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Eight Ways to Incorporate More Literature into Your Life

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Helsinki chapter.

Want to read more but just feel so busy/ lacking in motivation/ not even sure where to start? Worry not! With these eight tips, we’ll get you out of that reading slump. 

Make a #bookstagram account

Chances are, you are already on Instagram. What you should know, though, is that there is an absolutely vibrant and diverse community of all kinds of #booktographers, #bookworms and #bookstagrammers. People share their love for l´books, promote their works and discuss literature. If you’re not on Instagram, try other social media platforms and go follow some interesting bookish accounts. Want to know what book everyone’s talking about now? Turn to Twitter or Instagram. Need to find some reviews? Check out Goodreads. And while you’re at it, you might as well create an account and join the delightfully bookish conversation online!

Read Fanfiction

Are you into a particular book series and just can’t really think of anything else you’d be into right now? Worry not! There are tons of fanfiction. I know what you’re thinking right now – that’s the lamest idea ever. I’ve been there, I’ve thought that myself. But hear me out! Yes, you might need to go through more material to find something to your liking, but there are some absolutely beautifully written, novel-length fan works out there. Did you know that i.e. Rainbow Rowell has written fanfiction? So it’s not just teenagers that write and read it (not that that’s not really cool too) – it’s a whole variety of people of different ages, and backgrounds – as mentioned, even published authors! The great thing is, fanfiction often brings that dimension of diversity that original works might lack. Of course, these works might contain explicit sexual content or violence, problematic themes and so on, which should be kept in mind when looking up things on the internet. Oftentimes, though, authors choose to add warnings if necessary, to the description – pay attention to those! If you’re interested in fanfiction as an academic concept, check out The Fan Fiction Studies Reader by Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse.

Try Audiobooks

Have trouble picking up that book? Believe me, I know the feeling. Try audiobooks instead – you can listen when you’re doing the dishes, on your morning run, on that tediously long bus ride… basically whenever! Take a look at different audiobook providers – Audible, LibriVox, BookBeat (this one is particularly for books in Finnish), Celia (for disabled people), and obviously, your local library, and find the one that suits you. This is perfect for people who just can’t sit down and focus on reading, have a disability that impacts reading or people who love to listen. Compare different readers (my favourite audiobook narrator is Stephen Fry) and pick your favourites!

Go to a Literary Event

Fan events, book fairs, publishing events, panel discussions… you name it! Look up book-related events near you and get inspired! Take a friend with you too, and just talk about them about everything that’s happening, book-wise.

Re-read Your Favourite Book

This helps me whenever I can’t seem to get back to reading. All I need to do is go back to Hogwarts, follow the witty conversation between Lord Henry and Dorian Gray or get frustrated all over again about Achilleus’ wrath and Hektor’s death (spoiler alert! Though really, if you haven’t read The Iliad by now, I would say you’ve had more than enough time to do that). What are your favourite books? Pick one of those up and give it a reread or a listen, and maybe think of what about that book in particular inspires you. That should give you an idea of what you might find unputdownable as they say.

Join a Book Club

Ever feel like ranting about a particularly annoying book or gossiping about the juicy plot twists of a novel or just sharing how completely obsessed about a short story you are or just talking about how you just don’t get this particular book? Join a book club and do just that with some people who are reading the same book. If there’s not a club you’d like to join, try an online one (see challenges on Instagram, book clubs on Goodreads, etc.) or set up your own group! I’ve one with family members, one with friends and a couple of online ones and following that discussion and getting to be a part of it really motivates me to finish whatever book we’re reading.

Make a TBR List

…and start tackling it! A To Be Read list might be just what you need! If you have reading related goals, write them down (you can do this online too, i.e. on Goodreads). Make a list for each month and try to stick with it – only if it doesn’t feel too daunting. TBR lists can be really motivating but sometimes they can temporarily kill the desire to read too, so approach this one with caution, and see if it works for you.

Keep Your Why in Mind

Why do you want to read more, and what’s keeping you from doing just that? Give it some thought, and then try these tips or come up with your own reading plan. In the end, it’s quite easy to add some literary things in your life, so think, plan, and go for it! Happy reading!

An English major, Campus Correspondent, feminist and aspiring literary scholar.
Helsinki Contributor