How To Get Your Love Of Reading Back (Or Just Get It Period)
The act of reading a book is a deeply personal one. It’s easy to pass reading off as a mere relaxation technique, or a hobby, but to most people (and to me) it’s so much more than either of those things. It’s a lifestyle, it’s memories…it’s fun!
Although the Kindle (and other popular e-readers) have massively transformed reading culture over the past several years, I still hear a few incredulous voices when people find out how often I prioritize reading or how many books I manage to squeeze in over the course of a week or a month.
Some of the most common reactions when people find out what I’m reading or how much I’m reading are:
- "Where do you find the time?"
- "I’ve never liked reading since I was forced to do it in school."
- "Reading is boring."
- "I can never find something I want to read. It’s overwhelming."
- "Books make me sleepy."
- "I’d rather watch TV."
If you’ve ever said one of these things, or maybe even thought it, this post is (hopefully!) for you!
If You Don’t Have Time To Read:
You have to make time! If you commute via train or bus, you’re lucky! You’ve just given yourself built-in reading time. If reading on public transportation makes you feel sick, try reading on an iPad/iPhone/Kindle. Some people that I know that always got sick reading on the train stopped feeling nauseated when they used a Kindle instead of holding a physical book.
If you aren’t “lucky” enough to spend some time commuting via public transport, the next best times for you to read are:
- In the morning while you eat your breakfast.
- While you work out.
- Before you go to sleep.
I read during all three of these times and find them the most convenient. Reading at these times is also practical—I tend to get bored and unmotivated when I’m working out unless I distract myself with a good book, for example.
Even if you carve out 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening before you go to sleep, you can read at least a chapter or so per day! You’ll find yourself allotting more and more time to reading once you discover the best ways to fit it into your life.
Oh, one more thing! Don’t ever go anywhere without a book handy. Whether it’s a Kindle or a light paperback, having reading material available is great if you have to wait anywhere or if you find yourself wanting to eat alone or grab a coffee. You’ll be glad you had the book handy!
If You Haven’t Liked Reading Since School Or Think Reading Is Boring:
You’re reading the wrong books or you haven’t found the right ones. Bottom line.
A lot of people have high expectations for what they should (and should not) be reading. Just because a book is a classic, or just because another book won a prize, or just because Oprah recommended it does NOT mean you should read it…and it especially does not mean that you are a “reading failure” if you try to read it and do not enjoy it!
Like I said previously, reading is deeply personal. What you decide to read should matter only to you. If you’re worried about what people will think of your reading material, order books online and have them delivered to your home or use an ereader (no one can see the cover that way!).
Get back to the basics of what you enjoy. If you like cars, read about cars. If you like comics, read comics. If your only interest in the entire world is knitting, just read about knitting. If you love food, read books about food! Don’t try to be something you’re not just because you feel that society is pressuring you into reading a certain type of book. The trick is to start off light—maybe with a magazine on a topic you’re interested in. Keep to your hobbies and interests at first and branch out bit by bit…but only if you want to!
If You Think Finding Reading Material Is Too Hard And/Or Overwhelming:
This is a problem I struggle with from time to time. I get really bogged down by the sheer number of books I want to read. It’s a really big number. If I walk into a bookstore, I get itchy…like I have to look at everything. It takes a lot of the fun out of browsing and I often leave empty-handed because I can’t narrow anything down.
But, if your problem is the opposite, that you can’t find a book to read at all, here’s a few tips:
- Ask a librarian. If you have no idea what you like, a good librarian is skilled at pointing you in a direction.
- Use Amazon’s recommendation feature. Also pay attention to the “People Who Purchased This Book Also Purchased…” feature on the individual pages for books. If you know of a book that you loved, see what other people are buying.
- Goodreads is a fabulous place to find new books. If you have an account and update it with books you’ve read, they’ll make recommendations. But, if you haven’t read much and have no idea where to start, they also have really solid book lists.
- This may sound crazy, but check out the book section in your local Target store. It’s carefully curated to include popular, entertaining, best-selling books. If you get a book from this section, you can rest easy knowing that a hell of a lot of people also really enjoyed it and that’s why it’s there.
- Ask a book worm friend! Friends and family often have the best book recommendations because they know your interests and will adjust their recommendations to you accordingly. Putting this question up on Facebook is a good way to get advice from a wide range of people too.
- Read blogger book reviews. There are thousands of bloggers out there that do book reviews. If you find one you like and trust, their recommendations will mean more to you.
- If all else fails, I like looking at Oprah’s book section on her website. It has tons of featured books (not just her official Book Club picks) and reviews many of them. I’ve liked several of the recommendations I’ve gotten from her site, so I look at it as a trusted resource for me to find new reading material.
- Join a book club, whether it’s online or in real life. They’ll make the picks for you!
You Find That Reading Makes You Sleepy:
You’re reading the wrong book! See above.
You’d Rather Watch TV To Relax:
Reading a book is far more relaxing than watching TV, although it may not feel like it if you’re reading the wrong thing. (Once again, see above!)
The trick is to make the act of reading as comfortable as possible. Sit semi-reclined in bed, sit on your couch, your favorite chair, the bath…wherever you like. If you like to snack while you watch TV, snack while you read. If you like to unwind with tea or wine while you watch TV, drink those things while you read your book. Don’t look at sitting and reading quietly as a punishment or as a last resort. Turn it into an experience that you crave at the end of a long, hectic workday.
If you’re interested in reading my book reviews, click here! I’d love to connect with you on Goodreads too. Happy reading and good luck!
Any other questions?