How to get back into reading
Do not despair! Getting back into reading is possible and so much fun. Let's break it down.
You probably know that reading on a regular basis provides amazing benefits to the health of our brain and our mental well-being. Besides, nerds are the best people in any society. That said, life has its own agenda and somehow you just haven't touched a book since last October.
Surround yourself with readers
Talking about books is almost as fun as reading them. Find your way into a reading community, whether it is asking your book worm friend about the last book she enjoyed, joining a book club or following one on Instagram. Immerse yourself in a reading environment.
Choose your book
The first thing that needs to happen for you to get back into reader-zone is that you find a book you actually can't wait to read. Consider what types of movies or TV shows you watch to pick a genre you will enjoy reading.whether it is science fiction, political thrillers, crime novels or non fiction such as histories or biographies. It will help you move back into reading more easily.
Leave the challenges for later
Read this as many times as you need to believe - you don't need to prove anything to anyone. Yes, it's great to meet the crown jewels of classical and contemporary literature, but that's not really what reading is about. And definitely not right now. Your only obligation for right now is to have fun and read on, so don't go choosing highly acclaimed novels you have no real desire to read, because you will just drop them the next day. Only pick up what you like.
Take your book with you wherever you go
The easiest way to read more is to have something to read with you at all times. Bring your book with you in your briefcase, bag or purse. Keep it book in your car. Anytime you have five or ten minutes of downtime, such as at the doctor’s office or while commuting to work, you can squeeze in some reading.
Get an e-reader
Whether it's your diagnosed multi-focus ADD treat or just personal taste, you might belong to a population of readers that just has to read more than one book at a time. Two/three books are not fun to carry around all the time, are they? That's what e-readers are particularly great for - serving as your personal, light-weight, portable library. Consider getting one!
Start your own reading tradition
Create a ritual that makes you look forward to reading. Find a comfortable place with no distractions. You may enjoy reading on the couch, in bed, on a park bench, at the beach or in the grass under a tree. Finally, consider sipping on something you enjoy — a tea, a latte, a glass of wine—or nibbling on a piece of fruit while you read. Find the best combo for you.
Schedule it in
Designate a block of at least twenty minutes during the day when you think you will have time to read. The longer the block, the more you will benefit. Reading at night before bedtime helps you wind down and rest your eyes and your brain from screen activity. Some enjoy reading during breakfast or lunch, others during their commute. Choose a time when you are least likely to be distracted.
Set a goal
Set a goal to read a certain number of books within a certain time frame. For instance, maybe you want to read two books per month. Great! Whatever goal you choose, make sure it is realistic and doesn’t take the fun out of reading. You don't want to dread it as a chore. You can also create a reading log to document each book you read and how long it takes. Tracking your reading will give you a sense of well earned accomplishment!
Read to children
Attention - this tip does not require you to be a parent yourself! Feel free to offer your bedtime reading services to friends/siblings and their kids, and you are not going to believe how fun it can be. It will help both you and the child develop a passion for reading, as well as curiosity, creativity, and imagination. Discuss the books you read and ask them questions. Best book club ever!
What if it feels too slow?
We live at an age of fast changing visual stimuli and reading can feel too slow, especially if it's been a while since your last read. You can actually teach yourself to scan the text. You don’t have to read every word that is on the page. Scanning allows you to pick up the important material while not stumbling over every minute detail. It can help you enjoy reading again by helping you bypass the parts of the text you like... less.
Write reviews of what you read
After you finish a book, graphic novel, or story, write down what you liked and didn’t like about the novel. Summarize what the book was about and what the author was trying to convey. This can help you process what you just read, and it will help you realize what parts of reading you enjoy.
If you’d like, you can post these reviews to a book review website and become an active part of a network of people who also enjoy reading the same books!
Annotate your books
Underline interesting sentences in the book. Mark points where you were shocked, excited, or saddened. Scribble down predictions of what might happen. This process of actively reading can really increase your investment in the text. It will also increase reading comprehension and memory. Just be kind enough to use a pencil and erase your markings in borrowed books!
Look things up
Look up things that you don’t understand. Sometimes, there are difficult concepts and words in a book. Don’t be afraid to look them up. Understanding such things will speed up your reading and increase the satisfaction you receive from the text. Again - you have nothing to prove and everything to gain!