In 2010, I did the unthinkable and fell out of love with reading. I was going through a really hard time time in my life and somehow in the midst of that I just stopped reading for nearly three years. To many of you who consume copious amounts of curious copies, this may sound insane, but I've seen many people struggle with a reading rut too whether it be due to drama or school or some other matter. Reading is important for our mental health and if you're a writer it's essential to read other's writing to learn from it. Therefore, I'm coming to the rescue with seven ways to help you get back into reading!
1.) Reread an Old Book - Liz Brooks @ Out of Coffee Out of Mind suggested this idea, which is also one of the reasons I decided to write this post. Sometimes the uncertainty of wasting our time on reading a book we may not even like can get us down. Find a book you know and love and read it again. This can help you relive the the good feels you had while reading an old favorite.
2.) Listen to an Audio Book - It can be tough to make yourself commit to sitting down and reading a book. Try listening to an audio book during your morning commute or while doing chores or exercising or even get a bunch for roadtrips. This is how I "read" the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis during a two hour there and back road trip.
|Kakashi-Sensei loves reading books while exercising his students.|
3.) Take Reading Slow - I for one get really intimidated when I see people read fifty books in a month when my best is maybe four. I'm just not good at reading super fast through a book. It takes me a minute to read a page. Yeah, I timed myself. I know I'm not the only one who is this way. But don't feel bad for only being able to read a chapter a day or even a few pages. Read at your own pace. It's for your enjoyment. Even if you take a month to finish one book that's okay, because you're reading slower you may get more out of the book over those who only skim.
4.) Read A Book to Someone - Try reading a book to a sibling or boyfriend or niece or the kids you baby sit. This can help you be accountable and you can share the experience with someone else. I for one love doing the voices. You can even have the person you're reading to do a voice of a certain character or number of characters to make it more interactive. This is how I read the Maze Runner by James Dashner with a friend in high school.
5.) Have Someone Read a Book to You - This is a combination of number two and number four. Having someone read to you can be fun whether it's during a road trip or just an activity to do at home with a friend or family member. And you can also switch off to help get back into reading. Reading a book at the same time can make the book even more fun and memorable. Nothing's better about reading except knowing someone else has read or is reading the same book and can fangirl with you.
6.) Read to Learn - When you're a writer, it's important to learn from other writers about the craft. This can be a great motivating factor to read. This ended up being one of the reasons I got back into reading. Take notes while reading; really analyze the prose, the plot, the characters; how is the pacing? Think about these while reading and while you're analyzing you may find yourself swept away by the story.
|Jennifer Lawrence read the Hunger Games on set to try to stay close to the book portrayal as Katniss.|
7.) Sometimes You Just Have to Make Yourself Do it - And then sometimes the only way you can make yourself do it is if you're just be bound and determined to get back into reading. Sometimes you just have to put butt in the chair whip out that book and just read straight for a while until you get immersed in the story. It's a magical feeling when you lose yourself in a book and time passes. Instead of messing with your phone while waiting for things, read while you're waiting for a doctor appointment or for the bus to get to your stop. Slip in few a pages or two before bed. This is what ultimately got me back into reading and I don't regret it. Reading has enriched my life.
Conclusion - Reading is such a wonderful and healthy activity. It's sad when something happens to make us stop, but there's always hope! Happy reading!
Have you ever struggled with reading? What did you do to get back out of your reading slump? Have you tried any of these methods and have been successful?
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