Tips on how to get back into reading

by Jenn

For most of us, reading has been a solace, an immersive getaway that lets us time-travel into the wildest imaginations, but that was well before our worlds were turned upside down by work, college, homecare, and adulting. Now, squeezing in that hour to read through some fictional whimsical piece when you have enough drama in your life is dreadful, right? Well, not entirely, although it’s always much easier to pin the blame on life rather than address the elephant in the room- you’ve lost interest in reading. Initially, staying up late with your head burrowed into a copy of James Patterson with work lined up in the morning didn’t seem like much. What changed that you’d rather spend your days mindlessly scrolling through Instagram for the umpteenth time than sit through a chapter of ink? I’ll say you unplugged from your reading habit one, two, or five years ago and don’t know how to get it back.

Six ways re-ignite your bookworm spark.

Do you miss curling into your bed, nose buried deep into a book for hours? Yeah, we all do. When life comes at you so fast, those little things that once brought you joy and pleasure start to feel anything but pleasurable. Zero judgment here. Still, we hang on to hope that someday these escapes can fill the void they once did. If this is where you’re at with reading, we have just the thing for you; five ways to nurture back your love for books. 

Try something new

Get out of your comfort zone for a change. Half of the time, self-proclaimed bookworms lose their reading bearing because their book choices grow monotonous. Admittedly, you tend to anticipate the book’s action when you keep going back and forth on the same genres and authors. That said, an occasional switch to other popular genres and book recommendations might be what you need to get those wheels rolling again. Don’t forget to explore some of your close friends’ all-time favorite reads to bag some real gems.

Start short

Diving in head first is never the way to go about it, at least not with reading. From my experience, taking on massive reads will only pressure you, and that’s far from what we want. So rather than overwhelm yourself with that 1000-page trilogy gathering dust by your shelf, I’d suggest going small. Find a short book with a simple plot or concept before you get back into the groove; those little books are what’ll tease you into taking up reading again. 

Judge it by the cover

Treat this experience as you would window shopping- browse, try it on, repeat. Don’t be hell-bent on finding your perfect read at that moment; instead, sit with it and feel it out. Go through the aisles and judge each book by its cover before settling on what’s eye-pleasing to you. Because the truth is, no one cares if you’ve read from this year’s list of recommended books, you might as well go ahead and choose what makes you happy.

Don’t commit

Commitment is a no-go when you’re trying to find your footing. The moment you make reading feel like an obligation is when it starts weighing down on you and feels like a chore; this takes the fun out of it. Cancel working around a schedule and try going with the flow this once. Have you got a few minutes left in your lunch break? Use that window to finish up the chapter. Are you waiting for your coffee at the cafe? Log on to kindle and get a few pages in. There’s no need to sweat it. Discipline and commitment will effortlessly come to you once you’ve grasped it well.

The good old library

We know libraries are so brick and mortar thanks to digitization, but here’s a concept: going to the library can potentially spark your reading interest. When you’re surrounded by books and people engrossed in their whimsy pages of ink, who’s to say the vibe won’t rub off on you? Not a chime, not your phone ringing off the hook or your youtube notifications going off by the hour, just you and an endless pool of books. Take this as your green light to get a library membership.

Final words

It’s not unusual to lose interest in reading; trust me, you’d be surprised to learn the number of people that haven’t touched a book since the year began. The struggle is real. For most, however, it’s never a lifelong disinterest but more of a transitional challenge. Reading after unplugging for what seems so long can be difficult. Challenging, yes, but doable nonetheless. Still, it doesn’t mean you should start with an uncompromising commitment to complete the books gifted to you last Christmas as a way to gain some traction; chances are this approach will only curl you further away from the habit. Instead, give yourself some grace and understand that you’re not obligated to read; this is how to ease your way back into the world of knowledge, words, and imagination. Call it the art of falling back in love with reading.

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