

Take a break

Whether this is a small break (an hour during the day) or one on a larger scale (a week perhaps), taking a break and thinking about other things (or simply relaxing) can get you back in the mood to study.

Write about what you’re reading

Taking notes can be useful, but so can writing prose about what you’ve been reading and your thoughts on it. Even writing something like “this book is boring” allows you to be engaging with the text on some level.

Set a timer

This is my best tactic to overcome reader’s block. Set a timer for some amount of time (anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour) and stick to reading only. Do not get up for any reason at all—grab snacks and water beforehand if that’s your style—and read until your timer ends. Choose an amount of time that seems reasonable for you, even if it is small.

Set achievable goals

Setting out to read 100 pages might seem daunting. Reading 3 in a day seems more achievable. Choosing a small amount might seem counterproductive, but if you meet your goal of 3 (or an arbitrarily low number) you can set a new goal. Retaining 3 pages of text is better than aspiring to retain 100 and actually retaining 0.

In addition to employing strategies like the ones listed above, see if you can change up your reading. Maybe you have freedom to choose more interesting books. Maybe you can skip some chapters. Maybe you can skim chapters or read summaries. Learning, not completion, should be your goal.

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