I decided to add a book section to my blog to share book recommendations and reviews on books that I had been reading. For a long time, my relationship with books had been somewhat strained. As a child, I would read whenever I could. Reading appeared to be a safe haven. However, as I grew older – and was ‘forced’ to read novels or literary classics for English class – I noticed a huge difference in my desire to read. My ‘reading’ turned into quickly glancing at summaries of books on Spark notes. However, after high school, I realised I wanted to get back into the cycle of reading. There was nobody to tell me what to read or analyse characters I hated but starting over wasn’t easy.
Over the years, I gained a terrible habit of buying books but never finishing them. I would always start the first few pages with enthusiasm; however, I would quickly get distracted or bored. I could no longer sit and focus. However, this summer – after making a conscious decision of wanting to read again – I dived straight into my books. I made a list and began checking it off. Having my sister read her own books alongside was great. I loved talking about what we were reading. Sharing what I was reading with others actually made reading even more enjoyable. I loved hearing what others were reading – i’d always make a quick mental note of more books to add. Anyway, here are some things that I did to help me get my reading back into order.
- Get Inspired
Before you pick out a big, chunky book out of nowhere – stop. If you’re lucky, you might like it but most of the time, restarting after ages and plunging straight into the deep end can cause a book to go abandoned very quickly. So, get inspired. Find out what others are reading. I personally like to follow a lot of book blogs. There’s something inspiring about seeing a copious amount of books and wanting to have a similar pile at home. I personally like ‘Reese’s Book Club.’ Or, join a book club!
- Start small
If you haven’t read in a very long time, start with a few pages or even a chapter. Don’t force yourself to finish a book in 2 days. Your self-enforcement will simply make you hate the book or miss out key parts. Your eyes will just scan the book quickly to make sure you get to the end. Been there, done that. So, start small. Schedule a portion every day or a couple times in a week. Finding the right time to dedicate to reading is also crucial. Find what works for you!
- Choose the right book
Choose what you really want to read. Sometimes, recommendations don’t work. Don’t force yourself to enjoy a book that someone else enjoyed. Everyone has different preferences. Is your guilty pleasure romantic comedies? Or maybe you really like the thrill of a mystery novel. Whatever it is, go for it. If you’re into magazines – start there and build your way up. I really enjoy non-fiction books, especially the self-help type as they’d always motivate me. This summer, I decided to choose fiction and I love it. I love diving into different worlds, meeting different types of characters and getting to know their lifestyles. It’s an exciting escape.
- Try something new
Perhaps contradictory to the point above but something to consider. Maybe you’re not enjoying reading because you hate the genre? Explore new genres and find out what works for you. Start with guilty pleasures and work your way up to something completely out of your comfort zone. If you’re trying to read again, try something light and small. I think the biggest annoyance I faced was that I just wasn’t able to finish a book because I’d lose interest so easily. I think there’s a little misconception if you choose a smaller book – you’re not ‘really reading’ or ‘it’ll be easy’ – size never matters. Just go for it and reward yourself when you finish!
- Go digital
I tried to read with a kindle for a short amount of time but it just didn’t work for me. I personally love holding a book and experiencing the ‘turning the page’ feeling. It’s simple yet satisfying. However, I do have friends who read from their kindles. Perhaps, this may for work for you! With a kindle, reading doesn’t feel as ‘traditional’ if that makes sense. We’re so used to reading on our screens everyday so reading on a kindle won’t feel so different.
I’m glad to be able to get back on my reading track. I forgot how amazing it feels to finally finish a book and start a new one. I hope the above tips help you get a little further into your reading journey and re-experience that adrenaline rush! So, curl up with a book (new or old) and read to your heart’s content.
Currently reading: Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine.