A few weeks ago a reader asked me to write a blog post on how to get (back) into reading and how to enjoy it more. I’ve been in the same situation as the reader who reequested this post. I have experienced this sort of reading fatigue many times in the past few years, both during my time as a book blogger and before that. And I found some things that help me find more joy in books and get (back) into reading again. So I decided to share my knowledge and write this post for the reader who suggested it and for all those of you who occasionally face the same problem.
So, first things first: If you have a hard time reading at the moment and you don’t feel like it or can’t concentrate on a book, this could have many different reasons. Identifying what exactly stops you from reading at the moment can already be the first step to solve this problem. Is it the book you’re having trouble with? Are you just having a stressful and exhausting time right now? Or do you simply have no idea how to incorporate reading in your life?
For me it was the latter when I started this account. I was always what you call a bookworm and have always loved books and reading. But when I started studying Literary and Cultural Studies I got so invested in my university reading that I simply stopped reading books for fun. In the end, I didn’t know how to get back into reading anymore and that’s how I started book blogging which brings me to my first tip on how to get (back) into reading.
1. Set a reading goal (and share it with others)
This method might not help everyone to get (back) into reading but it definetely helped me. I’m the kind of person that works well with social pressure. In the beginning of 2020 I decided that I’ll take up reading again and I set myself a challenge: Read one book a month just for yourself, just for fun and not for your studies. I decided to share that goal on my Instagram account so that my exclusive audience of twelve friends and me could hold myself accountable.
Of course, that was a bit drastic. But you don’t have to share this on social media. You could just share your reading goals with a friend, your family or your roommate. The important thing is that you choose a goal that works well for you and that you find a way to keep yourself motivated and stick to that goal.
2. Just read something else
If you’re already back into reading but you find yourself avoiding it or not wanting to pick up your current read, then maybe it’s not you. Maybe it’s just the book that is to blame for your reading fatigue. Especially when reading a long or classic or some dense nonfiction, it can happen that we simply feel tired or can’t concentrate. That’s completely okay.
Sometimes it’s just the best choice to accept that this isn’t working, put the book away for some time and read something else. Read something that you actually enjoy and that makes you want to pick up a book and not avoid it. Personally I’d recommend reading something light or accessible like a short novel to get (back) into reading. My personal favourite for finding more joy in reading again is reading a graphic novel because they’re often quick and easy to read. Another option is simply re-reading your favourite book or reading a book from your comfort genre.
3. Make reading a habit
You have read this post until here and you know it’s not the book or the lack of a reading goal that’s stopping you to get (back) into reading. Well, then maybe it could be that you just don’t find the time for it in your daily life. You’re probably busy with work or studying or having a social life or something else or everything at the same time – and that is very understandable. I’ve been there and what always helped me was making reading a habit.
Find a way to incorporate reading in your everyday life and turn it into a habit. Before the pandemic my favourite to read was on the train while commuting. When the pandemic started and I went into home office, I found it hard to get back into reading again because my usual habit of commute reading was suddenly gone.
When I realized that that was what stopped me from reading, I found another way to make it part of my daily routine and turn it back into a habit. I started reading an hour in the morning while drinking my first coffee of the day. I understand that not everyone has the same flexibility in the mornings, but you get my point. If it’s half an hour before bed or ten minutes in the morning, it doesn’t matter as long as you find a habit that suits you.
4. Try audio books
If you are one of those really busy people, who don’t have ten minutes in the morning and can’t concentrate on a book at night because they’re tired from a long day, then you could try an audio book to incorporate reading in your everyday life. You could listen to it while commuting, while working out, while cleaning or cooking or even while doing your groceries. Simply find a book or narrator you like, a device to listen with and you’re good to go.
When I was a child, I used to love listening to audio books with my friends or family. I could go on for hours listening to stories and drawing or doing sudokus in the meantime. Maybe you can also have some audiobook dates with your friends or roommates and listen to audiobooks together instead of watching Netflix.
5. Most importantly: Don’t force yourself to read, if you don’t feel like it
If you don’t feel like it, just don’t force yourself to read. Sometimes we just need a break, even if it’s a break from our favourite hobby. Taking a break is completely normal and okay. Just take some time for yourself, explore other hobbies or just watch TV for a while. It’s not that important to be reading a book all the time.
I haven’t touched a book for a week while I’m writing this and I often go weeks without reading (although I’m a book blogger). I love reading but there’s more to life than books. Just take your time, take a break and you’ll return to reading with new energy ready to dive into the next book.
What are your tips to get (back) into reading?
Experiencing some reading fatigue is absolutely normal. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Reading should be a fun hobby and nothing we need to stress about. And even fun hobbies can have their ups and downs.
I hope you found this post helpful or informative. Maybe it has given you some ideas what’s stopping you to get (back) into reading and how to overcome whatever stands in the way of you having a good time with a book.
What are your tips to get (back) into reading? Please share them with me below!
You can find more posts about reading here.